Skip to comments.Anatomy of a Freeper...
Posted on 12/17/2004 9:05:01 AM PST by Valin
Anatomy of a Freeper...
For those of you who just stumble around Instapundit, Hugh Hewitt, Powerline or The Corner, and a couple of internet sites to get your dose of non-Ratherised news, you may not have ever heard of a "Freeper". In a minute, I'm going to use the following example to give you a window into their world.
Freepers are people who post to a rather interesting bulletin board service called Free Republic. A lot of my blogging friends know about them, but surprisingly enough, not very many of them view them as a news source they visit frequently. I think the Freepers are an essential element in gathering news. If you go in with the right mindset, and know what you are looking for, it can be a goldmine of information.
Hugh Hewitt has often called freepers the Coast Watchers of the new media. When news happens, either in print, on radio, or on television, someone will post a link, and much of the meat of the story, as the beginning of a thread. Within minutes, if the story is juicy enough, just like flies, freepers all over will descend on the story and give their two cents worth.
Here's where the discernment of the person surfing has to come in. There are saboteurs who will immediately try to spin the story, especially if it's political, and there will be people from every walk of life taking their shots until the end of the thread takes the original picture the story paints and turns it into a Picasso.
Here's an example of the wit, sarcasm, sincerity, & speed of the Freepers:
11/29/04 In Linn County, Iowa, there is a small town called Robins. Population of 1,806. There is an accidental shooting of Lyle Rusk, the town's police chief, by one of his own officers. The story was reported on local Cedar Rapids television, link here.
12/16/04 10:01PM PST The story is found by a freeper and a link is started. Remember this is a very minor story in the overall scheme of things, so there is a delay between when the event happens and when it's reported on FR. If it's a major news story, a thread will appear in seconds.
12/16/04 10:04PM PST Five responses, largely cynical, have already been posted.
12/16/04 10:05PM PST The first Barney Fife reference made, including this picture.
The neck injury to the chief was serious, and the recovery process is going to be long, but all indications are that he's going to be fine. But when you read that he'd been accidentally shot by his own officer, tell the truth. Didn't this image flash in your mind? If there is a punch line in a news story, no matter how tasteless, at least one Freeper is going to use it.
12/17 12:11AM PST In just a little over two hours, there have been fifty-four responses to the original story. Many have been humorous, many have been respectful and prayerful, and many have been from people who have obvious law enforcement background dissecting how something like this could have happened in the first place.
Remember this is an obscure story. When the Rathergate story broke, there were responses, theories, and updates literally every time you hit the refresh button. Freepers are very much part of the face of new media. They are also very much a part of the blogosphere.
The speed at which news travels on sites like this is the reason why liberals can no longer dominate the media and control the spin to suit their agenda. The news moves too fast. There are too many people who see stuff and post it, and there are too many smart people to praise it and spread it around if it has merit, and dissect it like a frog in biology class if it's bogus.
In cases like Rathergate, a bogus story can be proven false, spread all over the world, and completely discrediting of the original reporter before he/she comes to work the next morning.
Sometimes the content in the threads is not for the feint of heart, but if you cruise the latest topics, you will often find news literally as it's being reported anywhere in the world.
Except for the "feint" of heart part, this report is right on...
This is hugh and vey series!
Exactly why I love being a freeper...news is posted fast.
The other aspect of FR that is such a strong tool in breaking the MSM dominance of news and agenda control is that no longer must one be a subscriber to Lexis/Nexus to find news from yesterday to 100 years ago.
Yeah, like that.
Well that's me. Shy, retiring, loath to give an opinion or criticize anyone.
That's my story and I'm stickin with it!
he called us Flies! BZZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz
Fierce Warlike tribe bump.
Boy, did I get the tar kicked out of me that first year.
What about a gratuitous picture of Anna Kournakova?
Boy, he's got that right!
That is why I expect some form of regulation, control or tax on blogging. The only reason it has not been done yet is because they haven't figured out how.
but remember, it's flies on you-know-what. Strictly as observers, of course, NOT depositing our offspring to hatch and feed, like the Dems do with kids in public schools....
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