Do you get your news from mainstream media and social media? They're not all bias free - both of them. They're about as entertaining and accurate as Ron Burgundy on most issues (Image: buzzmachine.com).

Mainstream media - as this year's election race has proven (Highlights: Biased reports and networks, usage of false statistics, faked Syrian War footage, leaked debate questions) - is politically aligned and in lock-step with their political party. The news they feed you is politically tinted, littered with false statistics, and biased. Quality journalism, on the other hand, is objective and bias free, and should enable you to form your own opinion based on their objective reporting.

Social media - as several incidents this year (Highlights: Zuckerberg and Merkel, YouTube banning conservative yet perfectly objective videos, Google manipulating search results) have proven - has its own political interests that they maintain. They feed you information based on your searches (Google, Facebook).

That's where the issue starts.

Filter bubbles are a result of a personalized or customized search in which a website algorithm determines what you would like to see based on your searches or your personal information; this results in a NewsFeed that is swamped with posts pertaining to your particular ideology. You effectively become isolated in your own little ideological bubble: your filter bubble - and see no opposing or disparate viewpoints.

Critical thinking requires you to assess opposing or disparate viewpoints. How are you going to do so if you're only ever exposed to stuff that agrees with you? Individuals then become used to concept of people always agreeing with them and develop the incorrect notion that everyone thinks the same way they do - when in fact many do not. This leads to even more fallacies - faulty reasoning - in their critical thinking.

Intelligent discourse means being open minded, listening to different educated opinions, and participating in free and intelligent academic discourse. Being surrounded by your own ideology makes it difficult for you to then accept or even listen to different perspectives - the thought of other people holding a viewpoint dissimilar from your own may stun you. The very notion of others holding views not similar to your own – which you have been conditioned to think are flawless and correct by indoctrination via filter bubble – makes you uncomfortable. Many cannot tolerate a diversity of opinion – because of course their viewpoint is ultimately correct and how dare others have a differing viewpoint. And note that a common fallacy littering mainstream Press and Social Media is the Unsupported Assertion: claims are made without supporting evidence.

Exposure to disparate ideologies will help root out flaws in your own thinking and expand your critical thinking abilities: which will then strengthen your argument and your ability to make sound arguments. 

Don’t brainwashed by false, biased news.

Be brainwashed by accurate facts and statistics instead. 

 

Published by Cat Regrets