When one starts a blog, the hope is that the content is read and supported by a growing community. We deeply appreciate coin holders of META 1 Coin and the crypto community who have been so generous in supporting the work we do. True success, however, can be measured when one’s critics begin reading and even reporting on a blog’s content. Whenever this happens, we are genuinely flattered.
As proponents of freedom and abundance for Humanity, we are ardent supporters of free speech, free press and pursuit of one’s happiness. As long as one isn’t harming another Human, then one may pursue a path in life and business that best suits each person’s goals and desires.
However, free speech does not include yelling ‘fire’ in a crowded theater, nor slandering someone’s reputation with unfounded claims. And it is sad to see news websites and writers who have decided to earn their living by harming others’ reputations with false and misleading information.
The rise of the Internet has provided countless opportunities for individuals and organizations which were either impossible or too difficult to achieve in the pre-digital age. Media organizations in particular have found the barrier to entry much lower than ever before. In the pre-digital era, launching a new print newspaper or magazine was challenging enough with the high costs involved. Turning a profit and experiencing success was rare.
Publications realized early on that they needed to adhere to very high standards of journalistic integrity to build a loyal following and stay in business. Making unfounded claims or relying on other unvetted sources for information represented high risks in terms of potentially getting a story wrong, ruining the reputations of others (as well as the publications themselves), and losing readership. The business model itself encouraged high standards and journalists aspired to become like the renowned Edward R. Murrow.
The dawn of the Internet changed all that very quickly. Online media websites became monetized by their ability to draw maximum web traffic to fuel ad revenue, since readers generally pay nothing. While positive and general interest news draw some web traffic, the bread and butter of mainstream media sites are clickbait-inspired stories that include baseless claims, assumptions, opinions and overall lazy journalism.
Note that that we assume the reasoning behind these clickbait/conjured-up-controversies they often consider reporting is due to laziness, at best. Doing the hard work of digging for facts isn’t easy. Though, a pattern of poor reporting on a specific subject matter, whether it’s a crypto project or an individual founder, can be considered intentional attempts to malign, commonly known as libel.
(This is Part 1 of a two-part series.Click here to read Part 2.)