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Gail Simone
05-16-2011, 03:04 AM
...that the internet, which was supposed to democratize journalism, has seemingly created a society where no one wants the true, and often painful, face...but rather, just wants to the news that fits their worldview of the moment?

No one seems to want to know what HAPPENED, they want to know how it's their enemies' fault. They want to be told that their prejudices are the morally correct ones.

It's weird that in other, developing nations, we see time and again how the internet is crushing oppression and bringing dictators to their knees. But in wealthy countries, it's empowering a class of people who have no interest in the truth, only a version of events that makes them smug and satisfied. Partisanship is not a virtue, it's something shameful. It's something adults should avoid.

Why don't people want the truth?

sapphoshands
05-16-2011, 03:16 AM
In many developing nations, the general populace search for truths that they hope will improve their lives. In developed countries, the 'ruling classes' suppress truths that would force them to reconsider aspects of their own comfort.

...I swear, off the internet, I'm actually an optimist.

BnL
05-16-2011, 04:24 AM
There's a huge number of people who use the internet to socialize with like-minded people and form communities, because it's difficult for them to do so in "real life." It's a worthy pursuit, IMO. Though I suspect for a lot of these people, their communities have become very insular, because they don't want to deal with their POV being challenged. It's easy to see how that happens. They turned to this venue in the first place in order to connect with people they identify with, because they feel alienated or frustrated by what's around them. So of course they don't want their safe space/escape to be tainted. Obviously, some people take this to an extreme and close themselves off completely from opposing viewpoints.

Infra-Man
05-16-2011, 04:54 AM
People don't want the truth or facts because it's easier to go through life when you disregard them. The world is so simple when it runs the way you believe it should rather than the way it really does.

Lots of people don't want to think critically about what they believe. They don't want to challenge their worldview or even their taste. So they only read one type of commentary or only frequent certain kinds of information outlets, and they only seek out voices who confirm their own ideas about the way of the world. (With social and cultural criticism in particular, many disregard these voices since they have the gall to express an opinion that's different from their own.)

So many people wonder why they should challenge their own beliefs when it involves upsetting or complicating the static, jello-mold of a world in their heads.

ConnorHawke
05-16-2011, 05:09 AM
People are just stubborn as hell. I'm guilty of this too. Occasionally I'll check out a site like MichelleMalkin.com, and basically ignore stories if I think Michelle might be right about something I disagree with. Luckily it doesn't happen very often. And that site, like most of them it seems, is basically her cherry-picking stories or spinning things to suit her readers tastes.

Maybe we're just too comfortable in the West, and we think we can afford to be stubborn about our opinions and stick by our parties like we would a sports team.

I'm sure laziness comes into as well. It's easier to just assume we're right and insult the other side, than to examine whether our opinions are actually correct or not.

Jim Ritchey
05-16-2011, 05:15 AM
...that the internet, which was supposed to democratize journalism, has seemingly created a society where no one wants the true, and often painful, face...but rather, just wants to the news that fits their worldview of the moment?

No one seems to want to know what HAPPENED, they want to know how it's their enemies' fault. They want to be told that their prejudices are the morally correct ones.

It's weird that in other, developing nations, we see time and again how the internet is crushing oppression and bringing dictators to their knees. But in wealthy countries, it's empowering a class of people who have no interest in the truth, only a version of events that makes them smug and satisfied. Partisanship is not a virtue, it's something shameful. It's something adults should avoid.

Why don't people want the truth?

Because brainwashed slaves don't know what to do with freedom--it's too scary.

Patrick Gerard
05-16-2011, 05:30 AM
I suppose my comment in the other thread prompted this somewhat...

... But I think a huge part of it is that any system or philosophy works, any competing truth works, if you're fine with the consequences of that system. Communism, capitalism, racism, sexism. It's not broken if you get the outcome you want and can either live with the damage to other people or don't care.

So people want their view reinforced to absolve themselves of the consequences of getting what they want. Because every action has consequences and every big action has negative ones, whether we're talking taxation and social programs or rampant moneygrubbing.

People want to have their worldview which supports what they want for themselves and/or those they care about, whether they care about their own kids or their dogs or kids dying in third world countries. And they've either made the decision that supporting those things is worth other sacrifices (and get frustrated with people disputing them) or they're really on the fence and don't want to face the ramifications of and costs associated with what they want.

Shurato2099
05-16-2011, 08:10 AM
People want truth when it is helpful to them and turn from it when it is not. Welcome to humanity. On the internet, as with a lot of mass media, there is a practice known as selection and we all do it. With so much information (news, opinion, entertainment, you name it) available so readily it is very easy for a person to select their sources based on how well they fit their world view. It is ridiculously easy to surround one's self with nothing but supporting information, creating a sort of cocoon against everything else and it can be hard to look outside of that. People like to be right, or at least agreed with, so that's the direction they tend to gravitate.

Case in point: us. A lot of us are here because we like Gail: we like her work, we like her opinions, we like the group of friends that has grown up around her. Even if we didn't migrate here from YABS for Gail, we did it for somebody else (or several somebodies) in the group. We share a lot of values and beliefs, we're reasonably articulate and well educated, and most of us would be described as liberal in our thinking. There is a lot of supporting information on this board, a lot of commonality, and so we come here.

Danimal
05-16-2011, 08:20 AM
I'm not sure that news has ever been presented complete free from bias. I just don't think language or human nature makes such a thing possible. The thing with the internet is, it gives people many more options to find more specific viewpoints. It also creates a shield of anonymity where people feel much more comfortable arguing for a point of view than they might in person. Of course, this anonymity coupled with the less personal nature of these interactions gives people much less of a reason to consider opposing viewpoints as they don't need to coexist with the people with whom they interact online. Also, when some people present views in a compelling rhetorical manner, it becomes easier to adopt their language (via copy and paste, providing links, etc) than to explain and expound upon your own view.

AndrewCrossett
05-16-2011, 08:25 AM
It's easier to manipulate people if beliefs are treated as equal to, or even paramount to, facts. Because it's much easier to manipulate beliefs than to disprove facts.

If I argue my position with graphs and charts and studies and footnoted journals, and my opponent argues his with a loud, angry, podium-pounding speech devoid of substance... he's going to win every time, unless the audience is made up entirely of Nobel laureates. Most people want entertainment rather than education, and emotion rather than rationality.

Goebbels' "Big Lie" theory has become the standard that politicians, corporatists and lobbyists now use to create their own "Designer Realities."

Treacle
05-16-2011, 09:33 AM
That's because the news, like the rest of televsion, isn't about telling the truth.

It's about attracting viewers so they can sell advertisements.

Marcdachamp
05-16-2011, 09:34 AM
As someone with a degree in journalism, it's quite frustrating, I have to admit. It's not even just the internet. It's society in general. We're becoming increasingly "okay" with shoddy journalism because it helps our worldview. It's really sad. :(

Deegan
05-16-2011, 10:19 AM
What's worse is that the internet is starting to create search and social networking filtering algorithms to match your perspective and background in life.

Watch this TedTalk to see what I'm talking about. One guy had his conservative friends filtered out on Facebook without knowing it.

http://wimp.com/filterbubbles/

dasNdanger
05-16-2011, 10:38 AM
The Internet has become one huge exaggerated reality show. 'Reality' isn't real anymore - there's no truth in it anymore - it's scripted and edited and biased. Why? Because the truth makes people responsible, and no one wants to be responsible, they'd rather pass the blame onto others so that they look good, or blow stuff out of proportion so that they get all the attention.

das

Paploo
05-16-2011, 03:44 PM
I suppose people are more comfortable with hearing news that's more "entertaining" to them rather than uncomfortable or realistic- so they get nonstop coverage of Donald Trump's political run, or nonstop coverage of celebrities adopting babies. There's too many news networks in the states with too many slots to fill.

Reverend Smooth
05-16-2011, 05:20 PM
When you have nothing to lose, truth usually helps you gain something, usually from those who have a lot to lose.

When you're one of those with a lot to lose, guess what your response is going to be?

Shurato2099
05-16-2011, 05:27 PM
I'm gonna go with D: offer them cake.

That works, right? :)