There is something wrong with American media.
With all the biased reporting, dishonest editing, or just outright lying this past year, the quality of news media has declined to unacceptable levels. The organizations that are supposed to be keeping us informed and educated are instead polarizing and preying on our biases to make a quick buck.
Journalists no longer seek truth and report it
They seek controversy and clickbait it
Of course #NotAllJournalists are like this. But there are enough of them in the industry for it to become a problem. Part of it has to do with the revenue model of news organizations switching from steady subscriptions to more ad-revenue based models. And when your organization’s bottom line is dependent on getting users to click your links, the optimal revenue generating strategy is to pander to readers’ biases by polarizing your articles and clickbaiting them. This also creates a hiring bias where organizations would rather save money and hire a less experienced “blogger” than a seasoned journalist well-versed in journalistic ethics.
You may have noticed that three of the links earlier were links to a website called Archive.is, which copies and mirrors another webpage. Visiting and linking to that page deprives the site of clicks and potential ad revenue.
There already is a habit, within certain internet communities, of replacing links to biased media organizations with archive links. It’s a silent form of protest, much like a boycott. How effective is it? I don’t know. I do know it will become more effective the more people start doing it. The only problem is, not everyone links archive links and it’s a hassle to do it yourself.
So, I made a browser extension that makes it easier to do just that.
Biased News Boycotter is plug-and-play and automatically replaces all links to biased (or fake news) media sites with links to the archive instead, anywhere on the web.
Don’t like the default list? You can add or remove sites yourself.
Once enough people are auto-archiving their links, we will make real impact on their bottom lines. We can show these media organizations we will no longer accept bad journalism. We can show them that we value objective, fair reporting more than outrage and controversy. We can show them this, and they will listen once their pocketbooks start hurting.
You can download the extension below: