Wednesday, March 20, 2013

The dangers (or is it the fun?) of blogging

I’ve had this blog for a few years now and am really happy with the way it has grown and developed. I’ve ‘met’ a ton of interesting people, I’ve been asked to get involved with different projects, and I’ve had fun getting everyone’s opinion.

But one of the most interesting things about having a blog like this is that often, on other sites, some of your material is discussed or referenced. And I find it fascinating to see who is using my posts in a debate or discussion.

For the most part the reactions have been pretty positive. I’ve had some of the posts on ‘Babies sleeping better in the cold’ get linked pretty high up on sites like reddit and 4chan. My post on Breastfeeding in Sweden led to my highest traffic in one day when a major French publication referenced it in one of their leading stories.

But one of the posts that gets the most hits is my IsFeminism Good for Men post, about my take on the results of ‘feminist’ politics on the role of men in Sweden. Mostly the reactions have been good, from both men and women.

But then one major ‘Men’s rights’ publication linked to my post and when I went to go read their post (I will not link it here, because I do not want to give them traffic or launch a debate with them) I could not figure out why they were quoting my article, which is pro-feminist, in an article totally ripping apart Scandinavian feminism. This article was then picked up and translated by a Spanish site with a similar agenda.

It turned out they were quoting some of the comments to my blog, and using them as facts. The blog post also contained another gem, equally well-quoted from another blog’ comment section, claiming that men in Sweden pay 50% more tax than women in Sweden. (Have you not heard of the penis tax? I had not either).

That one article generated a ton of traffic for my blog, and I wonder if their readers were equally as confused as I was. I don’t know.

But I do find the danger of blogging, and probably the danger of the Internet in general, is that everyone is free to make up their own facts. I try, in this blog, to be very clear (sometimes I think too clear) that this is just one woman’s opinion. I don’t claim to speak for Sweden, nor do I claim to speak for the entire immigrant population.

I like discussion. I like debate. And I like to hear what people think. But sometimes the things you write can be taken out of context. And that can be incredibly frustrating. You must really have to fish for facts if you are taking snippets of comments from blogs as your source material.

(And in the spirit of good measure I will say that the article was written awhile back and can be found on a site that is named after a very manly tool – the spear- and maybe also the particularly killy part of said tool –the head- when those words are put together—along with an article and a hyphen)

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