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Issue 108 - November 2010 - Page 2

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Muslims Praying Every Friday in Streets of New York Protest Message
  2. Unfounded Facebook Rumour - Thierry Mairot Wants to Talk to Children About Sex
  3. Security Warning Message - Black Device Connected to Keyboard
  4. Got a pencil? - Amazing Pencil Tip Sculptures by Dalton Ghetti
  5. 'New' Italian Police Car - Lamborghini Crash
  6. 'Interesting Fact' About October 2010 - 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays
  7. Jean Paul Garang Advance Fee Scam
  8. Revamped 'Life Owner' Hoax Uses Name of Real Virus - 'Here You Have It' Hoax Version
  9. Free Blackberry Storm for Forwarding Hoax
  10. Floating Rock 'Miracle' - Surprising Rock in Saudi Arabia
  11. Photographs of Monster Croc Caught at Borroloola
  12. Feeding the Eagles
  13. Corpus Christi - Gay Jesus Movie Hoax
  14. Rejected Federal Tax Payment Phishing Scam Email
  15. 'Bighorn Sheep' On Dam Wall Photographs
  16. Bogus Facebook Rumour - Thomas Cowling Wants to Talk to Children About Sex
  17. Fake iTunes Receipt Email
  18. 809 Area Code Scam Warning Email
  19. Baby Shot With Brad Nailer Prayer Request
  20. Internet Rumour - UNESCO Chooses Indian National Anthem as Best In The World
  21. Pen PC - Pen Shaped Miniature Personal Computer

Issue 108 Start Menu

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Unfounded Facebook Rumour - Thierry Mairot Wants to Talk to Children About Sex

Outline
Message circulating on Facebook warns people to watch out for for a man named Thierry Mairot because he is attempting to contact children on Facebook to talk about sex.



Brief Analysis
This rumour is totally unsubstantiated and almost certainly untrue. There is no evidence whatsoever to support the claims in the message. Spreading scurrilous and unfounded rumours such as this can unfairly damage the reputation of innocent people. This bogus warning is without merit and should not be reposted.

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Detailed analysis and references below example.



Last updated: 30th September 2010
First published: 30th September 2010
Article written by Brett M. Christensen
About Brett Christensen and Hoax-Slayer


Examples
ATTENTION…To all parents whose children have a profile on facebook. There is a man trying to get in contact with children to talk about sex. His name is Thierry Mairot. Please copy and paste this onto your wall and warn all ur friends! Please everyone Moms and Dads …repost an…d get him off of Facebook! Parents, Grandparents Aunts, Uncles and Cousins! EVEN if you have NO kids

Thierry Mairot Facebook Post


To all parents whose children have a profile on facebook. There is a man trying to get in contact with children to talk about sex. His name is Thierry Mairot. Please copy and paste this onto your wall and warn everyone .

ATTENTION AVIS AUX PARENTS DONT LES ENFANTS ON UN PROFIL FACEBOOK . UN HOMME ESSAYE DE RENTRER EN CONTACT AVEC EUX POUR PARLER DE SEXE IL SAPPELLE THIERRY MAIROT .PARTAGER CE MESSAGE SUR VOS MUR S.V.P



Detailed Analysis
Several versions of a message that supposedly warns parents and guardians about a pervert operating on Facebook are currently circulating. The messages, which circulate mainly via Facebook itself, warn that a Facebook user named Thierry Mairot is attempting to contact children to talk about sex. The message first began circulating in French. At least three English versions are now circulating as well.

However, there is no credible evidence of any kind that confirms the claims in these warning messages. The warning appears to be nothing more than an unfounded rumour. Spreading scurrilous rumours such as this without any evidence whatsoever that the claims in the "warning" are true is simply wrong. Such stories can have a very damaging, long term impact on a person's life. At least one report suggests that one innocent person with the name Thierry Mairot has already had his life devastated by this rumour.

With so many millions of people now using the Internet, it is very likely that most users will share the same or quite similar first and last names with at least one and probably several other users. Thus, even if one of these unsubstantiated accusations was true, their continued circulation could certainly impact on completely innocent and unrelated individuals that are unlucky enough to share a name with the accused.

The old adage "there is no smoke without fire" does not apply to the vast, haphazard and uncontrolled world of the Internet in which a cowardly accuser can remain anonymous and may never be required to justify his or her accusations in any way. If malicious individuals want to discredit, embarrass or annoy someone, or indeed destroy his or her reputation, all they may need do is create a damaging rumour and launch it into cyberspace. And Facebook is just about the perfect vector for such maleficent scuttlebutt.

Moreover, an accusation of paedophilia or perversion is a potent weapon indeed. Quite naturally, even a hint of such evils is often enough to raise great ire and concern among parents and others who care for children. Of course, it is vitally important that we take all possible steps to keep our children safe. However, it is also vitally important that we do not inadvertently spread false and destructive accusations about someone in our efforts to protect our children.

Once launched, rumours like this can take on a life of their own. Even if the original accuser belatedly learns that his or accusations were wrong, it may well be impossible to stop the further spread of the rumour as it continues its destructive journey. Thus, sending on an unsubstantiated accusation like the one that names Thierry Mairot without first finding out if the accusation has at least some validity is irresponsible.

With regard to Facebook, perhaps the best course of action if you encounter someone posting inappropriate content is to use the site's "report" function. Facebook will remove users who are attempting to contact children inappropriately. Think twice before you formulate and launch a message warning other users about the person's alleged actions. Keep in mind that the warning may spread much more rapidly and much more widely than you intended. And it may have a detrimental and unintended impact on innocent people that share the same name as the accused. If the actions of the accused individual results in legal action or arrest, the spread of rumours may be detrimental to the case either for or against. And remember that in a democratic and just society, people should be considered innocent until proved guilty. Trial by Facebook is a long way short of justice.

As for keeping children safe on Facebook, it could be convincingly argued that parents and guardians would be much better to take concrete steps to actively and continually monitor and control their children's usage rather than pass on absurd paedophile rumours.

Given that there is not a shred of evidence that a person named Thierry Mairot has done anything wrong whatsoever, please help to quell this terrible and destructive rumour. It has the potential to ruin this person's life - if it has not already done so.

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References
The Thierry Mairot hoax
Becoming a Father or Mother Facebook Group Pedophile Warning Hoax



Previous Article            Next Article

Issue 108 Start Menu

Pages in this month's issue:
  1. Muslims Praying Every Friday in Streets of New York Protest Message
  2. Unfounded Facebook Rumour - Thierry Mairot Wants to Talk to Children About Sex
  3. Security Warning Message - Black Device Connected to Keyboard
  4. Got a pencil? - Amazing Pencil Tip Sculptures by Dalton Ghetti
  5. 'New' Italian Police Car - Lamborghini Crash
  6. 'Interesting Fact' About October 2010 - 5 Fridays, 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays
  7. Jean Paul Garang Advance Fee Scam
  8. Revamped 'Life Owner' Hoax Uses Name of Real Virus - 'Here You Have It' Hoax Version
  9. Free Blackberry Storm for Forwarding Hoax
  10. Floating Rock 'Miracle' - Surprising Rock in Saudi Arabia
  11. Photographs of Monster Croc Caught at Borroloola
  12. Feeding the Eagles
  13. Corpus Christi - Gay Jesus Movie Hoax
  14. Rejected Federal Tax Payment Phishing Scam Email
  15. 'Bighorn Sheep' On Dam Wall Photographs
  16. Bogus Facebook Rumour - Thomas Cowling Wants to Talk to Children About Sex
  17. Fake iTunes Receipt Email
  18. 809 Area Code Scam Warning Email
  19. Baby Shot With Brad Nailer Prayer Request
  20. Internet Rumour - UNESCO Chooses Indian National Anthem as Best In The World
  21. Pen PC - Pen Shaped Miniature Personal Computer