The Plague of Mis-information

10 Apr

Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar. Edward R. Murrow

If there is one thing we struggle with, it is the amount of misinformation out there. As an organization, we are subscribed to blog results from both Bloglines and Google Blogsearch on every domain and sitename we operate (Technorati RSS feeds seem to update without any new updates, so those are manually checked).

It is absolutely stunning how people can get simple things totally wrong. Not only that, but many people somehow equate all websites with free-speech. It simply boggles their mind that is my site – I can do whatever I want with it.

But my two points here are different. The problem I am talking about is bloggers often times would rather be loud and wrong than anything else. Too often stories spread that shouldn’t have been even repeated. And not only do they spread, but they get more sensationalist as people try to drive traffic to their site. Case in point: Muslims & the Apple NYC cube. The original (unsourced) story was some muslim was suppousedly offended by the apple cube story. It suddenly morphed into ‘Muslim community offended by Apple NYC cube. Our subtle jab and the stupidity of the story and sensationalism was met with incredulity, as if we were promoting an agenda. In the end, the source turned out to be a forum posting. Some random idiot on a random forum morphed into the Muslim community. And I still see this bloody story mentioned.

While politics is the breeding ground of misinformation (eg Barack Obama was raised as a radical Muslim), its disgusting how this has spread into every facet of our lives.

A recent blog post (which ended up with 20+ comments) recently insinuated that Blog Flux deliberately does not have categories for ethnicities. That we were deliberately stifling people who blog around ethnicities.

I was absolutely floored. Hell, I’m an ethnic minority (and have received my fair share of racism). Instead of even bothering to ask us (or suggest), they instead decided to publicly suggest we were just a bunch of stifling racists. Fantastic.

There are far too many prominent bloggers who spout out ‘facts’ without even doing more than a cursory look at what they are talking about. Frankly, its gone on too long.

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