Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Someone on the internet makes intemperate comment

This website will now report something another website published that it had read on another website about something which appeared on yet another website. And they say we live in age with too much information.

The NME has picked up on The Sun's story this morning which reported a pro-Palestinian website calling for protests against British Jews:

Reports have emerged today (January 7) claiming that Amy Winehouse and Mark Ronson have been included on a "terror target" hit list made in reaction to the current conflict in the Gaza region.

A post on the forum apparently called for users to compile "a list of top Jews we can target", which included both Winehouse and Ronson's names.

In other words, somebody has drawn up a list of not-even-all-that-prominent British Jewish figures. Of course, it's a snide and not-exactly-considered response to the deaths in Gaza, but should anyone really be worried? Not unless a paper can find someone willing to talk the thing up.
British anti-terror expert Glen Jenvey told The Sun that the comments should be taken seriously.

"The Ummah website has been used by extremists," he said. "Those listed should treat it very seriously. Expect a hate campaign and intimidation by 20 or 30 thugs."

Poor Mark Ronson, expecting to be surrounded by a number of thuggish loudmouths. Mind you, he's worked with the Kaiser Chiefs so it's not like he's not used to it.

What's slightly confusing about Jenvey's response is his warning to "expect" a hate campaign, as if drawing up a list of people to be held responsible for a different nation's decision to hurl missiles isn't a bit of a hate campaign in its own right. And, in addition, the "expect intimidation by 20 to 30 thugs" seems surprisingly precise. Obviously not as precise as, say, "expect intimidation by 27 thugs", but still quite precise nevertheless.

It actually turns out, though, that there isn't even a special hit list being drawn up - the Sun story merely says that someone on the Ummah website linked to (yes, another) site which had a list of the 100 most prominent Jews living in Britain, which makes the threat of twenty to thirty thugs seem even less likely: if they can't be arsed to cut and paste the entire list onto a web forum, how likely is it that the necessary 3000 thugs are going to be mobilised?

It's silly, it's unpleasant, but not as silly treating everything that appears online as some sort of superplot.