Art Carden  

Are Your Clicks More Powerful Than Your Votes?

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At the beginning of the year, I tweeted The Clickbait Pledge:

I therefore found the TED talk below very interesting, and it raises a question: are clicks ultimately more powerful (and more influential) than votes? What do you think? How might we apply (say) Jason Brennan's The Ethics of Voting to responsible media consumption?

What do you think?

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COMMENTS (3 to date)
Jason writes:

I'm proud to say that I still don't know what the Gmail trick that will blow my mind and wish I discovered years ago and that trainers hate is.

Shane L writes:

I didn't know about your pledge, Art, but I salute you for that. I also won't click on reputable news sources when they cover high school shootings. I tend to avoid clicking on news stories about sensational terrorist attacks too until at least a few days have passed and the story has receded a little.

I presume school shooters and terrorists deliberately seek attention and horror, they do these horrific things in the understanding that media will promote them and readers will be excited and shocked by them. Like the bogeyman, attention-seeking murderers and terrorists lose their potency when you yawn and look away; your indifference makes a future attack less likely.

Sieben writes:

When someone says something inflammatory and insensitive on the internet...

50%: Just trying to get a rise out of you because they think it's funny that you get worked up so easily

49%: Anti-signaling to register their disapproval and non-affiliation with people who actually find it necessary to remind us that rape, sexism, and racism are bad.

1%: Are actually hateful and want society to seriously disenfranchise a certain group

So it looks like I identify with 99% of "hateful" statements made on the internet. So it really bothers me when people complain about how nasty the internet is. It's not. I think deep down they know it's not, but that the opportunity to say: "look at all those horrible racists!" is too good for political bullies to pass up.

By the way, the 1% of people on the internet who really do believe misanthropic things are generally more eloquent and don't find it productive to go around calling black women the n-word on twitter. Kind of like how serious anarchists don't find it productive to simply call the president and congressmen "statists".


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