Some people say that the internet does more harm than good. What is your view?

Some people say that the internet does more harm than good. What is your view? by Tony Garcia

Answer by Tony Garcia:

The internet is a cornucopia of information. However, unlike traditional media, the internet’s unfettered access and lack of checks and balances leave the online reader to constantly wade through the muck presented by hucksters, charlatans, zealots, pseudoscientists and rumor- and hatemongers.

A story in the Atlantic Monthly illustrates the spurious nature of the internet. There was a story posted on Twitter that a young man had been killed in a scuffle over a new pair of Nikes. But when two Baltimore Sun reporters investigated, they found that the story was fiction. (1)

Internet trolls decry people who correct their falsehoods, yet they themselves lambaste traditional media for its inaccurate reporting. Where fact-checking occurs and comments are rendered exposing misinformation on the internet, sites like Quora allow rebuttals disparaging those who offered the corrections. Thus truth for its own sake is disregarded in favor of the more salacious or disreputable lie—self-aggrandisement being more important than admitting to one’s error, witting or not.

Is the internet bad? Only in the sense that some people will use the medium to perverse means. What the internet should do is cause one to think more critically and even more skeptically about what one reads there, especially when the material supports one’s preconceived notions.

There are always people who will preach to the choir, regardless of the medium. When reading anything on the internet, be willing to sing your own aria.

(1) Truth, Lies, and the Internet

Some people say that the internet does more harm than good. What is your view?

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