Everyone is so angry these days, right? Not necessarily. While there are plenty of legitimate things to be angry about, here’s how sites can turn a relatively mundane event into a “controversy” everyone comments on.
Photo by Seth Woodworth.
As writer Parker Molloy explains on Medium, the process to go from “This happened” to a controversy that “everyone” is talking about is pretty startlingly easy. Someone posts a thing that was either mildly annoying or even just amusing to a site like Twitter, some sites pick it up and bill it as “people are outraged,” when in reality there may be only four or five people discussing it.
At this point, those commenting out the story — perhaps even how ridiculous it is! — outnumber the original group of people who were “outraged” to begin with. Yet, at this point the story takes on a life of its own.
It’s an important thing to keep in mind when a story crosses the wire that seems really controversial but isn’t. It takes very few examples from Twitter or Instagram to make it seem like a particular group of outraged individuals is large or organised, and it’s very easy to find four or five people on the internet who agree with any controversial idea.
The entire piece is good food for thought when reading any story about how a “movement” or group has become outraged on a certain topic. There are certainly a lot of large groups of people who are outraged by things they want to change. However, not every story is big just because a news site says it is.