Nick Harris

Archive for March 2015

Leaping to Misinformation

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I try to always own up to my mistakes. We all make them. If we don’t own them we don’t learn from them.

This evening I got caught up in a “Twitter Outrage Frenzy” around HBO Now and Comcast. I saw some posts about Comcast subscribers not being able to get to Being a Comcast subscriber I tried loading the page myself and it did indeed fail to find the server. I then tried on my iPhone over T-Mobile LTE and low and behold there was the page.

Then I made my mistake. I took to Twitter to pile on with my own story of how terrible Comcast is:

I couldn’t believe a company would do such an thing, and that was also my mistake. I should have looked at the situation through Occam’s razor before the tweet instead of after – which I immediately did. Situations like this are almost *always* DNS related. I’ve spent enough time trouble shooting my own DNS issues to know. This smelled like DNS from the start.

While I was starting to look at different ways that DNS could cause this, Jason Livingood (@jlivingood) VP of Internet Services at Comcast, replied to my tweet explaining it was a DNS error on HBO’s end:

 I quickly posted my own apology:


Marcus Zarra’s post The Dangers of Misinformation has changed my perspective on how I use my digital voice. After my initial post I had a handful of friends try the same thing and jump to the same conclusion as I did. That is completely my fault. I used my digital voice to disparage the wrong party for an issue I was having. My “shouting” on twitter then had reverberations to people who follow me. That troubles me deeply.

I made a costly mistake on Facebook a few years ago that burned bridges that did not deserve to be burned. The way I perceived the situation correctly made me angry but it was only after hearing the other side that I realized my perception was out of focus. Since then I’ve been very cautious about what information I put out into the world.

Tonight I discovered that I still have more work to do. I own that mistake, along with its lesson.

Written by Nick Harris

March 10, 2015 at 3:45 am

Posted in Uncategorized