Everyone On the Internet has an Agenda
By Leo Notenboom
Far too often agendas on the internet are confused with ‘gospel truth’. Arm yourself with healthy skepticism.–PC Pitstop
Stop spreading manure
Perhaps most importantly, stop believing it.
Once again, there’s been another brouhaha. This time, it’s over reports that Google blatantly admits that you should have no expectation of privacy whatsoever when using their services. The internet went crazy. Many sources seemed to say, “How outrageous! We told you so! Google is evil!” Mainstream news outlets picked up stories from smaller publishers and they all seemed to confirm the entire, sordid mess.
Except the internet was wrong. Manure, to use a polite term, was being spread far and wide fast.
And that’s where things get complicated.
Everyone has an agenda
In the popular television series House, Dr. Gregory House is often quoted as saying “everyone lies.”
On the internet, a similar statement can be made: everyone has an agenda.
Every website, news organization, and every person sending an email, publishing a newsletter, or just posting a comment has an agenda of some sort. They have something that they want you to do, think, or become.1
All too often the agenda being promoted is … inconsistent (for lack of a better word) … with reality.
Salesman with an agendaIn other words, the information that you present is almost always colored by that agenda. People highlight facts that support a particular agenda, while facts that don’t are conveniently minimized or completely ignored. In the worst case, people even fabricate “facts” to support their agenda.
Yes, not everyone, but some people on the internet actually lie. Perhaps more than you think.
And to be honest, we all do it. Not lie, that is (I would hope), but we color what we say and do with the data that supports our beliefs and opinions. Often to the exclusion of objective evidence that might point out the unthinkable…
That we are wrong.
This excerpt appears with permission from Leo Notenboom.