The Blackout That Wasn't

Queen's College in Hong Kong has a bad streak running.  A few days ago, a Queen's College student was reportedly ejected from the Museum of Art for misbehavior (see previous post The Cultural Audience in Hong Kong).  Things got a a lot worse with this latest episode reported in Sing Tao.

For several days recently, a self-proclaimed Queen's College student has been offering exposÚs of scandals among Queen's College students to the media.  On the day before yesterday, this student showed this newspaper several thumbnail photographs.  In the photographs, one can see a male wearing a Queen's College school uniform exposing his private parts in a close-up.  The student originally demanded HK$10,000 for the full set of photographs, later reduced to several hundred dollars.  Our newspaper refused to pay.  We understand that the student made offers to other media to sell the photos.

Yesterday, this scandalous photograph appeared in Ming Pao in an article titled "Queen's College student took a photograph of himself exposing his private parts to post on the Internet."  In the print edition of Ming Pao, the photograph appeared with the vital parts blurred out.

But in the Internet version of the story, the photograph appeared without the blur.  In the afternoon, Ming Pao issued an apology on its website.  It admitted that the story was loaded on the website right after 4am.  Due to 'computer technical issues', the obscene portions were not blurred out.  That photograph was removed at 653am, and the Video and Entertainment Administration as well as the police have been notified.  A spokesperson for that office that it received a complaint around 9am from a female citzien pointing out that the Ming Pao website carried a photograph of a male in a school uniform exposing his private parts.  The photograph is widely distributed on the Internet.

I don't have the time, patience or interest to track down that photo.  This is no 'biggie', so to speak.  But what kind of 'computer technical issues' can they possibly be talking about?  Why are they giving computers a bad name when it is obviously poor human judgment?