We can thank Sir David Tang for these pointed darts of defensive righteousness. The Hong Kong-born businessman and well-connected restaurateur has just set up iCorrect as a way for his high-profile friends to rebut what they see as the lies and calumny spreading like a gossip rash across the soft belly flesh of the Internet.
For a minor [annual] fee of $1,000 ($5,000 for a company), complainants can place their version of events on his small corner of the online world.
So it’s a site dedicated to establishing a wronged party’s truth beyond rumours and misunderstandings. We’ve already got a site for that–it’s called Wikipedia. And another, Snopes. And, in fact, thousands of other sites.
The site’s current tagline is “iCorrect: Setting the record straight”. A more accurate one might be “iCorrect: Bilking the gullible rich”. Or possibly “iCorrect: Don’t understand the Internet? We’ll take your money.”
The gaping maw of celebrity gossip
I was about to totally pillory this site for it’s hubristic notion of becoming a source of authority, despite none of the “corrections” on the site being verified, until I realized what it actually is. It’s just a wire service for rich people.
Here’s a correction by Kate Moss indicating that she’s not on Twitter or Facebook. If you search the web for “Kate Moss Twitter” or something similar, you won’t find iCorrect.com anywhere in the top result. But you will find several references to Ms. Moss’s claim from other sites, who picked up the story as part of iCorrect’s launch.
That, after all, is the way you establish something as fact online. Get it corroborated by a bunch of influential sources, and it becomes the accepted truth.
Because of our depressing obsession with celebrities, established and (though I use the word charitably here) legitimate news sites will watch iCorrect and report on the corrections of the rich and famous as they appear. It’s essentially just a specialized channel for informal media releases, feeding the gaping maw of celebrity gossip.
Looking at the site this way, iCorrect may succeed despite itself.