6 January 2014
After the last post from this past weekend was widely shared, I was asked for further comment. This is all I would add at this point:
(1) To be fair, Wen Wei Po cited their source and the Straits Times cited their source and so on and so forth. What you have is a chain of sources of increasing credibility each quoting from a source that may be slightly less dependable. In all fairness, Wen Wei Po fairly openly, honestly, and unabashedly wrote an article around a social media report they were comfortable sharing in spite of its dubious source. The Straits Times article built on the Wen Wei Po piece by giving it a more official tone and failing to mention the social media source. From there it exploded around the world and none of the slew of articles that discussed the Wen Wei Po source mentioned the original source Wen Wei Po had cited.
(2) In my post, I was trying to draw attention to the original source of the story and the satirical nature of said source. I cannot prove beyond a shadow of a doubt regarding the veracity of the content of the source's tweet — that is, whether or not Jang was executed by dogs.
(3) We cannot prove beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Tencent account was the ultimate original source of the tweet's content or whether it too was an intermediary source, perhaps from something offline.
(4) It looks like the BBC checked with the real Choi Seongho account and he confirmed the Tencent tweet was posted by an impostor. He has since posted his own take on the execution, denying it was by dogs:
[…] UPDATE: Posted a response to requests for further comment on this story. […]
Trevor: Would love to interview you about your detective work. Please email me at email@example.com so we can set something up. Thanks, Rem Rieder
[…] In a follow-up post on his site, he wrote, "To be fair, Wen Wei Po cited their source, and The Straits Times cited their source, and so on and so forth, What you have is a chain of sources of increasing credibility, each quoting from a source that may be slightly less dependable." […]