(Spectator) Ed West–Internet news is driving us apart, not bringing us together

Not everyone is so keen to join in, which is why The Guardian has been offering readers the chance to switch off all coverage of royalty with a ”˜republican’ button. It’s an interesting foretaste of newspapers tailoring news and comment towards an individual’s own interests. Facebook and Google already use filter bubbles, so that news feeds ”˜edit out’ the updates of people whose links you’re less likely to click on, in my case those Leftie friends’ posts about 38 degrees. They become like just a vague whisper of Thought for the Day on a radio turned down: you can sort of tell by the sanctimonious tone that your mate is having a go at the Tories about something, but only vaguely.

Newspapers have always focused on news and comment that appeals to the readers’ prejudices, but online news services can target their customers a lot more accurately. Reading that our prejudices are correct gives us a little dopamine hit, so a site that delivers that service has an advantage. The internet offers news designed towards self-actualisation, just like any other form of consumerism, and this explains why people get increasingly angry at the BBC, which can’t do all those things; Republicans are furious at the Beeb’s tone only because they’re so used to hearing news that confirms their views rather than being exposed to others.

Read it all.


Posted in * Culture-Watch, * International News & Commentary, Blogging & the Internet, England / UK, Media

3 comments on “(Spectator) Ed West–Internet news is driving us apart, not bringing us together

  1. Milton Finch says:

    I think the internet is the catalyst to people finding out just how one way the corporate “vetted” news was and is. It is the fruit of the civilized garden of which we were to never partake. We were supposed to leave that to the folks that are deemed “figure” enough to present it to the people. We, soon thereafter, noticed that good ole propaganda goes on even after it is found out to be the cancer it is and in a place where it should never have been…in the good ole USA. Why does internet always capitalize itself on spellcheck? Why is it called “itself” by “me” as if it has become a devilish entity?

  2. Emerson Champion says:

    #1 Milton, I got my first satellite dish (one of the old 10 foot “C/Ku” band monsters) during the first Gulf War. The network backhauls were in the clear, and there was an amazing difference between the raw footage and the edited version that appeared on the evening news. And not just from the gulf, but from any remote site.

  3. Milton Finch says:

    CNN was considered the go-to operation. I thought that was gritty. When the internet came along, everybody had a voice again…and the liberal machine hates that they no longer have the monopoly. The conservative values stopped draining into the massive liberal desire, and war has begun. We see the machine and the control for what it is. The blinders are off and liberalism is thrashing, gnashing mad. It is Faux news this and Faux news that, but that horse has left the barn. That toothpaste is not going back in the tube. It is WAY passed Fox. That is even tame compared to what is out there!