2011-05-12 / Front Page

Woman’s Facebook Post Goes Viral

Jessica Dovey’s lead-in to MLK quote causes stir
By Jean Snyder
STAFF WRITER

While last weekend’s apprehension and killing of Osama bin Laden generated much lively discussion on the Internet, in blogs and in social networks, one quotation that quickly went “viral” is attributed to a former Fulton County woman.

Jessica DoveyJessica DoveyJessica Dovey, daughter of William and Julie Dovey of McConnellsburg and Melissa (Garlock) Dovey of Naples, Fla., posted a quotation on Facebook using a quote of her own followed by a Martin Luther King Jr. quote. The entire quote was mistakenly attributed to MLK, and it took a reporter from The Atlantic to draw the attention that eventually solved the mystery.

Dovey, who teaches English in Japan, posted the quotation that immediately “trended” in Facebook and Twitter. She posted on her Facebook status the following,

“I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy. Returning hate for hate multiplies hate, adding deeper darkness to a night already devoid of stars. Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate, only love can do that.”- MLK Jr.

Megan McArdle of The Atlantic then wrote an article in which she established that the Martin Luther King Jr. quotation trending on Twitter was misattributed. She also asked the question that launched hundreds of comments: Assuming the misquote was intentional, why would someone fake an MLK quotation?

After McArdle’s article, hundreds of people worked to locate the source and eventually uncovered the fact that Dovey had written the lead-in to the MLK quote. Her words are “I will mourn the loss of thousands of precious lives, but I will not rejoice in the death of one, not even an enemy.” The remainder of the quotation was then MLK’s.

The posting generated so much interest that McArdle has written another story about Dovey in the May 3 edition of The Atlantic entitled “The (Shy) Woman Whose Words Accidentally Became Martin Luther King’s.”

In the interview with McArdle, Dovey said that the MLK quote has long been a favorite of hers and that it came to her upon hearing of the death of bin Laden. “It definitely felt appropriate at the moment. He said it way better than I could ever say it,” she told the reporter.

Regardless of the mix-up, Dovey says that the messages she has received have all been positive and that she has not gotten any negative responses. She also said it made her proud that before all of the publicity came about, her father had commented that he agreed with the thread. “He taught me to respect life,” she said.

The story ran on the CBS news site, and Dovey has been interviewed by the British Broadcasting Co. (BBC).

In the meantime, all who have Facebook and/or Twitter accounts are sure to have seen the quote, but likely never considered that it originated not only with Martin Luther King Jr., but also with a Fulton County native. The Atlantic story on Dovey can be accessed a t http://www.theatlantic.com/technology/ archive/2011/05/the- shywoman whose-words-accidentall y- became-martin-lutherkings/ 238309/

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