Wednesday, 27 October 2004

Lies, damned lies, and websites

Many websites are full of inaccurate information. Whether this is because of the authors' laziness, carelessness or ignorance, the regrettable result is that it is impossible to determine which sites are trustworthy and which are not.

However, it is refreshing and heartening to find that there are some sites about which there can be no doubt whatsoever: they consist entirely of falsehoods, having been set up with deceit as their sole purpose. I list below examples of four such misleading sources, three British and one American, which have cast aside all restraints of decency and honour and flagrantly pretend to be something which they are not. I include links to them and brief quotations from their often offensive distortions of the truth.

Be prepared
Official advice
“In an effort to worry the public and convince them to vote for us again next year, and because George Bush asked us to, this website includes the common sense advice found in our Preparing for Emergencies booklet, and information on what the government is doing to protect the country as a whole. (Hint: we're praying really, really hard.)………..”

Information on the Security Services
MI5 exposes itself
“The past decade has seen an enormous shift in the direction of global politics that has in turn caused a radical reassessment of MI5's goals and operational behaviour. This reassessment is now complete, and we've decided to carry on doing things exactly the same way as we did before.
We hope that these pages will give you some insight into the vigorous work done by MI5 to keep Britain in its rightful place as the seventeenth most powerful nation on Earth…….”

Eponym
The story of aluminium (or aluminum)
“A Staffordshire iron-founder named Joshua Aluminium invented in 1844 a process for extracting the metal from bauxite, and it was named after him…….”

The Onion
The daddy of all unreliable newspapers
“BAGHDAD—After 19 months of struggle in Iraq, U.S. military officials conceded a loss to Iraqi insurgents Monday, but said America can be proud of finishing a very strong second…..."

3 comments:

Hugh said...

You really should not give publicity to these disgraceful websites. Don't you realise that millions of Americans in the Middle West might look them up AND BELIEVE THEM? Shame on you!

Gerry said...

Naughty, Tony. Very naughty! Talk about Lies, damned lies, and websites. I think this Hugh character is a bit rum, old chap...

Hugh said...

My attention has been drawn to a comment here, emanating from a certain "Gerry", which appears to link me in some way with the owner of this website, who is totally unknown to me. Further, the comment seems to be casting aspersions on my integrity and that of my own website From the Shires. These remarks may well be actionable, but anyway I propose to ignore them. Those who wish to satisfy themselves about my bona fides are cordially invited to visit my website, which is under development and will ultimately contain a wealth of information for those who share my interest in - nay, passion for - those pursuits appropriate to English country gentlemen.
HW-B