Repubblica: crappy journalism from The Usual Suspects


Do you remember “Who is Keyser Soze?”? That was the recurring line of a great movie, which is now related to another question: who, in the staff of italian newspaper Repubblica (and many other newspapers too, of course) still makes, or allows, crap like this?

The movie I’m talking about is, as anybody with a working brain may know, or easily check, is “The Usual Suspects”. This morning, in Italy, that title became just the most evident of many proofs that Repubblica publishes “articles” which are so hard to read to be offensive:

Usual Suspects...

Everybody with a good knowledge of Italian, foreigners included, can immediately see that that “piece” is nothing more than an almost literal copy-and-paste-without-even-looking-at-it-once text taken from Google Translate (*). However, here is a further, purely visual proof, that you may do yourself:

Google Translate, freelancing for Repubblica

as you can see, I just took the “Italian” text, fed it to Google Translate, and asked Google to search the English version. It immediately confirmed that that “Italian” text is just the unchecked result of the reverse, but totally brainless process, from pieces like this.

Why am I so upset?

Easy: because much of my work is about the effects of digital technologies on quality of life, human rights and more. And “journalism” like this does little more than legitimate and promote functional analphabetism (“Hey, if I already can speak as real journalists write, I don’t need to improve myself, do I?”) and, eventually, the firm belief that everything is “fake news”. These people are doing SERIOUS damage. They are part of those that, as Zeynep Tufekci said just a few years ago: “We’re building a dystopia just to make people click on ads”.

(*) Before (hopefully) Repubblica corrects that text, adding an official declaration of excuses, you repeat the test by copying nd pasting the original version, as it was on October 30th, 2017, 7:50am:

Dopo anni di rifiuto a rispondere alle voci sulla sua sessualitĂ , l’attore vincitore dell’Oscar Kevin Spacey ha detto domenica di aver ha scelto di vivere la sua vita come gay. Spacey, 58 anni, che ha vinto Oscar per “I Sospetti Usuali” e “American Beauty”, ha fatto il suo coming out in un post su Twitter. Ha chiesto scusa al suo compagno Anthony Rapp per un incidente che Rapp ha detto essere avvenuto nel 1986. Rapp, che ha partecipato alla “Rent” di Broadway, avrebbe subìto molestie inappropriate proprio da Kavin Spacey all’inizio della sua carriera.

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