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If you can’t back up what you say, don’t say it!

September 16, 2010

This is a bit of a minor rant as I have noticed a theme among certain bloggers. That is, they do not allow responses that contradict their posts.

Over the past couple of years, I have made several responses to blog posts disagreeing with and pointing out errors in the original posting. The posts have been on a range of subjects, 9/11 conspiracy, anti-vaccine, moon hoax, and a few others I can’t remember off the top of my head. Each time I have been polite, not used any offensive language, not insulated the poster in any way and, in my own opinion, been respectful of their position while pointing out where they are wrong and why I disagree with them.

The pattern that I see is that people who have blogged an opinion, which is wrong, but they adhere to strongly are not open to counter argument. The bit about them being wrong is important because I have noticed that bloggers who make an effort to put up informed opinion on the subjects I have mentioned who are right, tolerate a varied range of responses. I have even seen a note on a post to say offensive bits have been edited out, but the essence of the reply remained.

Okay, its hardly scientific and its only my personal observations from a select number of blogs that I have read or responded to.

I find it very intriguing that there is a type of blogger who can’t or won’t deal with an alternative viewpoint. The fact that my observations show that its only those who espouse a provably incorrect point of view that do this is even more fascinating.

Two of my failed postings have resulted in blog posts of my own. Of course I included a track-back to the original post and no my track-back was not approved either.

I am sure psychologists will have an explanation for why this is, but I thought I would ponder on it myself.

They know they are wrong?

It can’t be because they know they are wrong, because that just does not make sense. Who would put up a serious post aimed at putting across facts and explaining to readers why they should hold a particular opinion, knowing them to be wrong? Forum trolls have been known to do this sort of thing a lot, but bloggers on their own blogging site? I don’t really think so.

Their conviction is not strong enough for them to defend?

Could be. So why put it up there for the world to see in the first place? If you consider something important enough to put up on a blog to be read and commented on, then surely you must be prepared to back that up if challenged on it. So again, while this one could be true, I don’t find it entirely convincing.

They are choosing their battles?

Getting more likely. It could be that they found my rebuttal hard to argue against and so decided not to bother and pretend it never happened. While I find this flattering I am not sure that this would account for all cases, surely one of them would have had a come-back.

They can’t be bothered to argue with someone who clearly has made up their mind?

The most likely of this list. However, again I am not entirely convinced. If someone has gone to the effort of responding to their post. Surely they like the fact its had a response and if they can put in a good response to my reply they it will strengthen their argument. It will have the extra kudos of being visible to other visitor that they were able to knock down my ‘wrong’ opinion with reasoned argument.

I know that’s how I would feel if someone put up a rebuttal to one of my posts and I hope I would reply politely and intelligently.

So I am none the wiser and the wondering shall continue, probably for more years to come. So long as it doesn’t keep me awake at night, I can cope with that. Maybe someone who has given it more thought than me will shed some light on it. If that happens I shall celebrate in the knowledge that there are people more mundane that me.

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