Jan 29 2009

Media doesn’t reveal who claimed “20 million” Downadup infections

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The media hysteria over the Downadup worm may or may not have peaked. I say this because the press now reports “20 million” infections as if it’s no big deal.

Where did reporters get this new “20 million” figure?

Take Current World News, for example. They ran a very short piece titled “20 Million PCs Infected With Conficker Worm Virus.” It technically has six paragraphs, except the final three paragraphs contain one sentence each.

“To date, efforts to stop the virus from spreading have been futile, leaving computer experts stumped,” reads the entire fourth paragraph. I fully expected this story to include a quote from a stumped expert … but, no.

Or take eCandadaNow. They ran an ultra-short piece titled “Computer Virus Now Slams Nearly 20 Million PCs.” Each of the {ahem} “seven paragraphs” is a single sentence. A cute “monster” graphic takes up almost exactly half of the article’s total space. No explanation where the “20 million” guesstimate comes from.

Have reporters finally started to grow bored with the Downadup worm? “Contact me when it actually does something…”