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Setting the Record Straight
March 19, 2011 6:49 PM   Subscribe

ICorrect: The universal website for corrections to lies, misinformation and misrepresentations.

The article from Hong Kong's unlinkable South China Morning Post:

Entrepreneur David Tang Wing-cheung is on a mission to help the rich and famous set the record straight.

His new brainchild is Icorrect, a website where celebrities can rectify untruths said about them.

Take British actor Michael Caine. For years he has been mimicked with the words: "Not many people know that."

Caine has already gone to Icorrect to point out: "I have never said, 'Not many people know that.' Peter Sellers said it when he impersonated my voice on his telephone answering machine. His impersonation was, 'This is Michael Caine, Peter Sellers is out. Not many people know that.'

"I do not mind something clever being attributed to me, but I do mind something stupid that I did not say or do."

Celebrities today have Twitter pages where they can right the wrongs themselves. But Tang argues that Icorrect goes further when it comes to correcting popular misconceptions. Plus, he says, it has respectability.

"Twitter is much more impulsive and impermanent. Icorrect is more considered and permanent.

"Twitter has a limit on words of 140 characters where as on Icorrect you can write as much as you want."

He also pointed out that there are no identity checks on Twitter.

"Anyone can pretend to be Kate Moss or Sienna Miller, when the truth is that neither of them use Twitter at all. Icorrect has an identity check which ensures that people are who they say they are.

"If they do not produce the details needed to verify themselves they will not be allowed on the site."

If the person involved agrees to the identity check and is verified, for a fee of US$1,000 they can have their correction placed on the site.

On the website, accusations and corrections are juxtaposed, so readers can see both. The plan is to translate the website into different languages to make it even more global and accessible. Tang, who has a knighthood, said: "It's not just for refuting tabloid newspaper claims or the like either.

"It could be a great statesman like Henry Kissinger who might want to correct something that was wrongly attributed to him about the decisions he made concerning Cambodia."

He added: "The problem with cyberspace is that 90 per cent of what's said about people is hearsay.

"I know people feel very aggrieved at times when things are written about them when it's untrue. This is a way of addressing that, to give the subject some say or a right to reply."

Tang reiterated that he wasn't trying to play the fame game or promote the notion of celebrity.

He said: "It's not just about celebrities. It's an opportunity for organisations, institutions and corporations to clarify and correct common misconceptions.

"This includes the likes of historians and statesmen as well."

He said whatever is posted on the site is recorded there for ever and the selling point is that it is the undeniable truth, verified by the subjects themselves. "That's why I think a site like Icorrect is very useful," he said.

"The website may take some time to build up, but then so did Facebook and Twitter."

He has set the ball rolling himself by putting some corrections of his own on the website. One refers to an article in Britain's The Mail On Sunday which accused Tang of being "a creep".

In his correction, Tang said that this description of him was "greatly exaggerated".
posted by bwg (48 comments total) 8 users marked this as a favorite

 
Uh, that's not the right link.
posted by hincandenza at 6:51 PM on March 19, 2011


His new brainchild is Icorrect, a website where celebrities can rectify untruths said about them.

I'm sure this will all work out swimmingly.
posted by dunkadunc at 6:52 PM on March 19, 2011


The only thing I like about this site is that it uses a capital I in its name.
posted by Memo at 6:56 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Who dropped the flashcards?

Is this thing real? Some executive wanker complaining they got his age wrong on a company report? He paid a grand to make that happen?

If they're going to make a hoax site couldn't it be funny?
posted by artof.mulata at 7:00 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know you are, but what am I?
posted by punkfloyd at 7:00 PM on March 19, 2011


I ponied up a grand to correct that rumor about cortex. That should set the record straight!
posted by cjorgensen at 7:06 PM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Has Charlie Sheen signed up yet? I can't wait to read him correcting himself.
posted by Xoebe at 7:10 PM on March 19, 2011


I foresee a lot of self-promoting 'corrections' in this mold:

Accusation - from numerous sources

jedicus is a handsome charismatic genius who can hold his breath for 10 minutes.

Correction by jedicus

I can only hold my breath for 3 or 4 minutes, tops.
posted by jedicus at 7:10 PM on March 19, 2011 [5 favorites]


“The Distinct advantages of ICorrect:
1. ICorrect is a serious website […]”

I ARE SERIOUS WEBSITE
posted by davel at 7:11 PM on March 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Isn't this what PR people are for?
posted by desjardins at 7:12 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


I also expect publicists to start 'correcting' a bunch of outlandish rumors and wild tales about their clients as a way of creating buzz.
posted by jedicus at 7:13 PM on March 19, 2011


Correction by Michael Caine: I do not talk like this.
posted by bwg at 7:14 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


"I have never said, 'Not many people know that.'"

To which I would've immediately responded, "How about just now? Ha!"
posted by ZenMasterThis at 7:15 PM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


I *never* stole the Vardstadd Diamond after an evening cooing over calamari with the Crown Prince of Handsomestan shortly before discovering faster then light travel and saving a basket of kittens.

These rumors are absurd.
posted by The Whelk at 7:15 PM on March 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Does anybody else parse "Icorrect" as "Incorrect" on first glance?
posted by schmod at 7:20 PM on March 19, 2011 [3 favorites]


Someone paid a grand to 'correct' the record like this?
Rumor: Jemima Goldsmith changed her first name to the Muslim name Haiqa when she got married

Correction: I never changed my first name and if I had, it would not have been for a name, which when said out loud, sounds like you're clearing your throat of phlegm. That's not to say that there aren't lots of lovely Muslim girls names...

(if is responsible for that correction, it seems pretty funny for someone with the first name of Jemima to talk about funny sounding first names).

I hadn't heard about her until I saw her on the website, which led me to find this wikipedia entry. While it doesn't mention rumors of her changing her first name, it does bring up more serious accusations. If one is going to try to squash rumors, wouldn't the ones appearing in your own wikipedia entry be on top of your list?

Yeah, this whole thing seems pretty strange (the site, and that one correction, but I think strangeness will abound).
posted by el io at 7:21 PM on March 19, 2011


Jemima is a pretty weird name to start with....
posted by mr_roboto at 7:24 PM on March 19, 2011


A very effective tool for anyone who wants a list of celebrities stupid enough to pay a grand to correct ridiculous rumors about themselves.

Also, Jemima is the name of one of my favorite Aunts.
posted by axiom at 7:26 PM on March 19, 2011 [4 favorites]


Accusation

Daily Express misrepresents my views

Correction by Cherie Blair

I had to take out proceedings before on 5th March 2011 I finally received this published apology "In our 5 November 2010 article “Burkha ‘no more a threat than a nun’s habit’ says Cherie” we reported that Cherie Blair had, in a speech to Muslim women, defended the wearing of the Burkha and that this was a change from her previously stated opposition to the Burkha and to full-face veils.


Glad that's all sorted out.
posted by Combustible Edison Lighthouse at 7:26 PM on March 19, 2011


Isn't "creep" binary? One either is or isn't, and isn't a tepid disavowal of creepdom tantamount to an affirmation of membership in that unsavory class?

That being said, it's a clever riposte, for the exact reason stated above.
posted by Xoebe at 7:36 PM on March 19, 2011


Jemima is the name of one of my favorite Puddle-Ducks.
posted by pinky at 7:37 PM on March 19, 2011 [6 favorites]


Something something Glenn Beck 1990 something something.
posted by The White Hat at 7:40 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


So, this isn't a joke...
posted by odinsdream at 7:56 PM on March 19, 2011


So what happened to Regret the Error?
posted by Ideefixe at 8:05 PM on March 19, 2011


It's like the most hilarious hybrid possible of Reputation Defender and Wikipedia.
posted by ardgedee at 8:21 PM on March 19, 2011


I wonder if @StephenFry will ever confirm or deny it....
posted by NiteMayr at 8:24 PM on March 19, 2011


Accusation: Troy McClure has an ICorrect account.

Correction: this is Troy McClure and I never signed up for an ICorrect account.
posted by telstar at 8:27 PM on March 19, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is a cheap & easy Streisand Effect generator compared to hiring a proper PR company.
posted by davel at 8:37 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


Isn't credibility the whole basis of correcting rumours? How does paying One Grand to a website (and not exactly a high-traffic site) give the disclaiming any more credibility than, say, a free interview with People Magazine?
posted by Hardcore Poser at 9:11 PM on March 19, 2011


Accusation
from The Mail on Sunday

David Tang is a creep

Correction
by Sir David Tang
Tuesday, September 21, 2010

This is greatly exaggerated


So, that means you're a bit of a creep then.
posted by bwg at 9:34 PM on March 19, 2011


Maybe this is just a list of people who have 1k to piss away?
posted by The Whelk at 9:56 PM on March 19, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a cheap & easy Streisand Effect generator

$1,000U.S. is not so cheap... well, for some of us... Then again, if you don't have a lot more than a thousand bucks to flush down the toilet, you don't have a reputation worth protecting.
posted by oneswellfoop at 10:43 PM on March 19, 2011


$1,000U.S. is not so cheap... well, for some of us...

Cheaper than hiring a publicist, is the point.
posted by mr_roboto at 11:02 PM on March 19, 2011


Where do James O'Keefe and Fox News come into play in this idea? Funding? Support? Kraft Services?
posted by Graygorey at 11:16 PM on March 19, 2011


Correction
by New Mark Twain

I'm not totally dead.
posted by amethysts at 11:16 PM on March 19, 2011


not toally dead
posted by spasm at 11:27 PM on March 19, 2011


totally
posted by spasm at 11:28 PM on March 19, 2011


Accusation: Homer Simpson is a communist.

Correction: Homer Simpson may be a liar, a pig, an idiot, or a Communist, but he is NOT a porn star!
posted by sour cream at 11:48 PM on March 19, 2011


Regarding the Michael Caine 'correction' above, Private Eye this week points out that he might want to have a word with the author of Not Many People Know That: Michael Caine's Almanac of Amazing Information (1984), And Not Many People Know This Either! (1986), Not Many People Know It's 1988: Michael Caine's File of Facts (1988) and Michael Caine's Moving Picture Show: Or Not Many People Know This in the Movies (1989).
posted by punilux at 4:26 AM on March 20, 2011


Oh, well, good. That's been nagging at me, the matter of how unfairly celebrities are treated. Thank god they finally have means of redress.

And especially poor Henry Kissinger. Why, just the other day, I myself made the claim that Henry Kissinger was a "murderous reptilian thug" and a "star-fucking buffoon" -- and there was nobody there to correct me!
posted by steambadger at 8:31 AM on March 20, 2011


Wow. This scam is actually working. Celebrities are even more insecure and needy than I thought they were. Best entry so far -- Andrew Knight, apparently a businessman of some sort, says:

My Wikipedia entry is anodyne and largely accurate.

Most pathetic user: Historian Niall Ferguson, who has spent two thousand dollars on the site "correcting" reviews of his book, and attempting to score points in an argument he's having with Paul Krugman.
posted by steambadger at 8:50 AM on March 20, 2011 [1 favorite]


Wow, so somebody found yet another way to monetize the egos of the rich? If the profits paid into say, a scholarship fund or Doctors without Borders, this could seriously improve the world.

In fact, it'd create an economy of people creating unfounded rumors about celebrities, just to have the celebrities pay to deny them. It's fun for people in the media, and it's for a good cause. Everyone (who doesn't already have millions to comfort themselves) wins!
posted by mccarty.tim at 10:59 AM on March 20, 2011


In fact, it'd create an economy of people creating unfounded rumors about celebrities, just to have the celebrities pay to deny them.

Uh, I think this called libel.

Also isn't this how the old Confidential! gossip rags made money?
posted by The Whelk at 11:14 AM on March 20, 2011


I think it's hilarious that someone would pay $1000 to counter incorrect statements on on Wikipedia rather than, say, edit Wikipedia for free.
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:09 PM on March 20, 2011


Tell you what, for $500 I'll fix it on Wikipedia for you, hmm?
posted by George_Spiggott at 1:10 PM on March 20, 2011


Michael Caine: "Best thousand quid ever bloody spent. Cheers." (*)

(*: Caine did not actually say this.)
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:44 PM on March 20, 2011


A THOUSAND DOLLARS. I am green with envy for not having thought of this scam business myself.

The obvious next step is something along the lines of, "That's a pretty nice reputation you have there. Be a shame if someone tarnished it."
posted by ErikaB at 6:06 PM on March 20, 2011


I assumed that most of these posts are just celeb-friends of the owner seeding it for him, probably for free?
posted by niceness at 7:29 PM on March 20, 2011


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