The Internet Makes Democracy Crumble?
from the oh,-right dept
You ever read something and thing “yeah, that’s interesting…” before you realize that it has no basis in reality? Well, that’s what I felt like after reading this review of a book called Republic.com. The point of the book, apparently, is that the internet has the power to wipe out democracy – since people can filter stuff down to just the news they’re interested in, and just the biases they’re interested in. The theory being that people with insane extremist views find like minds which only encourages them to block out all other thoughts. So, now we should shut down the internet because wackjobs can find other wackjobs there? No, instead the author thinks that extremist websites should be forced to put links to opposing viewpoints. Here’s where the reality problem sets in. Yeah, like that’s going to happen. My view is that part of being an intelligent, critical thinking adult is to be able to make judgments for yourself – and to know not to believe everything you read. If you read something extremist you should know to go look at other viewpoints. It’s not like the crazy extremists are suddenly going to realize they’ve been wrong because the KKK posts a link to the anti-defamation league.