\n

Oversharers.Com screen capture

The New York Times columnist Roger Cohen engages in some ethically questionable journalism in his column Thursday about people sharing too much on Facebook and Twitter.

In his commentary, Cohen shares this lament:

Now I was determined to get through 2012 without doing a peevish column ... but everyone has a tipping point. Mine occurred when I came across this tweet from Claire:

"Have such a volcanically deep zit laying roots in my chin that it feels like someone hit me with a right cross."

Good to know, Claire.

I was just recovering from that when I found Deanna tweeting that she had "picked up pet food" and was heading to "the dreaded consult on colon stuff. The joys of turning 50." As for Kate she let the world know the status of her labor: "Contractions 3 minutes apart and dilated at 2 cm."

Social media does not mean that you have to be that social.

Cohen makes it sound as if these are people he interacts with on Twitter and Facebook, but it's far more likely that he found them on Oversharers.Com, a site that's the top Google search result for the term "oversharing." The quotes from Claire and Deanna are the first and third entries on the second page of the site's archive. The zit tweet was something Claire shared with her followers in February 2010. Deanna's "colon stuff" status update, which Cohen incorrectly calls a tweet, was posted to her Facebook friends no later than July 2010, if the date on Oversharers.Com post is correct.

He never credits Oversharers.Com as the source of these quotes. There was no "tipping point" that roused his inner curmudgeon about people sharing too much. He was fishing for examples to write a column around. More seriously from a journalistic standpoint, Cohen has no way of knowing if the Deanna quote is real. It's just a screen capture on a humor site with no link or full name of the author on Facebook. Someone could have made it up.

Regarding Cohen's premise that we're living in a too-much-information age, that's hard to argue.

But there's something obnoxiously elitist about a New York Times columnist ridiculing ordinary people for sharing observations about their lives on social networks to an audience of people who've specifically asked to receive them. Two years ago, Cohen used his column to share the text of a suicide note written by his mother:

That jolted me -- and sent me back to my mother's suicide note of July 25, 1978: "It's as though I've turned to stone. I can't relate, I can't communicate and I can no longer bear the pain and gloom I cause to those I love most. ... At present I am filled only with self-hate. I do love my family and dear friends but I can't go on and on like this."

My mother survived, just. But the bi-polar state that led her to try to take her life that day never entirely relaxed its grip.

What would Cohen have thought if he found something like that on a Facebook wall?

Update: The Times has acknowledged that Cohen made improper use of those quotes.

-- Rogers Cadenhead

Comments

I think you're right -- his only real concern is having something to write about. Not that i can't relate.


 

Yow, that's some classic phoned-in bullshit right there. I hope you've passed this along to the NYT public editor. "Ethically questionable" is a polite way of putting it.


 

I sent an email to the public editor yesterday.


 

Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists.


 

Your music is amazing. You have some very talented artists. I wish you the best of success.


 

Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists.
Air Conditioning Orange County


 

no more QuickBooks error swill be able to trouble you. yes, QuickBooks support phone number 1-833-441-8848 provides immediate technical resolution of QuickBooks errors that prevents the error from reoccurring. Also, they deliver the smart technical assistance for QuickBooks software at comfort of your home.

QuickBooks support phone number
QuickBooks support phone number
QuickBooks support phone number


 

Dial QuickBooks enterprise support phone number 1-888-238-7409 to get connected with one of our technical specialists immediately for technical support in QB
QuickBooks enterprise support phone number
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions
QuickBooks enterprise support


 

Looking for technical assistance for QuickBooks ? Unable to install QuickBooks on your own? If yes the call us today at Contact Number for QuickBooks Support 1-833-441-8848 and unlock the benefits of unlimited technical assistance for QuickBooks provide by experts available round the clock to assist you.

Contact Number for QuickBooks Support
Contact Number for QuickBooks Support


 

QuickBooks Enterprise errors troubling you? No more QuickBooks Enterprise issues will be able to annoy you .Yes,because QuickBooks Enterprise Support Phone Number 1-833-441-8848 brings the smartest technical assistance for QuickBooks Enterprise software at comfort of your home.Our experts are well-aware with the QuickBooks Enterprise software and its issues.

QuickBooks Enterprise Support Phone Number
QuickBooks Enterprise Support Phone Number


 

Give us a call at QuickBooks Enterprise Support Phone Number 1-888-238-7409 to enjoy the smart technical assistance for QuickBooks Enterprise software at the most affordable price. No worries whatever the time is, we are present round the clock to assist you with our best services every time you call us.
QuickBooks enterprise support phone number
QuickBooks Enterprise Solutions
QuickBooks enterprise support


 

Phone Number for Quickbooks Payroll Support +1-833-441-8848 is assisted by our amazing support team. We take care of every issue that gets triggered in QuickBooks Payroll and its versions. Issues like failure of QuickBooks Payroll update, error in reinstalling QuickBooks etc. are solved quite easily by our technical support team. The best part is that our services can be availed 24*7 by QuickBooks users across the planet.

Phone Number for Quickbooks Payroll Support
Phone Number for Quickbooks Payroll Support


 

Excellent information on your blog, thank you for taking the time to share with us. Amazing insight you have on this, it's nice to find a website that details so much information about different artists.
Replacement Windows Seattle


 

I can see that you are an expert at your field! I am launching a website soon, and your information will be very useful for me.. Thanks for all your help and wishing you all the success in your business.
go to my site


 

QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER

DIAL QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER +1-844-235-3996 IS THE PERFECT CHOICE TO SEEK TECHNICAL HELP FOR QUICKBOOKS FROM WELL-EXPERIENCED AND CERTIFIED QUICKBOOKS EXPERTS THAT ARE AVAIL ROUND THE CLOCK.

QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER

QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER

QUICKBOOKS SUPPORT PHONE NUMBER


 

You've got some interesting points in this article. I would have never considered any of these if I didn't come across this. Thanks!.
Orange County Whole House Fans


 

Add a Comment

These HTML tags are permitted: p, b, i, a, and blockquote. A comment may not include more than three links. Participants in this discussion should note the site's moderation policy.