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Of all the effects of comment sections and forums, the most toxic is the echo chamber. People who agree congregate in groups, which is good, but then they use that group instead of any other social input. They repeat and reassure each other until they achieve a critical mass that can convince itself the entire external universe is wrong. Agreement becomes monomania, slightly dodgy positions become full-blown psychic cysts, the echo chamber makes every asshole ever louder, and Breitbart stands in the center shouting as hard as it can.
Breitbart is what happens when your racist Facebook uncles save up to buy their own website. They'll add their volume to any awful belief you want. Still believe that 14-year-old deserved to be handcuffed and arrested at school?
Concerned with ethics in game journalism?
Nope, can't move on, still convinced that child was far too non-Caucasian to build a clock outside of quotation marks?
They appear to think a dotcom makes them a respected news source in the same way some of their columnists think wearing a suit makes them professional. It doesn't matter how nice your jacket is if you're standing screaming on a street corner. Their only function is polarizing issues until they electrocute everyone's higher functions. It's the Etsy of hatred: It'll serve whatever bullshit you want as long as it's legal, and if it isn't, or if it's broken, it'll issue a tiny apology which in no way compensates for all the hassle and wasted time. Instead of finding news for an audience, it provides custom-crafted headlines to shovel into any echo chamber and stoke the fires.
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Artist's conception of Breitbart fanbase.
Echo chambers amplify assholes, incubating ever more extreme viewpoints by letting people remove any contrary opinions from their worldview. And the headlines must become more and more offensive to keep up and score those sweet shares. They end up as Zeno's assholes, established hatemongers becoming ever more toxic for ever fewer niche nutballs, and hopefully they'll continue this ass-ymptotic trend until they disappear up their own rectums to create a perfectly singular echo chamber. But until that glorious moment, they'll hang around to poison any attempt at informed discussion.
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