Monday, 22 June 2009

How I got Fooled

I refer to this post.

I first picked up this story from a credible source at Beginning Life.
I then checked with another credible source, Laura's playground.
I then cross-checked with TopShelf, a source of lesser credibility, but which showed activity by someone of that name for over a year. I even chased up the identity of her Aunt Edeyn aka Edeyn Hannah Blackeney, who has been posting for years.

Lacking access to police records in NY - and I wasn't even sure that that was the correct state - and knowing from past experience that such episodes don't always make the papers, I wasn't too concerned that there was no immediate report within 24 hours.

I was concerned when there was nothing after 48, and that the usual problems with details hadn't been resolved. I kept looking, and as soon as the story looked like a hoax, I reported that.

Worse, it looks like I've been fooled before. Same way.

Fool me once shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.

The only good thing, as I wipe the egg from my face, is that no-one actually died this time.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I guess you will use Beginnglife as a reference on your PHD paper.

immybass said...

I'm just glad it wasn't real. No shame to you, Zoe: we're all on a hair trigger because stuff like this happens all the time, and we all wonder which of us will be next.

Erin Halfelven said...

I removed your post at BigCloset because I've been keeping talk of this situation off of my forums and blogs until I could determine what was going on. Also, it was attached to a six-month old thread.

I still don't know what is going on but whoever began spreading this story has not come forward to explain things.

As for BigCloset's credibility, it's a fiction site. :) People are supposed to keep the fiction out of blogs and forums but unless someone draws my attention to something or I have need to verify, I don't check everything.

This whole situation smacks of neediness and the sort of play-acting troubled people sometimes engage in.

Don't be too hard on yourself, Zoe. I check your blog everyday because I admire your combination of empathy and rationality. Sometimes that empathy will trip us up, but on the whole it is worth it to be able to feel for others.

-- Erin of BigCloset

Sara said...

Perhaps the point to take away is that no one was surprised that an attack like this could happen or could be so brutal. Horrified yes, but not surprised. *Every* trans death has been just as awful, it just didn't have as skilled and motivated an author to report on it. But they should. Any time a trans death is reported in the media, the inhuman treatment needs to be brought to light in visceral detail and the consciousness of the mainstream reader reader made aware.

Yes, this was a hoax. But it worked because it fit so nicely with reality.

Anonymous said...

I'm the gay guy from the previous thread. I took heat because .. well, I don't know, because I'm cynical towards things like this?

The fact is, no, you shouldn't have seen it, because you expect people to be honest. You are aware of the past , in your community, as painfully aware as I am of the past in mine. We know this type of murder/killing IS possible.

So it becomes believable.

I guess the problem I have with it is , I am a firm believer in honesty. I think people should strive to tell the truth. After all, isn't that what all of us "different" people really want? To be able to be honest with the world and not be threatened/assaulted/murdered for it?

The sad thing is, there are huge number of victims out there who get no press, who get no rememberances, who aren't popular trans or gays on major forums. I'd really hate for people to point to this and cry "girl who cried wolf" as a method to mitigate the crimes others commit against our community.

I fear that hoaxes like these are going to be used against us, and it'll hurt the cause. Just like that woman who carved the "B" into her face and blamed it on Obama fans, and that was used to point at all republicans.. I think that this hoax will be jumped upon by our enemies as proof that we don't do due dilligence and instead go looking for fights.. when the reality is that we're rarely the ones looking for fights. (And I use the royal we, to cover my queer friends.)

Anonymous said...

So we can blame Beginning Life then? Cool. Not the first time people have been hurt by that place.

Laserlight said...

The good news is, it wasn't real. the bad news is, it could have been. So....pay attention to your surroundings. Think about taking a self defense course. Carry a cellphone. If you're the sort who can look someone in the eye and pull the trigger--most can't--then consider getting a gun and drilling with it. Don't pour out your life history to a stranger in a bar. If your best friend says "that's a stupid idea", don't do it. Use your brain.

Zoe Brain said...

I have the wrong reflexes.

Not that long ago, I heard what sounded like a girl being assaulted, late at night, coming back from the Uni.

As has happened.

I ran *towards* not away from.

Ok, car keys in my fist ready to thrust them into an eyeball, and cellphone at the ready, but still... it was instinct. To protect the young.

Leah said...

God, I think it was unfair of Andrea James to name names like that. I'm sure we ALL learned a valuable lesson already, we didn't need her to further embarass us. Although she didn't name me, she could have.

Danielle said...

No dis, Leah, but you are not prominent on the web as the namees are. Andrea is a good reporter and she wrote it right. Zoe is just fine as I can tell from her latest posts. So can we all move on now? Please? This is so old already.

And to the anonymous axe grinder: so you like to take cheap shots at BL, do you? Sheesh gimme a break.

Zoe Brain said...

Note that I linked to Andrea's post criticising me - in a way that showed that I thought the criticism justified.

I will make mistakes in the future - hopefully not as bad as this one - as every blogger or MSM outlet does.

The difference is, I do not flush the evidence into a bit-bucket (like, say, the BBC), and retractions are on the Front Page and with equal emphasis as the original. Unlike, well, nearly every MSM outlet.

This gives readers an accurate - if not always flattering to me - idea of my credibility. That's important to me. I try to be accurate, but when I'm not, readers should know about it, and absolutely as soon as possible.

TotalD said...

Zoe ,you are no less brilliant and no less trusted by me. As I said on Andrea's thread I was taken in by the story , not you , all of us were because it was a year in the making. It's not your fault at all.

luv ya

Dars

Anonymous said...

To Danielle:

I'm not taking cheap shots at BL, just telling it like it is. They didn't give me, and a fair number of others, a break either.