Be Quick or Be Dead
January 17, 2014 9:59 PM   Subscribe

"In fairness to my fellow writers, I was part of the hype machine. I retweeted the story before I had the chance to fully read it." How a fabricated story about Iron Maiden's love of music pirates became internet truth.
posted by paleyellowwithorange (23 comments total) 7 users marked this as a favorite

 
“Once someone writes it and someone tweets, there’s not a lot that anyone can do.”

Empires will rise and fall from this one truism.
posted by Catblack at 10:08 PM on January 17 [3 favorites]


The original article was hysterical horseshit. The opening was something like this:

- piracy is going up!
- brick-and-mortar music stores are closing down!
- therefore, piracy is killing music stores!

Yes, those music stores we all visit when we want music from that tiny mom-and-pop 26-million-and-counting-song-selling operation called iTunes, which was strangely absent from your analysis, you content-crapping crayon-eater.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 11:50 PM on January 17 [2 favorites]


Isn't this like calling "DEWEY DEFEATS TRUMAN" something like "newspaper truth"? An error is propagated, then corrected?

Maybe that's a bad example, because the Truman-Dewey correction reached basically everyone (I wonder who was the last Dewey supporter, who saw that paper, to hear the news?), but I can see this Iron Maiden thing persisting as urban legend for a long time.
posted by thelonius at 11:52 PM on January 17


This was a particular moronic article because anybody who knows anything about Iron Maiden knows they've been huge in South America for decades and regularly tour there. Heck, there was an entire movie made about one of the last Maiden world tours a couple of years ago following Bruce Dickingson as he flew Ed Force One across the world.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:27 AM on January 18 [6 favorites]


Reminded me of The Trooper therefore fuck yes.
posted by vapidave at 3:16 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


Umm...

Original: "I retweeted the story before I had the chance to fully read it."

FTFY: "I had a chance to read it, but chose to retweet the story before reading it because I'm lazy and under pressure to be f1rst always. And, I wrote a crappy post to try to redeem myself. And, Neil Gaiman."
posted by Gotanda at 4:10 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Wow, maiden is so prescient, they must have anticipated the whole p2p and twitter thing in 1992, when they started coming to Chile.
posted by signal at 6:33 AM on January 18 [2 favorites]


To be fair, I can see how someone might confuse Iron Maiden with Rednex, who embraced P2P and released a single via Pirate Bay, though it's not quite the same scale as "using BitTorrent analytics to plot tours."
posted by filthy light thief at 6:50 AM on January 18


I can see how someone might confuse Iron Maiden with Rednex

I can't.
posted by Wolfdog at 7:00 AM on January 18


Iron Maiden - Charlotte The Harlot (Live 1980)
posted by 445supermag at 8:19 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


FTFY: "I had a chance to read it, but chose to retweet the story before reading it because I'm lazy and under pressure to be f1rst always. And, I wrote a crappy post to try to redeem myself. And, Neil Gaiman."

Man, this is NOT generous. I'm not saying it is wrong, but this comment should have a "burn sauce" animated gif immediately following it.
posted by josher71 at 9:02 AM on January 18


Up the Irons \m/



well, someone had to say it.
posted by Ber at 9:31 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


The bigger issue for me, I think, is the tendency of writers to cop to having uncritically re-reported false stories, without seeking corroboration or a second source, even, and then go "hey, what are you going to do? It's the Internet. I have to put stuff up, and getting it up fast is more important than fact checking". And then get a second set of clicks from the rebuttal of their own story.

I mean, the ability to update online gives news providers a degree of leeway, but this does not feel like a great way to operate. If your business model requires you to repost other people's reportage, topped and tailed with a bit of your own editorial content, without the time or personnel resources to exercise first-line journalistic process, then in what way are you in the news business?

(Many identify this as a blogosphere issue, but that seems like a limited perspective: I remember the "Bruce Willis is going to sue Apple to be able to bequeath his iTunes collection to his kids" story appearing across the mainstream media, often not just pulling the (fictitious) details from each other, but even the "expert opinion". It's happening all over...)
posted by running order squabble fest at 9:49 AM on January 18 [1 favorite]


in what way are you in the news business?

I think that's the issue. It's newsotainment or whatever portmanteau there is for this sort of thing. I don't blame them for running with things asap. This feels like the epitome of "don't hate the player, hate the game".
posted by josher71 at 10:18 AM on January 18


I don't think you're wrong, running order squabble fest, but the economic realities of the news business seem to reward exactly the behavior you (and I and a lot of other people) find distasteful. There's a bit of prisoner's dilemma involved here: if you take the high road, the other news outlets take the low road, and rake in the clickthroughs and pageviews as a result while spending less money than you did on your original reportage, then at the end of the day you are being penalized for providing better journalism. I suppose that means you're no longer in the news business if you're not doing good journalism, but see if AOL/Gawker/etc. care.

I think there's still room for in-depth journalism to survive, but it feels increasingly like a luxury good—something only a certain class of people appreciate and consume, partially as a status symbol—and not the public service I believe it's supposed to be.
posted by chrominance at 10:20 AM on January 18


The irony of a TechCrunch piece describing the terrible rumor-repeating that passes for online journalism.
posted by Nelson at 10:36 AM on January 18


Flight 666 documents Maiden's 2008(?) tour of Latin America, and other places, that they could never afford to go before because of logistics/economics.

But if you buy your own plane fill it with ALL your gear, luggage, THE ENTIRE classic World Slavery Tour* stage show that these places never got to see the first time out in'85, and then have the lead singer who, in his spare time is a qualified commercial airline pilot, fly the damn thing, you can save boo-coo money and take the show to the fans who never thought they'd ever see it live.

I think it was in the El Salvador segment where some guy relates "I have a friend from Nicaragua who quit his job a week ago to make it to this concert, because he may never get another chance." I felt such a connection with those headbangers right then, ~20 years and half a world away.

\m/ \m/

*Radio City Music Hall, 1985. Insane show.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 10:57 AM on January 18 [6 favorites]


It's a great movie, well worth a look even if metal is not your thing. The crowds at the airport!
posted by thelonius at 12:14 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


Amen, Pirate-Bartender. I was a big Maiden fan growing up in Southern India and had a bunch of their albums on audio cassettes(!) and pirated mp3s.

The first time I saw Iron Maiden in concert was in Bangalore* in March 2007. This was the year before the World Slavery Tour, and at that time the were promoting their album A Matter of Life and Death.

Anyway, I remember beginning to save up money since the start of the year for the tickets and the round trip train journey to Bangalore. And the demand for tickets was huge. I heard that a 1500 rupee ticket was selling on the black market for close to 9000 rupees. Thankfully, I was able to get an original-price ticket in advance.

As for the show itself, the fervor of the fans was just ridiculous. Maiden were expected to take the stage at 8pm, but the venue was completely packed by 2pm. The organizers added 3 opening acts, one of which was a band fronted by Steve Harris' daughter, and all three bands were menacingly jeered off the stage by the increasingly impatient and rambunctious crowd.

Finally at 8pm Maiden took the stage. And we were all just swept away with the thrill and euphoria.

I never thought that I'd see a show better than that. But then the following year, the World Slavery Tour began with a concert in Mumbai... ye Gods!

* footage from this show can be found in the last (or penultimate) scene of Sam Dunn's film, Global Metal
posted by all the versus at 12:45 PM on January 18 [4 favorites]


Also, very good choice of words for the title of post.
posted by all the versus at 12:49 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


the lead singer who, in his spare time is a qualified commercial airline pilot

And how cool would that be to have the tattoed millionaire for your pilot?
posted by MartinWisse at 1:18 PM on January 18 [1 favorite]


And how cool would that be to have the tattoed millionaire for your pilot?

Honestly, one of the funniest moments to me is about half-way through where the members of the road-crew have to get up and do the mandatory safety demonstration about oxygen masks & exits.
posted by Pirate-Bartender-Zombie-Monkey at 6:21 PM on January 18 [3 favorites]


I don't think you're wrong, running order squabble fest, but the economic realities of the news business seem to reward exactly the behavior you (and I and a lot of other people) find distasteful.

Sure - I mean, this is the world we are in. Although, I'd say that's a yes, but.... If your model depends on clicks, you have to go for stories that will get lots of clicks - which also means getting in first, if at all possible, prioritising sensational content, and so on.

That's not the only possible model, though, although it is a very popular one. Sadly, one of the other most proven models is "be owned by a committed billionaire".

I think a lot of sites go for a hybrid model - clickbaiting to pay for a platform for long form journalism, and doing long form journalism to feel more like a serious journalistic enterprise, internally and externally.
posted by running order squabble fest at 6:46 PM on January 18


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