Misinformation: A response to Chris Wilson's Whitehouse.gov article on Slate
Yesterday, I came across one of the most fabricated and agenda-laden articles I've ever seen in the world of software and open source, "Why running the White House Web site on Drupal is a political disaster waiting to happen". (no-followed)
Despite wishing "Drupal and the White House nothing but happiness" at the outset, Chris Wilson quickly moves to scare the beejezus out of you about Drupal and make sure everyone understands that the thousands of people coming together to provide really awesome free software are actually all user-hating Nazis and that Drupal is a REALLY. BAD. THING.
Unfortunately, the thing about misinformation is that it often does cause a stir. As one can see from this comment left on another article about Whitehouse.gov, a well known and curious Joomla developer is linking to the propaganda piece and referring to it as a "very different view". So misinformation success, it's now a 'point of view' whether Drupal folk are all user-hating nazis or not.
The software world is not generally the hack-political world where all one needs is an implication and a "reliable source" to start a false "debate" on whether something is true or not. But the slate article, and reactions to it, does demonstrate the point that the Drupal community needs to be prepared to address misinformation. This is a (large) annoyance, of course (more time fighting propaganda ='s less time coding or helping newcomers), but as a great person once said, "With great power comes great responsibility".
UPDATE: Informationweek.com weighs in with some sense on this issue:
"The news that WhiteHouse.gov relaunched this week running open source Drupal software raised eyebrows and hackles among knee-jerk anti-Obama types and a small cadre of ignorant bloggers."