Thursday, May 07, 2009

Student scams obit writers around the world

Shane Fitzgerald, a student at the University of Dublin, purposely posted a fake quotation on Wikipedia and attributed it to Maurice Jarre. When the Oscar-winning French composer died in March, the following quote appeared in hundreds of obits:

"One could say my life itself has been one long soundtrack. Music was my life, music brought me to life, and music is how I will be remembered long after I leave this life. When I die there will be a final waltz playing in my head, that only I can hear."

According to AFP, Fitzgerald said he started the hoax as an experiment for his research on globalisation. While I disdain his actions and believe he should feel ashamed for trivializing Jarre's death for his own gain, I also see this scam as a reminder for all of us to double- and triple-check our sources. Some people just can't be trusted.

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