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As well as social networks, I am interested in the status of unattributed email (http://www.intute.ac.uk/socialsciences/archive/iriss/papers/paper37.htm) and this tends to make me a bit sceptical (as do the parts of my research methods teaching where I get students to analyse media representations of academic work for bias and accuracy!)
Something about that FaceBook suicide story struck me (Gladwell Blink style having seen a _lot_ of cases) as urban legendish. I've now done some digging and both the mother and daughter _are_ clearly identifiable on FaceBook (though the daughter is actually known as Jane Simone Back). However, interestingly (and it is great to be able to "scrape" whole web sites as PDF as often as you want for lasting "evidence") there is a complete blank where all the reported posts are supposed to occur. There are no posts at all between 23 and 27 Dec. Of course, they could have been removed by FaceBook or perhaps someone else who had access to the account of JSB but, as it stands, the crux of the story appears to be unsupported as of today. (Of course, perhaps the simplest explanation is that journalists make stuff up!)
Did anyone on this list hear this story earlier or have different examples? Has anyone else been on FB to check this and seen the alleged posts at some earlier stage? I think, apart from the story taken at face value, this is a fascinating illustration of the Post Modern nature of the web (generally I think PM is windy nonsense) where it is almost impossible to sustain narrative authority with evidence.
Could anyone on the list email me any relevant data (copies of the story passing the email if you have had others, knowledge of the FB pages, perhaps even - given "six degrees" - knowledge of friends of JSB?) and I will try to follow this as it happens.
All the best,
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