the Bagdad blogger revisited
After a story on MSNBC news yesterday there have been lots more discussions about Salam Pax‘s authenticity. One of the chapters in my thesis is about hoaxes, fictions and realities on the net so this list of links is largely so I can gather more background for that chapter.
Paul Boutin has a list of reasons that make the authenticity of Bagdad blogger Salam Pax likely, though it can’t be proven. He’s looked at IP-numbers, traceroutes, site hosting and so forth (via Liz). There’s a busy discussion in the comments of a post at kottke, too – though some of the comments are plain wrong (for instance one says that his yahoo profile states he lives in Jordan, but the profile is not for Salam but for Raed, whom Salam claims to be looking for). Diane reports her more personal though not f2f relationship with Salam. Noah’s given his electronic writing students writing exercises that could result in more blogs like Salam, only overtly fictional. Meredith comments it all and links to more links to more discussions at Boing Boing. Wampum writes about attempts to discredit Salam as a propaganda machine. One has to admit both the discrediting and the creation of a blogger would be clever propaganda strategies. If he starts reporting US soldiers are raping civilians and noone else reports it his authenticity becomes an issue, but so far, he’s only given plain reports of what it’s like being in Bagdad during bombing. If that’s propaganda, I think I’ll take it.
There are other personal accounts from the region. Bettejo Passalaqua is a volunteer with the Iraq Peace Team, and her last post, dated yesterday morning, describes waiting out bombs in the shelters. The beds in the hospital she’s working in were still empty, waiting victims. Kevin Sites is a CNN reporter in Iraq. His blog hasn’t been updated in three days. Allison Kaplan Sommer is in Israel, and writes about sending her kids to school with gasmasks. The BBC has gathered reports from all their correspondents in the region in the form of a collective weblog, Reporters’ log
Whoever he is, Salam hasn’t yet posted today, after many posts yesterday. I hope he’s OK. [21:44 He’s posted this evening]