In Rob Fielding’s latest blog, he takes a deliberately ironic look at Port Vale gossip and rumours.
I simply wanted to test the validity of users posting rumours on the forum who claimed to have been given the cast-iron, 100%, solid gold truth by their “sources”
Rob Fielding writes
This just in, from a very trusted source… Port Vale isn’t up for sale.
I’ve got this information from someone in the know. It’s 100% true, honest. They’re highly placed at the club. I’ve no reason to doubt they know the truth about how the club operates. But I can’t tell you who it is…
Oh, OK then, it’s chairman Norman Smurthwaite.
Regular readers of the forum will understand the irony of my opening few sentences but there’s an underlying serious point.
I contacted the chairman on Sunday evening not because I have a personal inclination to be “in the know” (I really don’t) but because I simply wanted to test the validity of users posting rumours on the forum who claimed to have been given the cast-iron, 100%, solid gold truth by their “sources.”
And it turns out that the chairman flatly denied all the recent allegations that had been circulated. Now, unless events in the next few days reveal he was feeding me porkies it proves one thing to me, something we should all bear in mind when reading the forum. That is that rumours, whether from a “trusted source” from “someone in the know” or a “club employee” are exactly that –
- A mixture of truth and untruths
- Gossip or hearsay
(thanks online theasuarus)
As an online lie detector cum fact-checker has not been invented yet, there’s no way for us at OVF Towers to check every post that is put in the forum. So, this is where you, readers and users of OVF, come in.
Please don’t take rumours as read.
Believe me, I’ve just been told many of them are false by
Norman Smurthwaite a very trusted source.
And now a second point regarding some comments raised by my piece with the chairman… I’ve been told from someone very highly placed at OVF that onevalefan is not going to close down.
There is moderation on OVF but on Facebook/Twitter there is none so can you imagine what sort of things could be posted and escalate on there?
Now, I know that is a blow to some detractors who howled for OVF’s forum to be shut for, in their view, being solely to blame for spreading these terrible untruths. But sorry folks, you’re blaming an inanimate forum mechanism for the actions of human beings.
After all, this site’s critics should be careful what they wish for.
If we closed down then the rumour posters won’t shut down with us. I’ve no doubt those people’s rumours would simply start appearing on the Wonder of Port Vale Facebook or Twitter. There is moderation on OVF but on Facebook/Twitter there is none so can you imagine what sort of things could be posted and escalate on there?
So what next? Shut down the Internet? What about people talking? Perhaps shut down the phone network? Or drown it out with loud music?
Of course not – and that’s why it’s not OVF or any other interface to blame – rather it’s people. In fact, there is an argument that it’s better to have rumours on forums than elsewhere. After all, on a forum you can see people deconstruct and argue against it wheras a whisper or a phone call has no similar check, no way of presenting an immediate counter argument.
So, sorry critics… OVF is here to stay. And that came from an impeccable source…
p.s. I am not implying any of the fans in the above picture are spreading rumours. Please forgive my “artistic licence”