Sometimes I wonder how people survived without the internet. The internet has truly become a useful tool, especially for journalists. They are the ones who look at Facebook and Twitter as more than a platform to tell people what they had for breakfast or how much they love their significant other. Journalists see Twitter and Facebook as a means to communicate with their readers, to gain insight into what the public is thinking, and every now and then, to catch someone trying to profit from their hard work.

The latter happened to the Perdeby team earlier this week. Our first edition of the year was released on Welcoming Day, 26 January. And one of the most frequent questions we were asked was, “How much does the paper cost?” Well, let me tell you that there’s nothing better than being able to tell someone that the paper is free. Fact: free stuff is awesome (another reason why Perdeby is awesome).

Imagine then how shocked I was, after searching “Perdeby” on Twitter, to find this very conspicuous Twitter conversation:

Person 1: “Lemme hit the sack 2mrw I’m heading 2 campus, them Perdeby’s are not gonna sell themselves to em 1st year students.”

Person 2: “Hook me up with a job toe, how much are they paying u?”

Person 1: “I’m the boss, bizniz aint flowing no more sm1 told these 1st year’s dat Perdeby newspapers are free so they aint buying no more.”

Terrible grammar aside, let me clarify a few things about these tweets. Firstly, I don’t know who this person is, but he/she is not the boss. Secondly, um, “someone told these first years that Perdeby newspapers are free …” yeah, that would be the entire Perdeby staff. Thirdly, as I’m hoping you all now know, Perdeby reallyis free. And if anyone tries to sell you a copy, please report them to us or to UP security immediately.

For the people who are selling our paper – you (insert appropriate profanity here). What you are doing is considered fraud which, if you don’t know, is illegal. And I’m assuming, dear bright spark, that you don’t know that because you didn’t even realise that Twitter is a public forum and therefore anyone, anyone, can see your tweets.

I implore anyone reading this or who reads Perdeby regularly, not to buy the paper from anyone (as ironic as that sounds). And if you see a poor first year being suckered, do them a favour and let them in on the secret – Perdeby is not for sale.

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