Dear Friend,

I sent this link to you because you let me down. I trusted you – and you betrayed that trust.

As a friend, I want to be able to rely upon your word. So, when you sent me the fake picture claiming that there were multiple cases of coronavirus on the Isle of Man, I believed you. Fortunately for our island, those claims were false. Unfortunately for our trust, those claims were false.

When our parents and grandparents were our age, they relied upon “official broadcasters” to separate fact from fiction. For about 70 years, from World War 2 to the 2010s, news was controlled by a handful of gatekeepers – the BBC, the ABC, the NBC, and so on.

But that’s not the world we live in anymore – we have returned to the news world that humans used to have, where everyone was a consumer of news and a producer of news. When Lincoln and Peel and Gladstone ruled our nations, their communities got their news from gossip. In that world, people had to carefully evaluate what they heard, and they had to be careful about what they shared – because if word got out that they were sharing crap, their standing and their reputation collapsed.

So, going forward, I want to be able to trust you again. The past is past, and I don’t want to dwell on it. But next time, before you share something I want you to carefully check it before you forward it on. I want you to know that when you share fake news, it is your reputation that is on the line.

Do you want to be someone who I can trust? Or do you want to be dismissed as just a low-end gossipmonger?

The choice is up to you.

Your friend,


Update – P.S. Just to be clear, some unidentified idiot created the faked image purporting to claim there was Coronavirus on the Isle of Man. This was not true, and not a claim of the Isle of Man Government at the time of writing on 13 March.

Michael Josem is a long-term consumer advocate, most prominently as a global leader in combating fraud in the online gambling industry. He was in part the inspiration for the 20th Century Fox Movie, Runner Runner, starring Ben Affleck and Justin Timberlake.

Josem has over a decade of experience as a senior business leader working across various high-tech and online industries, and takes action to build a better community. His primary volunteer roles include service for the Commonwealth War Graves Commission, and Graih, the homelessness charity.

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