Analysis of Alvin Goldman's Views on the Blogosphere and Its Disadvantages

Published: 2021-09-13 08:05:10
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Category: Computer Science

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Alvin Goldman demonstrated the disadvantages of blogs and the blogosphere in his article, “The Social Epistemology of Blogging. His arguments centered around questioning the validity and reliability of the information obtained from blogs. The first argument raised was that the blogosphere demonstrated information that was not filtered, and that information requires different levels of filtration to make it reliable. He went further to point out the different types of filtering by describing two examples of filtering, one considering scientific journals and the other the trial procedure system. Scientific journals are filtered, they go through a peer review process and it is decided whether the journal gets published or not (Goldman, 2008, p.7)
He explained that a novice does not have the skills to separate what and which online information is reliable; For this reason, the chances of an individual having access to false information is very high because of this, relying on information from the mainstream media is better because information is filtered by professionals. This was further explained in his statement that the advantage of having the news delivered by dedicated, well-trained professionals in a rigorous journalistic enterprise is that the filtering performed before dissemination generates a high level of reliability among stories actually reported” (Goldman, 2008, p. 8). Another argument he made was comparing the blogosphere to the legal system. He pointed out that unlike in blogosphere the court system’s legal proceedings is overlooked by a judge who abides by rules of evidence. In the trial system, there are the jurors, which are the receivers, the judge, who is the gatekeeper and the senders are the witnesses who can testify. These practices allow the people to determine the truth (Goldman, 2008, p.6). The blogosphere lacks the control and neutrality. In the court, the jurors are required to listen to both sides displaying a quality of neutrality. This does not appear to be the case in the blogosphere because readers appear to lean towards blogs they deem most interesting, thereby forming partial opinions about it (Goldman, 2008.p. 9).
Goldman also identified the issue of polarization in politics, he explained that the highly polarized citizens would be highly motivated thereby gathering evidence and reporting information in blogs, whereas people that are less polarized will not devote as much energy to collecting information and sharing it on the internet thereby making the opposition team look bad by the highly polarized citizens (Goldman, 2008, p.10).
I think Goldman’s argument and conclusion is justified. The popularity and use of blogs appears to be increasing today, this means that the chances of false information is increasing too. I believe that information requires filtering by the gatekeepers and skills by trained professional before it is being shared or published online. This will provide room for validity and reliability for readers.

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