Welcome to Talking Points, a daily roundup of digital miscellany
HADFIELD CONSPIRACY THEORY
Chris Hadfield’s son Evan has responded to claims that a ghostwriter helped the astronaut tweet from space. Ottawa-based news site Blacklock’s Reporter published an article last month saying the Canadian Space Agency suggested tweets and experiments for Hadfield in a “three-year marketing campaign.” Hadfield gained popularity and thousands of followers while serving as commander of the International Space Station, regularly tweeting photos of the Earth from various angles and videos of himself doing ordinary tasks in a no-gravity zone, such as brushing his teeth or wringing out a washcloth. Evan Hadfield wrote on his blog that his father wrote all of his own tweets, and that Evan occasionally helped out but made no attempt to hide it. He said some events were planned ahead of time for logistic reasons, including the puck drop, showcasing the new Canadian five-dollar bill and the singing of the I.S.S. song with the Barenaked Ladies’ Ed Robertson.
TAYLOR SWIFT = TROLL?
Users of 4chan, the infamous online bulletin board on which sometimes-questionable comments and images are posted, think they have a celebrity in their midst. One user posted a pretty convincing graphic on Reddit explaining why they believe Taylor Swift has been posting anonymously on the site for years. It all started when someone posted that they were “one of the 50 most famous people on the planet” and an “entertainer.” And then there was the time a user posted, “Sup /b/? Nothing quite like a freezing cold, wintery beach,” and then T-Swift tweeted the exact same thing. Some are going so far as to ask whether she knew about the “Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan!” hoax, where 4chan users helped 39-year-old Charles Z win a contest which was cancelled after organizers said voting had been compromised. One Reddit commenter wondered: “What if she was the one behind #voteforcharles so she didn’t have to meet another annoying screaming preteen[?]” What if, indeed.
“It’s very sad. But if there’s somebody who can succeed, it’s Bezos. He’s the innovator, he’s got the money and the patience, so we’ll see. I think in some ways, this may be the Post’s last chance to survive, at least in some form of what it was.”
The investigative journalist who helped break the Watergate scandal at the Washington Post gave the Daily Beast his take on the news of Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos buying the paper for $250-million (U.S.).