Leading Article: Just a rumour

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The Independent Culture
ONE OF the biggest threats to civilisation as we know it posed by the Internet, it is alleged, is that it is a massive marketplace of unchecked rumour.

But remember all those untrue rumours which swept the planet while the Web was gearing up? Michael Portillo is gay. Jeffrey Archer is untrustworthy. Bill Clinton enjoyed oral sex in the Oval Office with Monica Lewinsky (a story which in fact broke on the Internet). Rumour-mongering and gossip are not always such disreputable branches of journalism. Sometimes they merely consist of getting the story first.