Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Biased Editorial

In the article, "Vague Cyber bullying Law" The writer feels very biased about people believing that it is okay to bully someone over some form of social media. The writer of the piece feels very strongly about how much cyber bullying has affected too many friends and families in the US and how no one seems to care that what they say about someone over the internet can negatively affect them so much that they go to the extreme and when someone finally takes a stand, it's too late. That being said, some of the different types of biases I picked up on were: bias blind spot, empathy gap, ostrich effect, and defensive attribution hypothesis.

Bias blind spot was the first one I noticed in this article. Bias blind spot is the tendency to see oneself as less biased as other people, or to identify more cognitive biases in others than oneself. In the article, it was mentioned that a mother had created a fake profile and then started to talk to the Mier's daughter, Meghan, as if they were a real person. Eventually, the mother who was faking the profile told Meghan that he didn't like her any more and thought that the world would be a much better place without her in it. What that mother did not think of is that with those few words, it can affect a person drastically and unfortunately for Meghan, she believed it and took her own life.

Another bias I had found in the article was "empathy gap". Empathy gap is the tendency to underestimate the influence of strength of feelings, in either oneself or others. What intrigues me most about this bias and the mother who faked a profile and told Meghan such horrible things, is that they were a grown adult who knows right from wrong but still thought it was okay to hit "send" after typing something so awful as to tell someone that the world would be a better place with out them. Under no circumstances should anyone ever tell someone else that. I don't care who you are or what the other person has done. It is not OK. Just think of the famous saying, "if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all". If everyone thinks of this every time they're about to hit " send" I think the world would be a much better place. But this mother unfortunately did not and ended up causing a child to become so depressed they thought that their only way to escape it was to do what she had said.

A third bias I had also noticed in this article was the ostrich effect. The ostrich effect is ignoring an obvious (negative) situation. This relates to the article because its showing how it takes an action so horrible like someone taking their own life, to make people start paying attention to this situation. Many kids and even adults had taken their own life because of nasty things being said to them over social media. Unfortunately it took that amount of people to die to make people become aware about how much of a big deal this is and to make specific laws against cyber bullying so it wouldn't cost any more lives of people who had so much ahead of them.

Lastly, the last bias I had noticed in this article was defensive attribution hypothesis. This is attributing more blame to a harm - doer as the outcome becomes more severe or as personal or situational similarity to the victim increases. By what I read in this article, by the mother bullying that 13 year old girl and having no one stop her, she was only putting herself into a deeper hole for when she gets blamed for having an innocent young girl who doesn’t know any better, take their own life.

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