There’s a lot to remember when you’re running around in a social media storm, as Jan Moir discovered last week. It would seem that updating meta descriptions isn’t high on the list …
The meta description (the ‘invisible’ description used by search engines to describe a page) on Jan Moir’s article about Stephen Gately’s death still reads (at nearly 11pm on Monday):
Our columnist asks why no-one will face up to the sordid reality of the Boyzone star’s demise.
In a fairly lame attempt to deflect the criticism this article provoked, the Mail had changed the headline last week from “Why there was nothing natural about Stephen Gately’s death” to “A strange, lonely and troubling death…”
And as she was being reviled across the internet, Jan put out a statement saying:
“Some people … have been upset by my article about the sad death of Boyzone member Stephen Gately. This was never my intention. Stephen … was a charming and sweet man who entertained millions. However, the point of my column … was to suggest that, in my honest opinion, his death raises many unanswered questions. That was all.”
Am I the only one who thinks suggesting he was sweet but that his sad death raises many unanswered questions isn’t quite the same as asking about the “sordid reality of his demise”.
Or did the Mail change the headline but forget to change the meta description?
Update Tuesday 9.20am: They’re still using this wording on their columnists’ page (click the Femail heading to see it) to describe Jan Moir’s Stephen Gately piece:
The wording is being used explicitly on the site too
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