Okay, this is not an article about cancer or how to cure it in 3 simple steps. Let’s analyze what just happened here. You saw a flashy article headline and clicked on it, because you either believed that cancer could be cured so simply, or you wanted to believe that. (or maybe you just wanted to prove the article wrong)
How often do you scroll through Facebook, or use the internet, and come across articles like these? They lure you in, and this is called clickbait. 9 times out of 10, when analyzing articles like these, you will find the information to be misleading, and in some cases, completely false. Does it matter? No, not really. Not to them at least. You see, regardless if you start believing that or not, you just supported that company. Websites like infowars and naturalnews.com come to mind.
Make ridiculous claims–>people click on your link–>generates income—>repeat.
People become millionaires off of this.
People prey on select groups as well. There are many people out there that have determined that, yes, natural organic food is good for me (which it is) and many people out there that have determined that, yes, the government does lie to me (which they do)
It’s very easy for them to say something like, “The government is lying about vaccinations!” and people will tend to believe it, because they have already personally determined that the government lies to them. So then these mobs of blind followers emerge that support the notion that vaccines are bad without any real kind of evidence to support their way of thinking. (just as an example) This is really dangerous, folks..and the clickbait industry is BOOMING. Don’t you find it scary that millions of people aren’t even sure why they believe in something?
Its a battle for clean information. This battle has always existed, it’s just that the stakes are much higher now, and people’s lives are in clear danger due to misinformation. I mean, if they are wrong about vaccines (which they are) and everyone stops getting vaccinated..imagine how many people will die and be exposed to situations which promote death?
How do we, as the people, move forward and demand clean, informative, non-biased information?
First Step- Educate. We need to teach people how to determine factual information from biased garbage. How to use sources, and how to track sources down to it’s origin.
Second- Boycott. We need to determine which companies and corporations and individuals are bad for our informational health. We need to stop supporting them, through the most direct way- stop clicking.
Third- Establish. We need to establish a trusted go-to for information. Something easy to navigate, understand, and share. (more user-friendly google scholar?)
This is great, thank you for addressing this Alex.
There are now so many sites like HE that do exactly as you said, using every splashy theory just to get visitors. And they are thriving, outcompeting us by a wide margin in the battle of attention. While we have tried some link bait-ish headlines, I personally guarantee we will never publish undocumented and unproven conspiracy theories, cure cancer quackeries or anti-vaccine idiocies just to make a quick buck.
My only hope is that this will get respected and that we will be able to keep existing at all. Posts like this really help, so thank you.
Alex, great points man. There are so many ways to make a topic seem convincing. There are numerous ways to connect the dots and make people believe a certain way. What a lot of people don’t realize is that they’ve made up their minds about something on blind faith, though they would argue with you that it’s not faith and that they’ve been presented with “facts” even though those “facts” are nothing but blogs, articles, and YouTube videos with no verifiable credentials – no real direct evidence.
The scary part is, the longer it continues the harder it becomes to dismantle. As we casually talk about it here, they published 10+ more articles supporting this overlying notion. It puts those who demand facts and the truth in a weird spot. How do you dismantle someones argument when they throw 10000 articles at you, regardless if those articles are factual or not, when all you have is a handful of peer-reviewed studies. It will take you the rest of your life just to dismantle those 10000 phony articles.
Don’t get me wrong- if we wanna talk about intuitive truths- Im all for that. Throw me a youtube video or something, or even a damn meme..but intuition is personal and should never be placed over societal decisions. When we talk science, we need facts
Maybe this is lightly off-topic, but I feel that this issue goes even deeper than this – as rapid research reveals – there’s always new updated information that disproves how we built reality before because “scientists/ doctors said so”. This makes it super hard to stay an active, healthy skeptic for most folks. The way the internet is working, sorry to go all terence mckenna on you, is one finds and therefore creates the proof to solidify a belief, one creates the experience. And when it comes to matters of the heart and mind, two legitimate sources can showcase conflicting opinions. Enter the placebo effect, and what you get is some pretty scary mental enviroment on the internet landscape that is hard to escape if you still want to be using the service. Makes me think of the study where people that got ill and died linked to high stress levels were the people group that believed that stress can cause ill health. All that was is power of encountered INFORMATION/ rumor/ headline/ rather credible medical info/ information.
Am I paranoid for no reason? Sometimes this shit makes me nauseous.