14 Apr 2008

Selective interpretation

Not so long ago, I blogged about about how the editor-in-chief for the International Herald Tribune was lamenting on the role of the internet: as a conduit for like-minded individuals to find and agree with each other.

Recently, Farhad Manjoo, staff writer for Salon.com, revisited the subject on a US public service program. He says that new media such as blogs and social networks make it easier for people to ignore objective facts and rely on ‘truths’ that match their own individual beliefs.

He calls this phenomenon selective interpretation.

Manjoo says that in the past you couldn't seek out media that comported with your beliefs because there were not that many choices. Modern media however with all its choice makes selective interpretation much easier.

Basically selective interpretation makes it possible for people to question or deny a host of well-documented facts like global warming or the holocaust.

“You can’t tell people that their truth is not true. With the internet, it is now possible to go out and find the ‘truth’ that matches your beliefs,” says Manjoo.

In this modern media world, we don’t have to trust facts anymore because somewhere out there, there is someone with exactly the ‘facts’ that I am looking for.


1 comment:

Anonymous said...

'Truthiness' at its best.