To all the internet pranksters – fuck off and die

Today was a devastating day. First, I heard that the almighty RONNIE JAMES DIO had died. We posted this at Metal as Fuck & I told my friends and broke their hearts. Then I heard it was a hoax. And while it was good news that Dio isn’t dead, it is beyond devastating to have been part of spreading that hoax, especially to people near and dear to me.

The internet is a sordid sort of place. It can be great for news and information. And it is filled with awesome people, places, and things. But it is also filled with fucking idiots who don’t deserve their space on earth.

Ronnie James Dio has cancer, and the metal community mourned that news when it came to light. Dio is an enormously influential, cornerstone vocalist. He is a diminutive man, with an amazing voice. He gave us the horns for fuck’s sake. I’m not going to go on about how much Dio means to all of us.

So for some little prick to make a hoax out of his death is beyond unfunny. It is tasteless, indecent, awful beyond comprehension. I am angry and upset, and utterly devastated that I unwittingly became part of spreading their bullshit.

It was thanks to Crushtor – one of my most conscientious writers – who called Dio’s clinic, MD Anderson, to get any sort of information about whether or not Dio had passed away, that we discovered that he’s truly not dead. His patient file is active and still locked, and only the patient can unlock it. That was all the information they could give us, and really it’s all the information we need.

It’s great news. But man, oh man, I am so fucking angry.

This is my personal statement to anybody out there who starts these sorts of pranks: FUCK OFF AND DIE. If the guys who started the Dio prank knew what any metalhead would do to them, given one minute or less in a locked room, they would shit their pants and pass out.

With reason.

Getting caught up in these things is one of the biggest hazards of running an online publication. News breaks quickly, and if you follow the news then you unwittingly become caught up in it. It makes you, as an editor and publisher, really start to think carefully not only about how your news process works, but also about whether it’s the right game for you or not.

Today’s prank makes me think seriously I’m in the wrong business. It affects me deeply and personally, some of this stuff. But at the same time, it’s one of the workplace hazards… it’s a difficult thing.

I’m still undecided. I’m sitting here, chain smoking (terrible, yes, it’s my one vice). We followed the news as it broke, so it’s not like it’s our fault. But being a partial perpetrator of rumours and pranks deeply offends my morality. I don’t know if it’s something I can cope with.

Let me reiterate: internet pranksters – fuck off and die. The world would be a better place without you.

I also encourage everyone who reads my blog to go read Goatlady’s on the same topic. Nice work, love!!

6 thoughts on “To all the internet pranksters – fuck off and die

  1. @Leighton: You’re so right. Especially with so many rockers ageing and dying unexpectedly!! I think that the internet is powerful to the point of detriment… If it was printed, people would be less likely to just dive in head-first.

  2. Well said biodagar. I like to check the facts to before
    I post. The nets so powerful but it’s just as dodgey, I’m so careful when it comes to posting!. Like the death of Paul Grey. I checked the main sources, and watched video of slipknot saying goodbye before I said my piece.

    Horns Up!\m/ \m/

  3. Absolutely. We did a shitload of background checking beforehand and everything came up confirming things… mainly because most official sites and sources were in meltdown or were in the process of changing things. I totally agree with you on all scores, It’s a great heads-up on the fact we all need to slow down.

    Part of the problem I think is that the race to be first isn’t just about being first. When you run an online publication it’s all about traffic… which (esp in our case) determines our income. I think that’s a big part of the culture that needs to change.

  4. Playing Devil’s Advocate, surely part of the responsibility of anyone publishing “news” (be it about music, politics, whatever) is to ensure rumours are confirmed before reposting them as fact? The internet has foistered such a culture of ‘OMG MUST BE FIRST!!111!!1’ that people have lost sight of fact-checking in the process.

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