Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Claim That Google Blanked Georgia False--MSM Rooked By Azerbaijanis?

They Fooled Stupid
Western Journalists!

Yesterday, rumors flew that GoogleMaps had blanked areas of Georgia in an attempted to "remain neutral" in the Russia/Georgia conflict. These rumors were traced to the "Information Age" site, and to this cached version of a piece entitled "Google embroiled in Georgian conflict":

Yesterday, it emerged that the company had removed details of all roads, towns and cities in Georgia from its Google Maps online mapping service, as well as from the maps of neighbouring countries Azerbaijan and Armenia. According to the Azerbaijan Press Agency, the relevant maps went blank as soon as fighting broke out. However, satellite information was still available earlier today.

Several observers highlighted the fact that Google co-founder Sergey Brin is Moscow-born.

Meanwhile, Google is involuntarily providing cyber-refuge to Georgian websites that have been disrupted by Russian hackers. Georgian news site relocated to a domain on Google’s Blogger blogging infrastructure after a cyber-attack, reportedly originating in Russia, took the website down."

Well, anyone who took a quick look at Google realized that the maps were still there--they just contain very limited information, as do many of the maps from that part of the world(check out Kazakhstan or Niger, for example)--and today the story appears in an amended form. Apparently, the FP blog, among others, also reported the original story--sourced to allies of the Georgian Republic--uncritically. Suckered again, suckers!

So: a recurring theme. Journalists refuse to spend five minutes with teh Googles, and get rooked...this time by the freaking Azerbaijanis! Shame, stupid journalists! Shame!


Ti-Guy said...

I'm swimming in a sea of links here...which credible Western news agency got suckered? Not that "journalists" aren't stupid (a lot of them are careerist j-school automatons who don't give a shit about real news)...I just want to make sure this accusation is warranted.

bigcitylib said...

Foreign Policy (see link) and Information Age (if you consider them MSM).

I thought NY Times as well, but they were a little more cautious and its too late to change the title.

Ti-Guy said...

...and Information Age (if you consider them MSM)

I don't. The article is attributed to Pete Swabey, who appears to be some IT marketer.

bigcitylib said...

And at least one Aussie newspaper:

Ti-Guy said...

Good enough for me. Stupid Journalists!

Although, truth be told, nothing good ever comes out of Parramatta.

Kurt Phillips said...

While I realize that this will have nothing to do with your post, we thought you might be interested in our recent article on Mark Fournier's claim that Marc Lemire was never a leader of the Heritage Front.