Friday, April 04, 2008

ABC 20-20 another Internet hoax tragedy; frivolous lawsuit; gay gene?

On Dec. 20, 2007 I covered on the Internet Safety blog another story where a Myspace hoax led to a complicated series of events in Long Island in August 2005, where an African American man shot a white teenager whom he mistakenly thought was a threat. He was convicted and sentenced to 2-4 years for manslaughter and weapons possession in March, with extenuating circumstances. The blog entry was this.

ABC 20/20 covered the story tonight (April 4) with a 45 minute segment "Black, White, and Blood Red". The web story is by Jessica Hornig, "20/20 Exclusive: 'I Never Meant to Shoot That Young Man'; Racially Charged Shooting Divides Peaceful New York Suburb," link here. The story said very little about the original issue of an Internet hoax and mixing "fact" with "fiction," as well as impersonating someone on the Net and making it appear that a threat or illegal comment came from someone else, a very dangerous possibility.

John Stossel did a "give me a break" on a New York woman sued by a lawyer in her building for smoking in her own apartment. The link is here, and demonstrates the power of lawyers to wield power over non-lawyers.

20/20 also has a major story (from last week) on a biological study on sexual orientation (study link for "Molecular Genetic Study of Sexual Orientation" is here to study siblings. The ABC page is "
"Is There a 'Gay Gene'?: Scientists Hope to Demonstrate Genetic Link to Sexuality," link here.

Nightline has a story that shows that celebrities also need their privacy, in a case about an abusive private investigator, link here.

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