Rumor Telephone: How The Jim Carrey/Emma Stone And Jada Pinkett/Marc Anthony Stories Escalated

Over the past two days, I have had the strange experience of watching a story blossom from a tiny tidbit into a juicy rumor via my Google Reader headlines. In each instance, the story started innocent, but as different websites composed their headlines, it got more and more salacious. Take for example, coverage of this video Jim Carrey made for Emma Stone.

Sure sounds like a game of telephone, no? After the jump, a look at how this worked with the rumor about Jada-Pinkett Smith and Marc Anthony. About 24 hours after many sites, including The Frisky, reported the rumor that Jada Pinkett-Smith and Will Smith were separating, and posted the couple’s subsequent denial, this story emerged about Jada and her “HawthoRNe” co-star, the recently single Marc Anthony.

This story feels awfully, awfully cooked to me. I mean, that’s a pretty dramatic escalation with the story being presented as more and more concrete as the day went on.

Now I know that, sometimes, The Frisky is guilty of writing sensational headlines too. It can happen for a variety of reasons—because we don’t have a lot of characters to play with, because we think a headline is funny, because something slightly misleading makes the most sense, because we want you to click on a great post. But it’s definitely something we will be thinking more about in the future, as we don’t want to contribute to these kinds of games of telephone.


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