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A Correction, an Apology, and a Lesson Learned

Jim Burroway

March 8th, 2010

Yesterday, I received a tip that Ugandan pastor Martin Ssempa was preparing to come to the United States to speak at a major university in April. I was in the San Diego airport waiting for my flight to board and I posted a quick article about it.

Just before boarding, I learned that the information was incorrect, and that Ssempa is not scheduled to appear at that University. I quickly retracted that post just as they were closing the aircraft doors, but by then it had been online for about a half an hour, just enough time for it to go out on RSS feeds. And despite killing the post, it still somehow managed to make it into Monday morning’s email newsletter.

So, I learned a very valuable lession: Never blog from an airport using your mobile phone, especially when your flight is just about to board. Blogging this way forces you to cut too many corners when its difficult to verify the information yourself. And when you rely more heavily on what tipsters provide than you would normally, it becomes too easy to put out incorrect information. Not to say that I don’t appreciate every tip that comes in — I do, even when the information turns out to be inaccurate — but sometimes key information can be overlooked and it is my job to prevent that from happening. So in the end, it’s my fault, and I apologize for the confusion.

Comments

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martin ssempa
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

Dear Jim,

This is one of the many errors that have been made concerning this whole issue of the anti homosexuality bill.

There is too much panic reporting and little double checking of the facts. One hour back I just asked facebook to shut down a false Martin Ssempa who was linked with photos of murders.

You have called this the “kill the gays bill” but it is really about capital punishment for “paedophiles and rapists”. The more we have states this, the more you dont want to hear us.

You call this the work of some three US evangelicals exporting homophobia but it is REALLY A GLOBAL CULTURE CLASH WITH AFRICANS FED UP OF AMERICAN/EUROPEAN HOMOSEXUAL EXPORT. We dont want BArack Obama, Gordom Brown or Hilarly Clinton telling US WHAT TO DO! Go back to Timbuktu, scale the Ashante, the Fulani, to the present day Buganda Kingdom. Our culture and traditions find homosexuality morally repugnant and a great taboo.
Jim, the more you depend on tipsters and urban legends you will have a box turtle which makes many mistakes.

Please feel free to email me to check up on the validity of stories or my speaking engagements. This thursday (March 11th, from 3:00-4:00 PM) EST I will appearing via telephone on Dr. Michael Browns radio show in line of Fire link below. Your readers too are welcome as long as they keep an objective and polite attitude which is basic for all civil discourse.

Martin Ssempa PhD

http://voiceofrevolution.askdrbrown.org/2010/03/05/ugandan-pastor-martin-ssempa-will-appear-on-the-line-of-fire-live-on-march-11th/

Timothy Kincaid
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

Speaking of false Martin Ssempas, why are you commenting here from a computer in Seattle when the real Ssempa lives in Uganda?

Richard Rush
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

I may be wrong about this, but I thought that the physical location of a computer could be faked. If this is true, a commenter who is physically in Encino, California, could create the appearance that they were in South Africa, for example. Does anyone here know if this is true?

Jim Burroway
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

IP addresses are a tricky thing. They only reveal the primary provider, which may not even be the Internet provider the user signed up with. Many American companies sell Internet access for other companies around the world, which in turn sell access to smaller companies or individuals.

In other words, the company in Seattle may be the company that owns the IP address, but that’s not necessarily the location of the computer connected through that IP address. When I was on Earthlink, my IP address identified me as being with Sprint half the time. Everyone who subscribed to AOL, even in Europe, were reported as being in McLean, VA. This happens even without intentional “faking.”

And besides that, the post here is completely consistent with Ssempa’s rhetoric on local radio and television. Based in other information in this comment, I believe it is genuine.

Lynn David
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

Why would they fake a physical location? Seattle? Ken Hutcherson?!!? LOL!

I’ve never seen Ssempa append Ph.D. to his name. Afterall the doctorate is an honorary degree not an earned one. To append Ph.D. to one’s name when it is only honorary would be somewhat like fraud.

I got all hot and bothered about that Facebook site for his talk in NC back in November/December, until I finally ran across the date that showed the Facebook site was for a 2009 event.

Burr
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

You mask your IP by using a proxy. There’s lists of open ones you can connect to by changing your networking settings, or you could use an anonymizer like Tor.

Jim Burroway
March 8th, 2010 | LINK

Lynn David, Ssempa signs his posts “Dr. Martin Ssempa on his blog. Yes, he’s a fraud.

Timothy Kincaid
March 9th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,

You are far more savvy than me about the way the internet works. But something smells fishy to me and I’m not yet convinced.

But if it isn’t him directly, it is someone who is serving as a convincing surrogate.

James
March 10th, 2010 | LINK

Jim,
this can’t just pass without me giving a comment. the many negative comments directed at ssempa by these internet users have been very inacurate. probably your post will be a point of return to the truth. I have known ssempa for more than eight years now and am very sure that he is a man of intergrity. We should develop the attitudes of the Bereans who searched about everything they were taught.

Mr. Warren Throckmorton who has really thrived in championing false information abt Ssempa should be investigated. He should borrow a leaf from what you have done.

I wish you could also correct the earlier wrong emails you posted about Ssempa. It is never too late. Thanks.

James

Jim Burroway
March 10th, 2010 | LINK

James,

Since you seem to be on a mission to defend Ssempa, you should perhaps examing the lies that he is spreading on this post.

I will retract whatever information I find that is false that I may have posted in error. But I will NOT retract where I have exposed lies and malevolent behavior by others. Before you presume to lecture me about the Bereans, you should perhaps adopt some of that attitude yourself.

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