ollie: (Default)
posted by [personal profile] ollie at 10:49am on 16/04/2014
There's a pretty simple criteria I have for removing people from Facebook and twitter and such. They need to hit all three points: (a) constantly posting (b) politically (c) uninformed stuff. I certainly don't mind differing viewpoints, even if I think they're fundamentally wrong. I don't like politics but if it's not a barrage of political stuff, I can easily just scroll by. But recently, as in over the last few years, a number of people have taken a political nose-dive. Former liberals (not that I necessarily consider that a positive thing, being only slightly better than conservatives), have taken a very strong conservative bent. They are openly racist, sexist, and intolerant. Or maybe they're "neo-liberal" which amounts to the same thing. They place their political ideology above all else. "You think the environment is more important than immigration reform? Fuck you, you racist!"

The dilemma for me is personal. I think those people have become they way they have by living in an echo chamber. FoxNews or Tumblr or the like, where they never hear an opposing view. And left with no reason to doubt the dogma, they follow it. So part of it is that I'd like to think that staying in communication with these people, especially online where their bigotry thrives most, would perhaps quell their discrimination. In fact, there's one person whom I did talk to about his sexism, and while I'm not sure how much got through, I think it made him realize that maybe it was worth re-thinking.

At the same time, part of it is selfish. I don't want to fall to the same trap of only hearing what I want to hear. I value differing opinions, even if those opinions are based in religion, superstition, or ignorance. They make me reconsider my opinions, and if I'm wrong, then I've learned something. And if I'm right, I know that much more about why I'm right. Exposing myself to the bigotry I see online may be a bit masochistic, but it's a good reminder as to how much of the world still thinks. I'm best able to criticize something if I'm very well familiar with it.

But it's just too much with some people. There are, sadly, people I feel the need to give up on.

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