Stating The Obvious #139 – Clicks are more important than accuracy. “Trust Me, I’m Lying” by Ryan Holiday – part 1 of 2
I just finished reading the book Trust Me I’m Lying Confessions Of A Media Manipulator written by Ryan Holiday. This podcast will mostly be about the things he discusses in that book and variations on those themes.
Why is this shit important? Because false knowledge creates false realities.
How to get your information regardless of its truthfulness into the mainstream media.
1. Send your information regardless of its truthfulness to smalltime bloggers looking to make a name for themselves. They will not verify whether or not your information is either true or important.
2. Larger blogs will pick up this information from the smaller blogs because larger blogs are on an even worse deadline and have even less time to actually fact check any information.
3. The major news media will see the information in the larger blogs and assume that it’s true and run with it.
The link economy. Why linking to another website is not the same thing as doing research or verifying.
On the internet accuracy doesn’t matter. Being first and getting clicks matters. Sharing matters. You get clicks and shares by being sensational not by being accurate. You can lie your ass off ’cause no one will remember. People have short attention spans. The Messiah promised to close Guantanamo but no one remembers that.
The myth of corrections. It actually benefits bloggers to publish false information and then to publish corrections. Most people don’t actually read corrections. They read a blog post and then never go back to that website again. But if they do go back to read the corrections this generates additional hits for the website.
Blogging websites are driven by the number of hits. Not the quality of their content.
Snark as a replacement for reasoning.
Much blogging isn’t about any type of useful news you can act upon, it’s about the process of blogging or sharing. Example all of the blog post about how the Osama bin Laden murder was broken on twitter. Osama bin Laden being killed is somewhat useful information. The fact that Osama bin Laden’s death was first announced on twitter is simply bullshit masquerading as useful information.
Yellow press versus the subscription model. Context and reputation matter.
A real-life example of many of these things in action along with the absurdities of “intellectual property”.