Well, Newsvine is shutting down. It’s the end of an era and a prime example of how embracing blind tolerance can be crippling. One should not tolerate a lie just as one should not tolerate cancer. For democracy to survive it requires the truth. Garbage in equals garbage out. Lies are a cancer that threaten our nation like nothing we’ve seen before.
Newsvine allowed the truth to be sabotaged by tolerance. At first it was just that one had to be polite, regardless of what was posted. It was alright to feed someone arsenic as long as you did it politely and with a smile. At first there were a lot of liberals and conservatives that were really interested in an honest debate. Then it became infested with roaches that would scatter to other threads when you shined the light of truth on them. Their arguments never changed and were simply scripts. Real people learn from their mistakes and they change their arguments accordingly; sometimes to support and sometimes to counter. These didn’t change. That was a warning sign that Newsvine failed to recognize. It was a sign that marketers were starting to take over their board. I often felt like I was talking to a cigarette exec explaining why his product killed people. It’s a pointless waste of time.
By sacrificing the truth to politeness, Newsvine created a language which if not understood could get one banned. It was exploited by savvy individuals who knew the “tolerant” language and used it to get rid of people who didn’t share their narrative. One was perfectly fine if they posted demonstrably false and inflammatory content as long as they used the correct words. However, if someone slipped and called that person a liar, which they were, they would be banned. Fuck the truth, just don’t be rude. Unfortunately, that ended the tenure of some interesting people with unique opinions that that were far more valuable that the trolls that removed them. The cesspool began to grow.
I used to have great discussion with people on Newsvine. Now all I can do is to talk to the choir which is pointless, because I don’t need to convince them. There used to be conservatives who truly were interested in an honest discussion. In fact, several of them changed my mind. That’s the way it should be. Honest people look for the truth, whatever that might be. The only difference between an honest liberal and conservative is that they see the truth from different angles. Unfortunately, the radical trolls, who were just here to market a product, poisoned it for everyone. They created dissention which ended up being reflected on those with certain labels. Moderate conservatives began to be attacked by the ire created by dishonest radicals. Unfortunately, even disavowing their relationship to the radicals didn’t reduce the attacks. Thus, Newsvine lost another set of interesting people and again reinforced the radical spam and built up the cesspool.
The final straw for me was “Nations.” This has got to be the stupidest idea that Newsvine ever had. Instead of cleaning up the discussions they created silos where people could publicly say whatever they wanted without challenge. You couldn’t even do it politely. It allowed liars to guard the truth. Today we call it conformational bias and we can see it on every Facebook page. I don’t know if this was simply out of laziness or they were trying to cut expenses by allowing the community to moderate content. Whatever it was they made their board indistinguishable from Facebook who had a lot of other benefits they didn’t have. Had they kept this open to honest discussion then they would have something that set them apart, but they chose to follow the crowd and did it badly. Now the cesspool was complete and the only ones you could have a discussion with was the choir itself and that’s pointless.
In the end Newvine failed because it embraced conformational bias and did it badly. There were many opportunities to make themselves unique and be a place where people could find the truth. If I want confirmation bias, then I’ll just go to my Facebook page. At least there I know there are some liberals and conservatives with honest opinions. Newsvine became nothing more than an anonymous social media site done badly. They abandoned truth and debate. That’s what attracted me eight years ago, I’m glad to see them go. They’re a dinosaur that simply refused to move with the times and were eventually destroyed by their own arrogance.