12.21.09

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Mozilla Does Not Endorse Microsoft’s Search, Media Distortions to Blame

Posted in Deception, Free/Libre Software, Google, Microsoft, Search at 8:29 am by Dr. Roy Schestowitz

Asa Dotzler
Asa Dotzler, via WIkipedia

Summary: Asa Dotzler surprised by media reaction to comments of his which were misinterpreted and also attributed to his employer rather than himself

A COUPLE of weeks ago Mozilla’s Dotzler was (mis)quoted as saying that people should use Microsoft and not Google. Since several of our readers brought it up we thought it would be worth commenting on very briefly.

Basically, as in most cases where people look for controversy, words and ideas get distorted (ours too). The original words get lost in the mix and disinformation spins out of control. Dotzler has already removed the post in question (and in a subsequent post he also explained why).

“The editors modify headlines to create drama and controversy (emotion at the expense of information).”At Groklaw, Pamela Jones wrote: “Folks need to read more carefully. What he said is that *all* search engines are subject to the Patriot Act, and that would include Bing, which also retains your information. So he is showing you how to jump from the frying pan into the fire. I changed the title also, because this was a blog comment, not a Mozilla official statement, so I don’t think it’s accurate to say that Mozilla did this. Journalists don’t usually write their own headlines. Just so you know.

That is my experience as well, having written for publications before. The editors modify headlines to create drama and controversy (emotion at the expense of information).

Here is an example of inaccurate reports about Dotzler’s remark. Some of the most distorted headlines came from the typical Microsoft boosters, who were totally spinning Dotzler’s words so as to advertise Microsoft’s Bong [sic].

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4 Comments

  1. Needs Sunlight said,

    December 21, 2009 at 9:39 am

    Gravatar

    As Pamela Jones points out, most journalists don’t get to write their own headlines.

    The distortion was probably intentional and by the same individuals as usual. Tech reporting has been utter crap for about seven years. It was a mixed bag before that, but as M$ was able to kill off journals through its advertising dollars, there became decreasing returns on the time wasted reading the drivel.

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Here is one way to think about it:

    When you read Google News or another aggregation service, bear in mind that all those headlines were written by a selected few editors. They have a tremendous amount of influence over headlines and they also remove paragraphs that slip out of certain boundaries. This ‘veto power’ they have leads the writers to a state of self-censorship (or else they get fired and expelled from this system).

    In order to ensure that “Freedom of the Press” and “Independent Journalism” are not just some fictitious notions from textbooks, people must resist commercial control of the media (top-down), an example of which we gave just 5 minutes ago.

  2. Jose_X said,

    December 21, 2009 at 3:43 pm

    Gravatar

    Do you have links?

    I could not find the groklaw link when I went there, but I do have this: http://weblogs.mozillazine.org/asa/archives/2009/12/if_you_have_nothing.html

    Roy Schestowitz Reply:

    Do you have links?

    I read it the other day and made the mistake of not keeping track. I wasn’t planning to write about it.

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