Marco Arment:

If you truly dislike bullshit writing and don’t want to support it, hit the publishers where it hurts: don’t read it, and don’t link to it.

Marco brings up a good point, but there is another side to this. The mainstream media often writes complete shit articles that are factually wrong. Ignoring it won’t make it go away. The average consumer often believes the crap these people write, so taking them down a peg or two may help.

I honestly don’t know if it helps or not, but I feel a responsibility to point out articles that are incorrect. Perhaps shaming them and the sites they work for will help.

Of course, there is a group of people that just write bullshit for pageviews — I don’t always link to those.

  • Techpm

    Maybe link to them using anonymising proxy services that remove ads and page hit trackers.

    Proxify.com for example.

  • if no one says “hey, that’s BULLshit”, then how can most people know? It sounds easy “do your own research” but where do you start if you don’t already know?

    It’s easy for me, but fuck, i’m at what, 2 decades in this business? How does someone new, or not technical do it? They can’t, not without help.

    • The “don’t read” part was probably ill considered; but hey, it’s Marco we’re talking about here. More to the point, as you well know, it’s perfectly possible to call bullshit on something without linking to it.

      • “it’s perfectly possible to call bullshit on something without linking to it.”

        I think that’s the secret. We can name them and point out the bullshit but leave it up to the reader/listener to do the search for the URL.

        • Steven Fisher

          I think you could even put in the URL, just don’t make it an actual HTML link.

          • MacsenMcBain

            I concur. As a reader, if I think you’re being unduly harsh and want to make my own assessment, it’s no big deal to track down the article or copy & paste the URL. Don’t feel obliged to link to the original.

        • Completely agree. it can take longer, but “Henry Blodgett’s latest piece, “I’m a fucking idiot” on Business Insider.com” gives you everything you need to find it, without ever linking to it.

  • As you point out, Marco says, “If you dislike bullshit writing…don’t read it”. How do we know it’s bullshit until we read it?

    Sticking your head in the sand doesn’t make The Stupid go away.

    • To be fair, sometimes you know it’s going to be bullshit because of the person who wrote it. Those are the people that just need to be ignored.

    • And how well did pointing out The Stupid of the rumormongers work out?

      • Not well at all because either I couldn’t get the word out or people didn’t care.

        • By and large, people don’t want to know the things they believe are true are not. Even when you can factually prove otherwise.

  • Chris

    I agree. Business insider writes many of these and their headlines are misleading and drama filled. Maybe I stand alone on this one?

  • It’s a tricky business appointing yourself to be the person who decides who should wear the scarlet letter. And Arment (of whom I’m not always a fan, admittedly) is right: Obscurity hurts them more than scorn. A lot of the readers those sites collect from from big names who point to them and say “Don’t read this.”

    As a pundit, it’s a good rule of thumb to argue in the open with the people you actually respect (whether you like them or disagree with them)… because you’re showing the readers that they’re worth the energy.

  • Yeah, I’m sure Cult of Mac, ZDNet, AppleInsider, 9to5 Mac, Business Insider, et al just hate it when they get linked in a scathing critique on The Loop, or The Macalope of Daring Fireball.

  • That is because there are some sites that are reliable and some that are not, having somewhere a list could help people not digging deeper to decide who they can trust and what they should check twice.

    There are some sites (in Germany at least) pointing out the mistakes of Boulevard newspapers, which are there known as the journalists essential sites to read and also great to read for everyone else, just to get to the right information.

    Every page can make mistakes and there have to be people who point at them, but pointing at a site all the time that is crappy does not help anyone either. It is the small way in between that is the best I think.

  • Name

    this article is “bullshit”

  • I believe that any writer who intends to smash a bullshit article should make sure NOT to link to it…cite it and blast it…but don’t link it…just make sure that if any of your readers want to read the whole crap they have the elements to google it….but don’t give them the links, that’s what they want.

    • well, do you care about links or hits. Eventually, they’re going to get one or the other, since hopefully, people will want to read the article you’re bagging on to make up their own minds.

  • You act as though you never link to articles loaded with false information. The only time you link articles is if you think it’s bashing something you disagree with or praising something you love, regardless of whether or not there’s any truth behind it. You ignore ALL fact for your own agenda and spin single sentences out of context to push what you think is “right”.

    You, sir, are a stellar example of the kind of blogger/journalist/writer you’re calling out.

    • But don’t bother to give us an example. that’s too much work…

    • and of course, it’s not like you have a certain vested interest in bagging on all things Apple…

  • Happy Guy

    I totally agree. There is so much crap out there. It’s hard to avoid all the piles of dung writing that so many people are writing recently.

  • Crabbit_Git

    Crap writing will always exist. It is an unfortunate byproduct of news immediacy that much of what is digitally published is bullshit; the belief being that to publish first is more important than to publish correct. Even previously regarded news outlets are falling into this stupidity.

    The tech reporting industry is probably only second to political rumour mongering in this respect. Were there an onus on writers to revisit their writings and make corrections where necessary after the fact it would go a long way to creating a moderately trustworthy blogospere ( hate that word). But, hits, hits and hits. Advertising is now dictating news, whether or not that news is actually factual.

    With respect to Apple, they as a company do not make it easier. Being a particularly quiet company ( I don’t regard them as particularly secretive, I just think they don’t have that technical tourettes that others have) leaves them open to wild speculation.

    Apple HDTV anyone, or even a Car?

  • deviladv

    To a certain extent you have to read the bullshit to understand it’s bullshit. Blogs like this and others call bullshit and in order to make my own opinion, I have to read the source. However, once I’ve read enough BS, I now know not to patronize that particular site. Jesus Diaz gets none of my eyeball time now. Read a little bit, understand it’s bullshit, then stop reading it altogether in the future.