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Anorak | How The Madeleine McCann Story Was Hijacked By Web Trolls

How The Madeleine McCann Story Was Hijacked By Web Trolls

by | 30th, June 2008

FROM the Anorak Forums – by AGW:

One of the most bizarre and troubling aspects of of the Madeleine McCann story has been the way the coverage of the story has itself become the story.

Anorak is not a site which has ever been (or ever will be) dedicated to the alleged crimes of abduction and subsequent claim and counter-claim of deeper, darker deeds involving in turn a resident Englishman in the Portuguese holiday complex where the McCann family had been staying and then the parents and their friends themselves.

Right at the beginning of all this I had predicted it was a complex story which would run and run. I confess to being bemused by the the tale’s longevity. The Madeline McCann story has become Dianaeque in its telling and re-telling, worse it is on a par with the empty and drifting ship the Mary Celeste.

The story of a photogenic, pretty little white girl from a professional and middle-class background was sure to attract attention.

I had always expressed serious doubts about the wisdom of the parents’ determination to avoid clear police advice and follow their own route to infamy…because that it what it has become.

The story divided neatly pro and anti. Not pro and anti the hunt for a little girl or her remains but pro and anti the parents. It has become a love-hate story. Every day in Anorak there are those who praise or condemn, support or vilify.

Professional journalists have watched with increasing bemusement, bordering on horror, at the activities of sites created and devoted exclusively to the Madeleine McCann story. They have risen, flowered and been cut down. The same individuals, only the names have been changed to protect the guilty, have in their turn raged or praised as each site flourished and then fell by the wayside.

The same experts and lost souls appeared again and again, and yet again, during the brief existence of these sites. Sometimes only the keystrokes or style and use of phrases and words revealed their true identity. They took full advantage and became legends in their own lunch-times, master spies, superheroes CyberMan or DigiWoman each using the Internet’s basic anonymity to change gender, location and re-invent themselves as brilliantly clear thinkers, defenders of the faith and public morale and morals or, very sad solicitors posing as desperate housewives.

The 3 Arguidos site is probably the strongest of the allegedly Madeleine McCann dedicated sites. I have no access to it nor seek any since it regularly appears to be an outrageous vipers nest of sad people, many of whom have had brief cyber-existences here. It has attracted an interesting group of supporters and helpers and we should genuinely wish them well. They are the Jerry Springer end of the coverage.

The McCann story can not sustain sites like this and they have to diversify. Recruitment from sites such as ours is one way of doing it.

The Moderators here at Anorak have noted a recent surge of activity as the once-again revamped team at the 3As have become our new friends. Avid letter writers to Anorak and when gently challenged, retreat to vent their spleen within their own site. We had such an incursion yesterday.

We are aware the 3As site has suffered dreadful problems lately and we sympathise but do have our own course to run.

There is always a suspicion, often borne out by later scurrilous attacks, the new best friends have their own agenda. That’s fine we all do…and I do not intend to give the 3As site any further creditability by association with us.

It is worth passing on one of the alleged solicitor types in there tried to publish our editor’s telephone number. Why? It is freely available on this site and he is more than well-equipped to be happily entertained by the odd moronic or dirty phone call.

We remain secure in the knowledge of many things but among them are:

Anorak is the leading site of its genre
It has the most experienced and competent team of Moderators
Its writers are skilled and entertaining
It is growing and constantly evolving which is a healthy thing
It is often not a comfortable place to be but remains vibrant and exciting

Imitation and jealous rages remain the sincerest forms of flattery.

…and the headline to this piece? It is often forgotten that the very next line in that quotation is:
“You ought to be ashamed of yourself”

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Posted: 30th, June 2008 | In: Madeleine McCann Comments (626) | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink