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11 January, 2005

Trust no-one

Beancounters offers a parody of Kevin Smith's 'Clerks', as if scripted by BoingBoing.
It's very well observed, but I was a little disturbed to realise it highlights a lapse in my natural scepticism.

I like BoingBoing; I read it more-or-less daily. I tend to agree with many of the authors' preoccupations, and think they're the 'good guys' in many (but not all) campaigning issues. That's great, and is unlikely to change, but I think I've been lulled into accepting that an account of a given event tends to be a fair, accurate summary of the true situation because it's in BoingBoing, or that BoingBoing's interpretation of a news item tends to be the correct one. I started to trust.

A trivial example is that when I first visited, I did see that one of the main sponsors of the site, SuicideGirls, is devoted to topless pin-ups for 'the alt community'. That's nothing I personally find offensive (nor attractive, either), so I'd stopped noticing, even whenever a BoingBoing article linked to content at SuicideGirls, which would normally raise questions about editorial impartiality. I don't object to the sponsor, and don't think there's a genuine conflict of interests, what concerns me is my failure to register that there might be.

I must have said this before ('cos it's important to me): whatever your choice of information source, always question it. Question its ability to access all aspects of an issue. Question its assumptions. Question its motivations. Take nothing on trust alone. Visit totally different information sources too, for a different perspective.

Comments

Question everything!

Posted by Howard McEwen at January 12, 2005 02:28 AM

Aye, that's right.

But don't take my word for it ;)

Posted by NRT at January 12, 2005 10:11 AM

Does that mean I have to read The Guardian and The Mail?

Please, dear God, no. Not The Mail

Posted by Siobhan at January 12, 2005 12:17 PM
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