The Internet May Suck, But So Does This Article
from the professional-trolls dept
Almost a year to the day after Forbes came out with their hilarious blog bashing piece that made a lot more sense if you read it as satire (even if that wasn’t intended), we have a similar case up in Canada, with a well-known (if neglected) news magazine declaring that the Internet sucks. It’s kicked off quite a debate among some bloggers (and the journalist himself) — but like the Forbes piece, this new one makes a lot more sense if you read it as satire. Think of it as an attempt to show just why the internet sucks as a medium for publishing news, by coming out with a piece that is so weak in its arguments, no one could possibly take it seriously. Of course, then you realize the piece isn’t actually for the internet, but was originally published as the cover story in the magazine and you’re left scratching your head again.
Basically, it’s a professional trolling effort by a magazine that apparently has been losing its audience and has been unable to turn around its decline. You can go through the article, paragraph by paragraph, and point out the typical trolling techniques, from taking stories completely out of context to taking the words of a few and pretending that the entire world ascribed to that view to stretching the truth to misunderstanding economics and legal issues. What you end up with is a bunch of basically smoke and mirrors that can be summarized thusly: the internet sucks because (a) a couple people said it would do amazing things but (b) there’s a lot of really crappy stuff and stuff I, personally, don’t agree with (c) therefore what those people said is wrong. It’s the equivalent of me saying: Henry Ford claimed automobiles would change the world, but with the growth of roads, we now have traffic pollution, accidents, and it’s harder for me to ride my horse around. Therefore, Henry Ford is wrong and automobiles haven’t done anything good at all. Man, automobiles suck. The logical fallacy is pretty astounding, and since even the support of that logical fallacy is built on such weak legs. With a good troll, usually the supporting material has a basis in reality, and then there’s one small thing that’s wrong. In this case, almost every paragraph has a glaring problem. In his defense, the author of the piece claims he wasn’t trying to be “balanced” but thought-provoking. About the only thought he provoked was whether or not he actually believed anyone would buy his weak argument. In the end, he didn’t do much of a job convincing me that the internet sucked, but that his article does, indeed, suck.