What do you do when you come across a post with the headline – “Something Crazy Strange Was Just Done By ‘Insert Side Here'”. You usually click like and move on. Or even share. According to the stats currently available people mostly don’t read them. And when they do, they mostly don’t check for sources. And even if they do that, most are okay so long as the sources come from other youtube channels, facebook pages, or partisan sources that they agree with. And so it all boils down to being told what to believe by unsourced sources.
But they have facts, you say, while taking the chance to pat yourself on the back. They are real data!
Sometimes. One thing you notice is that many of them, if you follow the “sources” to find the “sources”, aren’t sourced at all. Sometimes the data is pure bullshit, other times it comes from a single book or site, or adamantly partisan ones. And often, when it does come from a real research group, it is manipulated to prove a point. If percentages don’t fit your agenda, you switch to raw numbers. And vice versa. A lot is discounted and ignored in order to fit into the agenda of the propagandist – unwillingly or not.
In our modern global community it is important for us all to find the sources. It is important for us to follow them and to discount those youtube videos, “news” articles, and posts that can’t put them up. It is important for us to vet everything very deeply before we accept some channel or newsrag as reliable. Because when we don’t, we become part of the problem.
Don’t fall into the trap. If you are going to believe things and vote, follow the data trail. And don’t accept YouTubers, Articles, and Bloggers who don’t cite their data properly!