I could be wrong, but too many times now I am finding that the first page of my Google search results are one point of view regurgitated ad nauseam, often with hauntingly plagiaristic headlines. I’ll lay out a few examples and let you decide.
In response to news on tax cuts, immigration or the latest celebrity shenanigans, I went online and searched generically. You know, so-and-so did whatever. I’d be looking for the facts about what actually happened, but all I seemed to get on the first page of results was negative comments about President Trump. Okay, whatever.
Next example. Even after the much anticipated Mueller Report concluded there was no collusion between Donald Trump and Russia – in fact, no collusion amongst anyone around President Trump – the Google search still seems to call up accusatory bylines. When searching Did Trump Collude with Russia?, the results were:
America is Fine with Collusion; The Trump Russia Affair; Trump’s ties to Russia; Mueller Report – Collusion Findings are Devastating for Trump; Trump Just Colluded With Russia. Openly; The Mueller Report Didn’t Absolve Trump of Collusion; No Collusion? … Read Between the Lines; Investigations Into Allegations That There Was Collusion Between Russian Operatives and Trump Associates (2017);
And the list goes on. These duplicative, and dare I say duplicitous, headlines flowed steadily down the first page of my can I get some true information search query results. Believe it or not, there were no simple answers like: No; Trump and Russia Did Not Collude; No Collusion; After Two Years of Extensive Investigating, No Trump-Russia Collusion; Mueller Found No Collusion.
Yet when I google Tiger Woods wins the tournament and Tiger Woods win I get pages of splashing headlines touting the athletes latest Master’s win with accolades, photos, and videos showing a victorious Tiger. Not that I want the results to show Tiger’s less flattering bylines; it’s just so completely different than my previous example. Why is that?
The first few times this happened I didn’t notice. The second or third time, I shrugged it off as coincidence. But certainly by the fourth incidence, I was starting to get an uneasy feeling that I was being manipulated and force-fed systematically one-sided opinion; or at the very least, one-sided fact reporting.
I am no fool, and my momma taught me that a lie can take many forms; whether it be a lie of commission, omission, or some manipulation of information. It is a form of deceit that damages the reputation of the reporter and the trust of the listener, or in this case, the reader. I am not speaking of opinion pieces or hosts, rather specifically of factual reporting. I am all for opinions being aired, as long as it is clear that’s what you are hearing or reading, and said opinions are not being pushed along in the guise of facts.
So, heads up America, the standard for fairness, objectivity, truth and intellectual honesty is being decimated before our very eyes. We may not be able to stop it from happening, but we have the power to read critically and filter things through our own minds, experiences, and sensibilities. This superpower will protect us from being easily maneuvered and exploited by the overly opinionated and stop the washing-over of solid factual reporting.
#notAfraidToThink #mediaBias #notSheeple #criticalThinking