July 17, 2004
RSS Slipup

Every once in a while Japan Today’s RSS feed includes an internal memo. This one appeared this morning under “National Headlines”


Hi Jane, I moderated until 12:00am (0:00) on the message boards. There are some not so nice things going on so be careful on the people who are posting especially on Jenkins and the gay marrige issues. After you are done moderating for the day,…

Oops. I’ve also noticed partly-edited articles in their feed that turn up fully edited under a different headline later.

This glimpse inside the inner workings of JT isn’t too compromising. But imagine a major news agency or corporation feeding something before it was ready: scoops, scandals, and all sorts of informational mayhem.

Any bets on when and where it will happen first?

Posted by kuri at July 17, 2004 06:27 AM


NYT maybe, probably?;-))

Posted by: axel on July 17, 2004 04:27 PM

Apparently JT doesn’t read my weblog. Here’s what appeared in the feed this evening:


Hi Emily Last moderated at 1.30pm. The message board was pretty nasty overnight and early morning, but seems to have settled down a little. Most of the ones I deleted are users that no longer exist - did this happen when you deleted posts? I th…

I wonder if that’s Jane writing to Emily, or what?

Posted by: Kristen on July 17, 2004 10:43 PM

It’s starting to sound like the hypertext version of Dangerous Liaisons. I want to read more! Who is Jane? What motivates her? Is it a clever irony that this feed allows us to hear the voice of ‘moderation’, through which the author points out the excesses of our age?

Posted by: womble on July 21, 2004 11:05 AM

The plot thickens. Another note today:


Sachie’s last Pop Vox was riddled with typos and nonsense English. I fixed most of it up. Please copyedit her English and Satoko’s very carefully. Otherwise, good job so far. Chris…

Posted by: Kristen on July 25, 2004 06:53 AM

This development is interesting. The voice of moderation turns to the critique of typos and nonsense, that which is situated outside of regular English discourse. Jane and Emily are asked to incorporate Sachie’s ‘Pop Vox’, the voice of the people, back into the master discourse, thus negating the subversive power of the riddle. The author(s) suggest that the voice of moderation is layered - Jane and Emily are subject to moderation, but are also overseen here by ‘Chris’, invoking the universalising narrative of Christ. This critique of the hegemony of corporate discourse perhaps ironically word-playing upon the medium of RSS / arses. I look forward to the author(s) next addition to this important work.

Posted by: womble on July 29, 2004 11:34 AM
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