Internet has become a medium of great importance. It is a medium (the only medium perhaps) where a person can voice his opinion (in the form of an article, a video or an audio post) and this voice is completely independent. Yes, there is always the fear of being ignored but at least one can write what one wants. The expression can be completely honest and you can publish as much and as many times as you want.
This of course comes with its perils. The biggest peril obviously is the abundance of lies that the internet is filled with.
I mean this should be the first rule of Internet. Do not believe what you see. I can right now write anything I want- I can compare how I am equivalent to the Hulk in so many ways and post it on the internet. There is no censorship and thus there is no dearth of people who misuse it.
Here, I am not talking about criminal minded people. I am not discussing about crackers creating worms or viruses. Nor am I talking about stalkers or child abusers. I am talking about the simpler things – Writing something completely fake just to see if people believe it, making an account with Wikipedia just so that you can wrong a few rights which hurt someone.
Or maybe abuse someone you do not like- An actor perhaps or a politician maybe.
In this ocean of crap, a few do float above the rest.
These content creators have made their image by consistently delivering us with something that has been proved authentic by induction. Their consistency gives us hope that we can trust them. This might be a site held by a big company – like a news portal perhaps (BBC, EspnCricinfo etc) or it might be individual blogs that are held by a single person or has editors and thus maintains completely strict content quality (xkcd, betanews, trak.in etc.)
In the world of Internet though, there is a thing called hate speech. For example, if someone doesn’t like my article or does not agrees with me he can write in the comments. Or he might mention me in an article of his/her and say I was wrong. This is the way general newspapers or everything except internet works (because of editors and censorship).
On the internet, this person can write a completely negative overview of my life (with choicest words) and publish it and I might end up defending why I did not feed my dog three years back on the fifth Saturday of February. Ignoring is not always a good option and nor is retaliation. For example, check out this new “oatmeal” comic- link. He wrote a full page retaliation to an article wrote about him.
The truth is; there will always be nasty comments, bad reviews and outright whiplashes. Due to this, it becomes very difficult to gauge whether a review or any such thing authentic or fake. Something similar problem is faced in reviews of apps or other products sold on the internet.
It is very difficult to know which reviews are authentic!
What are your views on the matter?
[This post has been contributed by Kunal Prakash]