Thursday 17th April 2014,

Response to River Newspaper

Ricardo Smith March 5, 2011 Ricardo's Rant 18 Comments

Dear River Newspaper,

After I had blogged a Facebook note on my Facebook fan page, I had found Tweets with comments about it.
Firstly, my note wasn’t to pick or find something to easily disagree with. They were genuine logical thoughts.

Before I had even read the article itself, I had not heard of anything; my girlfriend had not heard of anything, my friends had not heard of anything, my girlfriends friends of friends of friends of friends had not heard of anything.
I didn’t know such said story even existed, if it hadn’t been for me reading the article. If my friends did not read the article, we wouldn’t have even ran the Google search in the first place to see how easily obtainable the PDF was.
I am a software engineering student and I know perfectly well how social networking sites such as Twitter work and I know how to even run the most complex of Google searches. The fact I was able to run the most basic Google search to find the file, purely because I was known of the perfect search name that was displayed in the paper made it oh so easy for me and everyone.
Yes, you’re right about how Twitter produces a snowball effect but I think I do know about social networking psychology.
Twitter hashtags are started from a source which would have been from the actual site who made/posted the link to the PDF, but it takes an even bigger source for the hashtag to truly pioneer to produce a great deal of feedback from others. I ran a cached version of the hashtag and found minimal results at the end of February 2011. It became an even bigger story because it was published to Kingston University students.

Again, you’re right that Twitter users are adding to the snowball effect, but surely, the article came way before many Twitter users queued in-line for the snowball effect. For a snowball effect to take place, it requires information to be passed on from one person to another, even writing my note on Facebook or through Tweets and even through this very blog post, I am indirectly inviting others to it. That is the point, I am admitting that I am making the story known to others and that I could potentially provoke other students to go ahead and look for the file or become a part of Twitter to post even more thoughts, arguments and rumours around, even without making direct provoking comments, suggestions and influencing students to go ahead and do as I just mentioned.

You’re right that it’s a local newspaper, but whatever stories The River publishes won’t of course stay within Kingston University (If there is anything interesting to tell, obviously).
I didn’t suggest the newspaper was all to blame, I would, just like yourselves, greatly blame Twitter users for giving out even more exposure, but the newspaper article was feeding more fuel to the fire because let’s be fair now, The River can popularise the hashtag greater than one or two said persons could.
If what you say is right about it becoming a major story two weeks ago, for it to die down, why on earth would you expose (pun intended) the story again? Fair enough, it’s your job to do so and you’re possibly training to become journalists for mainstream newspapers in the future and you’re all doing great jobs, but it’s a university newspaper, not The Sun.

The story about ‘Anna’ and her drug abused housemate worries seemed more accurate to be on the headline, as to the ‘Poison’ headline yesterday. That seemed more interesting and an even greater share to students suffering from similar problems.
The ‘Anna’ story excretes an even more serious matter, rather than hearing something ‘professional’ about silly and naive students exposing their sex lives to someone/some people, to result in them being pin-pointed in a PDF collection.
If I was on the list, with all the drama that would have been going on before the article was published, it would have definitely been a slap in the face for me, even if some were open to tell of their story to you. I’m pretty sure their close ones wouldn’t have been happy either.

1.5 million downloads? Really?…Really?…Really?

/just saying.

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About The Author

Final year Software Engineering student, bringer of the gravity of change, anti-hero. Don't call me a cockroach, jerk.


  1. Kia March 5, 2011 at 3:18 PM

    Totally agree with you. It was a sly move of them and we all know it was done to get reads rather than to review a serious matter.

  2. Jason Cheung March 5, 2011 at 3:20 PM

    Bullshit!!! I mean them! I would not have known if they hadnt posted it in the paper…..EVERYONE WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN

  3. Unknown March 5, 2011 at 3:25 PM

    The thing I especially loved about this was it’s genuine. You showed your wrongs for posting a potential problem with the hashtag incident. They don’t agree it was a mistake when it IS!

  4. TheRiverHater March 5, 2011 at 3:26 PM

    The River needed the story because it’s a boring newspaper with nothing great to show.

  5. Paul Andrews March 5, 2011 at 3:27 PM

    Great blog mate! agree with you thoroughly but there will be ignorance from The River newspaper, would NOT be surprised.

  6. Carlos Roddy March 6, 2011 at 12:20 PM

    The River journalists are stuck up anywho!! Its filled with shitty fashion tips, boring stories and uninteresting suggestions. They also think we’re 12!! with the suggestions they make.

  7. The River Supporter March 6, 2011 at 10:03 PM

    If anyone has a problem with the article then please do get in touch with the river directly, the phone number and email address is clearly stated on the Comments page (if any of you got that far before complaining). The newspaper’s role is to reflect the most important stories that interest Kingston students, they are also there to hold the university accountable which has been shown in the past (see the article on the amount of money the uni makes through library fines). The paper handled the story as sensitively as they could have, I know for a fact the paper spoke to experts in law for example when writing the story. They also gave a voice to a victim of the list in the anonymous case study (again if you got that far!). If she was willing to have her say then surely others can see what they did was in kingston students’ interest?

    • TheRiverHater March 6, 2011 at 10:11 PM

      All I can say is 1.5 Million downloads? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT? WHAT?. You can’t generalise one of the victims for every other victim.
      Secondly, my fruity loop friend, library fines are on a different calibre compared to this story. This is because it adds to the snowball effect just as Undercrimsonmoon had mentioned before, it interests others to go ahead and look for the PDF file. The case was calming down but they exploded it even more. So stfu.

    • Paul Andrews March 6, 2011 at 10:12 PM

      Of course ‘The River Supporter’ isn’t anywhere as logical as Undercrimsonmoon. Sensitivity this, assuming this. Never assume, kid.

  8. The River Supporter March 6, 2011 at 10:18 PM

    The 1.5 million downloads was garnered from the original file download link which was deleted. The River had been following the story for about two weeks prior to publication so get your facts right before you start slating their work. I am not comparing the two stories, I’m saying the paper does a worthwhile job in keeping students informed and holding the university accountable. If you want to have a serious conversation with anyone at the paper rather than just moaning online then I suggest you ring or email them. For someone so passionate you seem to be a bit unwilling to speak to the people you supposedly hate. Nice mature method of ending your article too by the way.

    • Callum Bojack March 6, 2011 at 10:25 PM

      There is no way the link itself would have been download 1.5 million times, even adding the original to the new link. Not even a torrent to a popular TV show has been downloaded that many times. Don’t be fooled so much.

      I’m an outside source looking on.

    • Ricardo Smith March 6, 2011 at 10:41 PM

      Oh wow, a lot of comments today.

      Hey, I’m the writer and the owner of the blog and I wrote this article, not the one’s who have posted comments. Not sure if they’re students or what.
      Any who, I can agree with the assume thing though, you’re assuming I hate the paper and the writers. In-fact, I don’t, I actually don’t mind the paper itself and have been an interested reader from my first year to my 2nd year.
      I’m not a journalist, but I do take interest in commenting about matters, that’s why I posted my thoughts. If you’re a journalist of your own, well I guess you have to understand that sometimes your articles are up for discussion and debate and that’s exactly what I have done.

      I have actually got into contact with The River on Friday by tagging their Facebook FanPage into a note and I noticed writers had picked it up by tweets. That proves to me, people don’t quite read over my blogs.

      One tweet had even stated after reading my note “That is the only logical response we have received”

      I do also agree that there is no possible way a Kingston University student would be able to create a 1.5 million base of downloaders. The point was expressed through the popular TV series example. It just doesn’t work that way, especially on a 2shared network server.

      I am open for talking and even for The River to quote things that I have said and even what others have said through the comments on my blog. I do have numerous emails from students as well who have shown some angst or been upset by the article itself. It’s not just me.
      Sorry, but it can’t always be happy days for any newspaper. I think you should be just as mature as your colleagues by being interested in comments, even if they are negatives.
      I didn’t spend my time looking for negatives or to pick at the article or the writers, they were genuine logical opinions. Deal with it.

  9. fdnj May 8, 2011 at 6:43 AM

    Nice topic – respect !

  10. Yahwe May 9, 2011 at 6:51 AM

    How much is a link to your site? My site

  11. crimit June 29, 2011 at 11:48 PM


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