Trollfail – Part Two

Casey Gagnon (Facebook profile)

Casey Gagnon
(Facebook profile)

In Part One, we offered some background social media history of somebody that initially had good intentions of providing Coyotes information going off the rails.

It escalated to the point where some national hockey media attention was given to the mess and the team was moved to intervene.

Now, the offender is playing the cyberbullying card, crying fouls against him from the team and fans while conveniently ignoring his own much more real forays into the cyberbullying arena as the aggressor.

Feeding The Troll

A lot of people had enough of the whining for credit for his imagined breaking of the story of the sale of the Coyotes majority stake closing.

An enterprising fan with no affiliation with the Coyotes decided to offer “inside” tidbits to Casey, juicy bits for @SportsHubAZ to “scoop” legitimate reporters with. Her (or his) idea was to offer up a story so crazy that almost nobody would believe it to see if it was posted as a scoop by @SportsHubAZ.

He/she set up an account (since “outed” by Casey as being @fullerforyotes) that looked like the account a Coyotes intern or lower level employee might have. Then (based on Casey’s tweet to real hockey reporters), he/she started feeding the story around January 5.

It looks like he/she stopped feeding the lines on the 8th.

Hook, Line, Sinker

We’ve heard the fan had no contact with Mr. Gagnon other than through social media, there was no vetting of him as a source. Had there been, it should have been clear with even a minimal amount of work that the “source” was bogus. Something like a “Does this guy work for you?” phone call to somebody with the Coyotes.

Even if, somehow, Gagnon was convinced the “source” was legitimate, it’s standard practice to have two independent sources verify a story before running with it if for no reason other than so save oneself embarrassment. Even then, it’s possible to publish something that isn’t true, but at least one would have the defense of having done the work.

That minimal research apparently wasn’t done, and @SportsHubAZ started running with a ludicrous story despite nobody credible backing his play.

Doanergate

That's our CaptainOn the odd chance somebody reading this is not a hockey fan, Coyotes Captain Shane Doan represents the heart and soul of the Coyotes as a team and as an enterprise. He is well respected throughout the league.

The respect Coyotes fans have for him goes well past his career on the ice, we actually love the guy.

A common refrain, lately, around the rink is that Doaner deserves a Stanley Cup and if he wants to go to another team to make that happen, the fans will find it acceptable.

Could that happen? Of course.

Pooper Scooper

Some of the tweets that resulted from the @fullerforyotes feed follow. There’s plenty more, including a bunch of tweets mentioning discord in the front office and hockey operations of the Coyotes.

While we recommend unfollowing and blocking Casey’s Twitter accounts, feel free to check them out on Twitter if you wish.

Build The Story

Adding background information to the story lends it credence.

All three men were out of town that day.

If you wanted to check facts, you wouldn’t have to determine if ALL of the alleged participants were out of town, you’d only need to find one that wasn’t and the “fact” is blown.

Even with no contacts, I would have called Mr. LeBlanc’s office and asked whoever answered the phone if he was in town. Why his phone? He’d the most likely to be in the office.

Fact Checking

Trade rumors are always floating around the Internet, these Doan rumors aren’t really unique.

In this case, real reporters reportedly (see the disclaimer word there?) began contacting Coyotes honchos to find out if the Doaner trade rumors were legit. Clearly that’s a waste of the valuable time of Coyotes brass, while the reporters were actually doing their jobs checking facts.

Gagnon should have done the same, especially considering the subject matter.

Why This Is Different

Frequent, unreasonable, personal attacks over a significant period of time are what make the stream of tweets from this one source objectionable.

While none of Casey’s targets complained about being “cyberbullied”, the repeated attacks may or may not fit the definition provided by the “Cyberbullying Research Center” (for what that’s worth).

Legitimate criticism of sports teams and sports figures comes with the territory. Being a member of the media opens you up to criticism as well.

What is out of line, then? It’s the tone and the personal attacks on people that disagree with Gagnon’s apparent world view. Insults are one thing, we all have to take them if we put ourselves “out there”.

We all learned when we were five, if you dish it out you should be prepared to take it.

Anyway, the following (in my opinion excellent) tweet from the Coyotes was posted to put a public end to speculation about Doan being traded.

It started a cyberbullying “thing” that has yet to cease. We’ll finish up this series with Part Three.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Part Two, we mentioned the Arizona Coyotes decided on January 8 they had enough of the Twitter haranguing […]