The World as We Know It in San Francisco was buzzing all day over the protestors who blocked a Google bus – and the fake Google employee who said what we know too many think and suggested that this city was too important for poor people to get in the way of Internet riches. And my friend Steve Jones had to explain how the Guardian covered it all when an online video went viral (aren’t you getting sick of that term? Can’t we find another one?)
Which is all well and good, and I agree that Joe Fitzgerald Rodriguez did everything he could to get the (amazing) story right and tell exactly what he knew and what he didn’t. And to update and change things as new information arrived. That’s how we do journalism these days.
And this time around, it was a fake Google guy who was really an activist. The thing is, whether he was real or not, the attention this got shows (a) how willing people are to believe that someone at Google could actually say such a thing, because maybe we all know people in the tech world who believe it, and (b) how much pressure this city is under and how close it is to exploding. (Also: (c) people believe almost anything. See: The cathouse. Which is why media jamming is so much fun and why readers should be careful with anything that appears in the online media, where the true, the untrue, the should-be-true, the wild rumors and much other delicious stuff circulates at light speed.) And if not for the fake Google rap, does anyone really believe this demonstration would have made the Wall Street Journal and brought attention to SF displacement in the national news media?