I have no further news about Paul Johnson at the time of publishing this post. But I do think it’s important to mention a few things that have been happening online which really worry me.
First of all, utterly vicious rumours have been circulating on social media that Johnson has died. This is obviously untrue, and the claim spread substantially until a statement sent to Glenn Underground from a relative of Johnson’s confirmed this was absolute nonsense.
Had I published information like that, I would have been crucified for it. And rightly so. For example, I once wrote a post accusing George Fleming, founder of Save Our Scene UK, not wearing a face mask in accordance with his own protest’s rules. It soon became clear I had a picture from the event of a different person. I apologised on the blog to Fleming, and I also sent him a personal apology.
I make every possible effort to ensure the information in my posts is accurate and fairly represented on the blog – and have become more thorough over time. Such checks do not seem to apply to Facebook users who think they have the right to spread utterly false rumours.
Which brings me to 5 Magazine. They have let themselves down no end over this one. They actually published an article – deleted, but still available via a cached version on Google – reporting his death. Here’s part of the screenshot of the article.
I’m really disappointed. 5 Magazine has proven itself one of the better media outlets in dance music over the past year by reporting on things many of them won’t – plague raves being one example. After this article was proven to be entirely wrong, it was simply taken down – presumably in the hope no one would notice.
Where’s the admission they got it wrong? Where’s the apology to their readers? And where is their apology to the Johnson family? I would expect silence on these matters from social media users whose sole motivation is clout – but not from a dance music magazine who are even based in the same city as Johnson himself…