Remember the Pangandaman – Dela Paz Valley Golf incident? That’s one example of how stories and blog posts evolve and mutate online. When Bambee’s post started spreading throughout the web, a number of bloggers reacted and started sharing their personal views and feelings about the alleged mauling incident.
Later on, when the “other side” of the story began spreading, that’s when we saw examples of… story evolution. For example, a high profile blogger earlier referred to Mayor Pangandaman and his father, Sec. Pangandaman as dysfunctional:
I want to hear the mayor’s side and why his equally dysfunctional father looked the other way.
This was later changed to: “I want to hear the mayor’s side and why his father (a Peacemaker appointee) looked the other way.” I did not see any apparent explanation for, or indication/disclosure that, a revision was made in that very same blog post.
What puzzles me, however, is why that blogger did not edit another one of her blog posts, this time at Multiply.com (which looks like a duplicate of the Dec 27, 2009 post she made in her main dotcom blog). Yes, the “equally dysfunctional father” phrase is still there.
Perhaps she just plain forgot to edit that duplicate post? Who knows? It’s her blog anyway.
(1/11/2009 1238am UPDATE: That was fast… The dysfunctional phrase was removed from the Multiply blog post less than an hour after this post was published. Talk about coincidence. Hopefully the Google cache will use the latest revised version of the Multiply blog post, similar to the way the main dotcom blog was handled.)
In a sense that’s probably why journalist Caloy Conde commented that blogging and journalism are just not the same, in response to a question on whether bloggers write truthfully and accurately.
I’m not here to defend or side with either the Pangandamans or the Dela Pazes. I just hope that bloggers and non-bloggers inspired to start blogging (given that even columnists such as Amando Doronila write about the “power” of blogs and bloggers) will think not once, but twice before hitting the “publish” button. But anyway…
What’s the lesson here for bloggers? It’s so easy to jump on a story and take the one side of a blogger, against someone else who is not a blogger, or who is not a friend of a blogger friend. You can always blog that you want to hear the other side, while in the very same blog post categorically label the silent side as “dysfunctional.”
You can later remove such words, and your blog post will appear as if your Dec 27 post were never published any differently from how it looks today. But the thing is, the search engine cache remembers. Even some other bloggers who read your December entry remember.
Yes, you can blog and delete, but people will save copies and never forget. And when you materially edit in this manner (without apparent disclosure), you do more than merely erase a dysfunctional word or two.
You obliterate your credibility.