Sunday, November 15, 2009

Thatcher has died

Canadian Transport Minister John Baird got some sad news the other day: His 16-year-old tabby cat had died. He let some of his friends know by a quick text reading “Thatcher has died.” And that’s when panic set in.

The text was misinterpreted, and quickly spread. Soon the Canadian Prime Minsiter was alert of Margaret Thatcher’s demise.

According to the AP: Harper's aide Dimitri Soudas, back in Ottawa, was dispatched to confirm the news and start preparing an official statement.

Except the former UK Prime Minister, like Kanye, wasn’t – and is not – dead.

So there are a few lessons learned here. One of which is that Thatcher’s office apparently doesn’t have prepared statements for the death of their 84-year-old ex-PM – which is a little astounding. The second is the speed at which misinformation can be spread. The whole ordeal was resolved within 20 minutes – but it goes to show what an impact a sliver of information can have on the web.

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