Buzzfeed favors liberals
The idea that the media is to remain completely unbiased when engaging in politics is far from reality. Many news outlets align themselves with a specific political party and promote that party’s political agenda.
Because consumers are uninterested in doing research on their own, popular news sources such as Buzzfeed become the foundation on which many of their decisions and political opinions are based.
Very rarely do Buzzfeed videos promote the values of conservatism, an ideology that nearly a quarter of our country subscribes to through the Republican Party. In their political videos, liberals and extreme leftists are glorified; their opinions are forward. This causes youthful political engagers to quickly believe their warped opinions and half-truths.
The problem is that Buzzfeed not only provides one side of the political spectrum, but also generalizes ideas and confuses young consumers. In September 2015, Buzzfeed came out with a video titled Men Try on A Police Uniform, which showed four men trying on a police uniform and then commenting on the way each felt in it. Buzzfeed used their popularity among young adults to demoralize police officers and contribute to a feeling of hostility toward them.
The actors in the video were first asked to talk about their knowledge of police officers. One responded, “When you see that black and white car, or that blue uniform, or that black uniform, it’s scary.” The general term, you, used in this sentence automatically assumes that all viewers feel similarly about police officers.
I do not feel negatively toward officers. Buzzfeed is speaking to the small percentage of U.S. citizens who feel that way, disregarding that a large percentage of their viewers may not.
Does Buzzfeed not realize the influence it has over young adults, or does it realize its influence and uses that information to exploit its viewers to assume a similar political opinion?
After putting on the uniforms, the actors were asked to talk about how they felt. One said, “I am scaring myself watching the mirror.” Another, “Honestly, I see a jerk before I see a hero and that sucks.” As a young adult, it is so easy to agree with these quotes. But it is much harder to question what makes a viewer agree and why. A young adult, with zero background knowledge, may watch this video and assume that being afraid of the police is a common practice, and intuitively, without knowing why, may begin to do so as well.
In The Friends of Voltaire, biographer Evelyn Beatrice Hall wrote, “I disapprove of what you say, but I will defend to the death your right to say it,” a quote that is often misattributed to Voltaire himself. It becomes easy to forget that everyone can have opinions, that our thoughts matter, and that political discourse is essential to maintaining our democracy.
Buzzfeed has every right to promote one side of the political narrative, regardless of how fictitious it may be. However, we, as the consumers of this information, also have the right, and moreover, the duty, to be highly critical of various sources such as Buzzfeed that may not explore every side.