We're Not Objective

Illustration for article titled We're Not Objective

Gizmodo is not objective. It never has been, I don't think. And I hope it never will be. Because the point isn't to be something as meaningless—and frankly, false—as objective. The point is to tell the truth.


And sometimes, the truth comes with a point of view. A widespread, mealy-mouthed obsession with the appearance of objectivity is why the public editor of the New York Times asked, straight faced, "whether and when New York Times news reporters should challenge 'facts' that are asserted by newsmakers they write about" in response to readers who are "fed up with the distortions and evasions that are common in public life, [and] look to The Times to set the record straight." The Times is so concerned with appearing objective—particularly in the realm of politics—that it dare not correct a "fact" that is a lie, just to avoid looking like it's taking sides. Even if one of the sides is dead wrong.

It's why sometimes even the truth sometimes gets represented as lie, why the ridiculous ravings of Donald Trump about birth certificates are presented with the same credibility as real public figures. To seem objective.

But objectivity, very often, is bullshit. Even science, which proclaims to be objective more than any other discipline, is very often not, unable to decide whether or not coffee will kill you—or more tragically, has been systematically deployed over and over in history in the service of racism and misogyny. Objectively speaking, the earth was flat and the center of the universe, for a very long time.

Oh, and then there's "bias." What we hear about the most. That we're biased about one product or another. What is an "unbiased" review of technology, or assessment of anything? A list of specifications, numbers jammed together with acronyms? What good does that do anybody?

We have feelings about the things we do, the tools we use. We're humans. And an opinion isn't "bias." When it comes to technology, we make judgments based on experience. We have a fair amount of it. And we're willing to give something—anything, really—a chance. To tell you the truth, we want to love everything or as much as possible, because we've used so so so much bad technology. And if we were to tell you anything but how we felt about something, that would be a lie. The most honest thing we can do is tell you exactly how we feel. If we were to pretend that we didn't absolutely loathe a stupid phone or a dumb tablet, that it merely didn't stack up enough points on a scale, or check enough boxes, that would be a lie.

We'll always tell you the truth, but if you're just looking for a site to give you a list of specs and "both sides" of the story, you've come to the wrong place. We don't promise a whole lot—what you see is what you get—but that is one thing that will always be true. You know, objectively.


Original Image: ER_09/Shutterstock.com



This was posted by MifuneT a bit further down the thread, but I feel it deserves more attention:

"On Thursday Gawker’s Nick Denton was on a Magazine Publishers of America Magazine Innovation Summit panel titled 'The Decline and Rise of Magazine Journalism.' The moderator, Slate’s Jacob Weisberg, asked how Denton monitors and fact-checks the content on Gawker sites: 'We don’t,' Mr. Denton replied flatly. 'We aim to get the truth over time. The verification model is post-publication rather than pre-publication. Our readers correct us and we apologize and we change it. We don’t have time to check it all before.'"

My god. It's one thing to avoid being purely objective, and I'm completely fine with that because opinions usually provide a more interesting read, and Gizmodo usually posts specs and stats along with their opinions anyway. However, it must be said that to blatantly post articles ignorant of whether they are actually truthful or not is a damn shame. I mean could you imagine how the world would work if we just bomb first and ask questions later? (oh wait we do that already)

Seriously though, this saddens me deeply.