10 Takeaways From The Vybz Kartel Hoax

1. Regardless of motive this was a prank, one that got a little out of hand, obviously.

2. We know the prankster to be a kid. On the other hand, the media houses that bought it should probably be a little ashamed considering the total lack of evidence to such a ridiculous story (people don’t just shoot their way out Jamaican prisons unless its Jimmy Cliff on a movie screen). Kartel’s lawyer said that his client laughed about it, but at who?

3. Shows how big Internet and social media has become in Jamaica and that a story (however silly) can have so much reach.

4. People need to be very careful what they read/what they believe, especially, from a non-news source. Incredible stories/accusations usually require incredible proof. This has always been the case.

5. was a winner in this case as they were the first to reveal the truth. Credibility remains a $ premium in the media business – just ask the shuttered News of The World.

6. Such pranks could have more serious implications (especially when carried by a media house). As a journalist, potentially prejudicing a court trial for instance, that can be serious.

7. Ironically this is one of the biggest things to happen online in Jamaica and might help further convince private sector heads that people here do actually use this Internet thing, which is good for those of us who do business/work online.

8. People can be easily shepherded online and also behave like reactionary bullies – having a BlackBerry, Twitter account etc does not make one of us intellectually superior to the stereotypical garrison voter.

9. Years of experience have taught me that things like this happen…and then like goldfish in a tank, our collectively short attention-span moves on.

10. Ever hear about that Zuckerburg kid who did that Internet stunt at Harvard? He did OK. Kartel Hoax Kid might have a future.

*Originally published elsewhere on December 2, 2011


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