The Age of Digital Rumors

Post ImageI have to admit I feel kind of bad for Christie Chorley. She’s a sports anchor for CityTV here in Edmonton, and was subject to rumors recently that she was carrying Chris Pronger’s baby (he’s married with kids in case you didn’t know), and hence, was the reason he requested a trade. Turns out that was completely false:

OFFICIAL STATEMENT FROM CHRISTIE CHORLEY
JUNE 29, 2006

ANY RUMORS AND/OR SPECULATION ABOUT MY INVOLVEMENT WITH THE CURRENT CHRIS PRONGER SITUATION IS COMPLETELY, ONE-HUNDRED PERCENT FALSE.

I would appreciate your help in putting an end to my name being linked to this situation, as it is completely WITHOUT ANY MERIT OR FACTUAL BASIS.

Any further slander or defamation can and will result in swift legal action.

Thank you.

What’s interesting about this to me, is how fast and far the rumor spread, thanks in large part to the Internet. I received an email about it, as did Megan (she posted about it here). In addition to the email, a quick search on Technorati reveals a number of posts about the rumor. Christie’s site was down most of the week, no doubt because of huge amounts of traffic.

The Oilers have also felt the power of the Internet with regards to this rumor, posting a message that threatens to ban anyone who continues the discussion on the Oiler forums:

There will be no more speculation or rumours on this board regarding Chris Pronger’s situation.

Any attempt to do so will result in an immediate ban.

If it continues, we will be forced to remove the message board due to the threat of legal action against the Oilers. The legal action is NOT by Pronger himself but by outside parties implicated by rumours on the message board.

You can discuss trade rumours, etc. but leave his (or any other player’s for that matter) personal life out of it.

I agree with Megan, Chris Pronger himself needs to make a statement to put an end to all of this madness.

Things just aren’t like they used to be. Remember in high school, if someone started a rumor, a few dozen people might here about it, and then they’d get bored and move on to something else. There was rarely a record of the rumor. That’s different now. Even for high school students, I imagine MySpace has become a haven for rumors and slander. Welcome to the age of digital rumors I guess!

And Christie, if you’re reading this, you can take one positive from the whole situation. Most of the comments I heard related to the rumor said something to the effect that “I can’t blame him if he did.” Not the way in which you want to receive a compliment, but if you’re going to look for the positives here (aside from your name becoming much more widely known), that’s one.

[As an aside, I was kind of surprised that I still got an email about this. One of those “forward it on to everyone you know” kind of emails. I guess blogging hasn’t quite taken hold as firmly as I had thought, despite the number of worldwide bloggers inching towards 100 million (or maybe even beyond that already).]

Read: Christie Chorley

3 thoughts on “The Age of Digital Rumors

  1. I received the email from 3 or 4 different people, within a matter of minutes. And yeah, I posted about it, because it actually, above all other reasons, actually makes some sense.

    I, too, remember hearing rumours in high school and only a few people would know unless it was something big. But I am kind of surprised that a Google search for "Chris Pronger Christie Chorley" turns up hardly anything. Maybe because more people tag their posts now?

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