The Media’s Purpose Is to Cater to the Confirmation Bias Needs of Its Consumers

The great commenter Francis Miville on the subject of censorship and the media.

Francis Miville: The great many who subscribe to any press organ (newspaper, magazine, journal, review…) don’t want to get any new information, they rather look for the pleasure of seeing their bias or preconceived ideas confirmed by greater numbers. Whatever you might think the success of any media, consumer count, the only figure that counts when it comes to this sort of thing alone, is proportional to that organ’s success in catering to confirmation bias.

When having a sunbath on a beach I always marveled at the way other sunbathers knew how to unfold their papers above their heads as a kind of near-perfect parasol, to protect themselves against light itself, that is to say against truth itself, against self-questioning among others. In such conditions it is no use to complain about censorship, as the right kind of censorship is the only merchandise most consumers seek.

Yourself who so painstakingly maintain a space of free discussion in certain subjects would feel most pestered if nearly all comments you received were texted in the name of various religions, like bible-thumping Christianity, Saudi-sponsored Islam, and neo-Hindu caste-promoting New Age.


Many complain that people in busses, subway tunnels, and metro trains look like zombies as they are isolated in their bubble forming around their computer phone, but hadn’t all of humanity already been enclosed in the private space formed by their wide-open paper and wide-shut eyes for over a century whenever they managed to get hold of a seat in public transportation?

The NYT has never been anything else than a safe space you deploy around your head so as  to protect yourself from the yokels and yahoos that rather bask in the rumors echoed by tabloids. You might find my point of view quite a bit influenced by sociobiology, but the problem is that sociobiology has been common practice in news marketing long before it got theorized about in higher learning institutions.

Press organs are safe spaces protected from undesirable messages and are sold as such. The first big social network, Facebook, very explicitly sold off as a safe space you could control at last so as to allow yourself to be on Internet without having to bother passing unwanted references and thereby suffering the risk of being exposed to unpleasant alternate views before arriving at your desired destination.

Censorship has a great future because protection from unsafe spaces is what is being sold and sought after by both rich and poor.

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