To Link or Not to Link

There are often times where we want to comment on an article, video, comment, etc, but we do not want to give more value to the creator. This is where we will often find comments discussing an issue followed by, but I don’t want to link to it because I don’t want to give them more views. It is an interesting struggle when discussing posts that we might find reprehensible, racist, misogynistic, sexist, etc. I want to emphasize this is not just information that we disagree with, but media that takes an idea beyond the line that most would consider reasonable. The best example would be an comments that you read by trolls, but even those are not necessarily as bad.

The problem with linking to these ideas is the question of do we just give them more views and potentially give value to their voice by spreading it. At the same time by not linking to it, how do we allow others to understand what we are discussing if we do not link to it. 

To Link

If you are going to comment, critique, or discuss a particular media you should allow the media to speak for itself. You can try and describe the other person or groups perspective, but if you disagree with their point of view will you distort it by your own bias? I guess the question partially is if you believe what they are saying is so bad do you think it is worth it to allow their voice to be heard. At the same time part of what is great about the Internet is the ability for everyone to have a say no matter how fringe their ideas might be. In some ways the fringe ideas can help show that maybe there still is an issue. If we talk a lot about certain bad ideas existing in the world, but do not or cannot show current places where the ideas are being spread then how do we legitimize our argument.

This sounds like a backwards thought, but there are a lot of times where people will try to shrug off certain issues or say that it is not that big of deal. Yet, if they actually saw what some people are saying they might understand why the issue is so important.

Not To Link

I completely understand the desire to not link to articles or other media that we find completely ludicrous. We do not want to perpetuate thoughts that we so strongly disagree with and by linking to it we are helping spread the message. There is a reason that people say any publicity is good publicity. I do not know if it is entirely true, but maybe we can talk about the other side of the issue without drawing attention to problematic media.If the media is really problematic and does more harm than the good of allowing others to read it then maybe it is better to not link to it.

Sometimes I think we link to things because it is the same reason we slow down to watch an accident. We cannot help but watch the wreckage.We want to read the comments, but often it is better to ignore such things. It is the same thing we say about comments from trolls, which is do not engage and just ignore. Many times these problematic ideas come from people who do not want to hear another side and will not be swayed. So linking to them does more for the problem then your response to it.

It Depends

In the end whether you link or do not link is up to you. It depends on how bad you think the original item is and whether people viewing said item is important or not. At the same time reading one of these really horrendous articles did lead to my favorite comment from a guest, “The stupidity here physically hurts.”

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