There’s an awful lot of fake outrage out there.
In the parlance of political writing—whether of the right or the left—the vast majority of what the web based and traditional media decides is worthy of reporting on and what isn’t, is driven by what type of emotional response it can generate from people.
The old catch phrase from the 80’s “If it bleeds, it leads” seems to have transformed in our own micro media saturated day to “If it creates a feeling of outrage in the reader, then it gets clicks.”
It’s not as catchy or as rhythmic, but you get the point.
The fact of the matter is, relevant, interesting, and tough decisions are made every day regarding conflicting desires that impact people in real ways: in their homes, their jobs, their civic and religious lives, and many other realms. These decisions deserve to be reported on via the web. I remember the great promise of content on the web—that it would be factual, long form, considered and consistent—rather than what it has turned out to be—clickbaity trash designed to engender an emotional response in a reader.
I have succumbed to the siren song as well—I am a writer, a content creator, a publisher, a marketer and a consumer. The key question in battling the rise—and spread—of fake outrage, is “What’s my role in perpetuating the problem?”
I’m going to struggle with this for the next year and when I have an answer, I’ll write about it here.
-Peace Be With You All-
Jesan Sorrells, MA
Principal Conflict Engagement Consultant
Human Services Consulting and Training (HSCT)
Email HSCT: firstname.lastname@example.org