Interesting Socio-Political Experiement; Gauging the Internet

Not sure if this is R&P or Off-Topic...

So over the last couple months, I ran an experiment anonymously. I went to 5 sites that use Upvote/Downvote systems as a fake account with no prior posts. The sites were CNN.com, Foxnews.com, Youtube.com, Yahoo comments section, and LeagueofLegends.com

The first two were to gauge full political motivations. The second two were to gauge a large amount of people, with some political affiliations, and the last one was to gauge a site with little or no political choices.

In each of the sites, I posted a single comment in a story about gun control and Obama:

"Obama is Muslim terrorist who is destroying what is good about America"

Even League of Legends has one, in the off-topic section. YouTube was a video story from CNN about gun control.

Then I waited 24 hours.
RESULTS:
CNN.com: 7 upvotes, 79 downvotes, and comment removed. Responses were all suggestions to wake up and stop watching Fox News. No action against account.

Foxnews.com: 43 upvotes, 37 downvotes. Started an argument between the commenters about Obama's religion. No action against account.

YouTube: comment blocked. No action against account. Called out for trolling.

Yahoo: 1198 upvotes, 43 downvotes. Large amount of support for the comment, and anyone who attacked my post was downvoted. No action against account.

League of Legends: Told to kill myself and my family. -27 votes. Thread locked. Account banned.

Any questions? Thoughts? Any of the data surprise you? Does this hold any relevence to the internet and the idea of bias? Or was this a waste of time (not ruling that out yet)?

Well, now we know where the yahoos hand out: Yahoo!

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Not sure if this is R&P or Off-Topic...

So over the last couple months, I ran an experiment anonymously. I went to 5 sites that use Upvote/Downvote systems as a fake account with no prior posts. The sites were CNN.com, Foxnews.com, Youtube.com, Yahoo comments section, and LeagueofLegends.com

The first two were to gauge full political motivations. The second two were to gauge a large amount of people, with some political affiliations, and the last one was to gauge a site with little or no political choices.

In each of the sites, I posted a single comment in a story about gun control and Obama:

"Obama is Muslim terrorist who is destroying what is good about America"

Even League of Legends has one, in the off-topic section. YouTube was a video story from CNN about gun control.

Then I waited 24 hours.
RESULTS:
CNN.com: 7 upvotes, 79 downvotes, and comment removed. Responses were all suggestions to wake up and stop watching Fox News. No action against account.

Foxnews.com: 43 upvotes, 37 downvotes. Started an argument between the commenters about Obama's religion. No action against account.

YouTube: comment blocked. No action against account. Called out for trolling.

Yahoo: 1198 upvotes, 43 downvotes. Large amount of support for the comment, and anyone who attacked my post was downvoted. No action against account.

League of Legends: Told to kill myself and my family. -27 votes. Thread locked. Account banned.

Any questions? Thoughts? Any of the data surprise you? Does this hold any relevence to the internet and the idea of bias? Or was this a waste of time (not ruling that out yet)?

If I'm going by the voting alone, it seems like this is probably the only time where Foxnews can proudly say that they are "fair and balanced". I have to say that I'm surprised that it was Foxnews that evened out the most between the five sites, but I guess that just goes to show that I shouldn't buy into stereotypes about different groups.

(Not gonna adress Yahoo, it's a breedingground for Trolls and I don't consider it worthy of discussion, same with Youtube)

Awesome you did this, I wasn't suprised that Fox News had majority upvotes. Goes to show what audience the site has when politically aware right-wingers (The Politically aware being often a more thoughtful group) overall agrees that Obama is a muslism and a terrorist.

League of Legends consists of young gamers from across Europe and the US. Not sure what could have been expected from that, and by that I mean 'ofcourse' it would in large support Obama.

The Gentleman:
Well, now we know where the yahoos hand out: Yahoo!

Yahoo comments scare me so much.

Helmholtz Watson:

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Not sure if this is R&P or Off-Topic...

So over the last couple months, I ran an experiment anonymously. I went to 5 sites that use Upvote/Downvote systems as a fake account with no prior posts. The sites were CNN.com, Foxnews.com, Youtube.com, Yahoo comments section, and LeagueofLegends.com

The first two were to gauge full political motivations. The second two were to gauge a large amount of people, with some political affiliations, and the last one was to gauge a site with little or no political choices.

In each of the sites, I posted a single comment in a story about gun control and Obama:

"Obama is Muslim terrorist who is destroying what is good about America"

Even League of Legends has one, in the off-topic section. YouTube was a video story from CNN about gun control.

Then I waited 24 hours.
RESULTS:
CNN.com: 7 upvotes, 79 downvotes, and comment removed. Responses were all suggestions to wake up and stop watching Fox News. No action against account.

Foxnews.com: 43 upvotes, 37 downvotes. Started an argument between the commenters about Obama's religion. No action against account.

YouTube: comment blocked. No action against account. Called out for trolling.

Yahoo: 1198 upvotes, 43 downvotes. Large amount of support for the comment, and anyone who attacked my post was downvoted. No action against account.

League of Legends: Told to kill myself and my family. -27 votes. Thread locked. Account banned.

Any questions? Thoughts? Any of the data surprise you? Does this hold any relevence to the internet and the idea of bias? Or was this a waste of time (not ruling that out yet)?

If I'm going by the voting alone, it seems like this is probably the only time where Foxnews can proudly say that they are "fair and balanced". I have to say that I'm surprised that it was Foxnews that evened out the most between the five sites, but I guess that just goes to show that I shouldn't buy into stereotypes about different groups.

Honestly, most of the discussion wasn't about whether Obama was evil, just a lot of hate for gay rights, immigrant reform, and firearm laws.

Hmmm...good idea that. Not sure how useful the information would be on a one off, though, but worth a try, and makes a point.

The Gentleman:
Well, now we know where the yahoos hand out: Yahoo!

Heh.

This is a good topic for R&P.

OT: I've noticed that Yahoo comments took a MASSIVE swing towards the Right during the presidential elections last fall. There are numerous stories/rumors (which I can't remember where to look up) that people are even being paid to systematically troll Yahoo news stories using multiple accounts.

Given the overwhelming swing to the Right that I witnessed I can't help but wonder if there is some truth to those stories.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Not sure if this is R&P or Off-Topic...

So over the last couple months, I ran an experiment anonymously. I went to 5 sites that use Upvote/Downvote systems as a fake account with no prior posts. The sites were CNN.com, Foxnews.com, Youtube.com, Yahoo comments section, and LeagueofLegends.com

The first two were to gauge full political motivations. The second two were to gauge a large amount of people, with some political affiliations, and the last one was to gauge a site with little or no political choices.

I don't think this is a very good experiment/study, partly due to the optional nature of upvoting in general, and also:

1. Should have posted an equivalent left-wing comment- could be that people just agree with no need to upvote.
2. Should have posted at different times of day (or ensured it was seen at different times).
3. Should have posted in less obviously trolling words- good chance many ignored it for that reason.
4. Should not have included YouTube. isn't a particularly good idea due to the fragmented nature of the content- people only find what they look for. I can say from experience that when I post even centrist economic ideas on right-wing videos I get downvoted to oblivion.
5. Should really have included more sites, what you've chosen is hardly representative of "The Internet" and is not a random selection- it's stratified. Given how easy it is to sample on the internet, you could've included more sites.

You should also have posted separate comments relating to different issues, rather than one that so many will dismiss as the ravings of a whackjob. You could have mentioned: economics, gun control, foreign wars, racism, sexism, social apartheid, climate change, etc... etc...

If I saw that post on a forum- short as it is- I'd just ignore it.

I mean you're using the 80 votes on your comment on fox news to absolve the viewship of bias when when the site's traffic is estimated at about 20,000,000 per month.

I'm sorry, but your experiment doesn't really tell us very much about anything.

Danny Ocean:

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Not sure if this is R&P or Off-Topic...

So over the last couple months, I ran an experiment anonymously. I went to 5 sites that use Upvote/Downvote systems as a fake account with no prior posts. The sites were CNN.com, Foxnews.com, Youtube.com, Yahoo comments section, and LeagueofLegends.com

The first two were to gauge full political motivations. The second two were to gauge a large amount of people, with some political affiliations, and the last one was to gauge a site with little or no political choices.

I don't think this is a very good experiment/study, partly due to the optional nature of upvoting in general, and also:

1. Should have posted an equivalent left-wing comment- could be that people just agree with no need to upvote.
2. Should have posted at different times of day (or ensured it was seen at different times).
3. Should have posted in less obviously trolling words- good chance many ignored it for that reason.
4. Should not have included YouTube. isn't a particularly good idea due to the fragmented nature of the content- people only find what they look for. I can say from experience that when I post even centrist economic ideas on right-wing videos I get downvoted to oblivion.
5. Should really have included more sites, what you've chosen is hardly representative of "The Internet" and is not a random selection- it's stratified. Given how easy it is to sample on the internet, you could've included more sites.

You should also have posted separate comments relating to different issues, rather than one that so many will dismiss as the ravings of a whackjob. You could have mentioned: economics, gun control, foreign wars, racism, sexism, social apartheid, etc... etc...

If I saw that post on a forum- short as it is- I'd just ignore it.

I agree the study was hardly scientific. Multiple sentences, multiple personality triggers, more effort could have been used. However, the data is interesting for such a limited study. Especially the idea of what constitutes trolling in other places.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

I agree the study was hardly scientific. Multiple sentences, multiple personality triggers, more effort could have been used. However, the data is interesting for such a limited study.

I'm sorry but I can't see how that is so.

I edited my post while you were responding with this line:

I mean you're using the 80 votes on your comment on fox news to absolve the viewship of bias when when the site's traffic is estimated at about 20,000,000 per month.

I'm sorry, but your experiment doesn't really tell us very much about anything.

For fox news, that's at least 645161 people per day , which means you've effectively surveyed only 0.012% of the site's viewership. And that's just those who use the website, not including the TV channels themselves.

I assume the other sites are similar.

What can you possibly glean from such a small dataset? Nothing statistically significant, that's for sure.

Especially the idea of what constitutes trolling in other places.

I'm sorry but, as far as I can see, even as an item of discourse analysis this doesn't have much to say because you haven't asked any of those accusing you of trolling why they thought it was trolling.

Was it site policy? Was it just one moderator? Why so in either case?

Danny Ocean:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

I agree the study was hardly scientific. Multiple sentences, multiple personality triggers, more effort could have been used. However, the data is interesting for such a limited study.

I'm sorry but I can't see how that is so.

I edited my post while you were responding with this line:

I mean you're using the 80 votes on your comment on fox news to absolve the viewship of bias when when the site's traffic is estimated at about 20,000,000 per month.

I'm sorry, but your experiment doesn't really tell us very much about anything.

For fox news, that's at least 645161 people per day , which means you've effectively surveyed only 0.012% of the site's viewership. And that's just those who use the website, not including the TV channels themselves.

I assume the other sites are similar.

What can you possibly glean from such a small dataset? Nothing statistically significant, that's for sure.

Especially the idea of what constitutes trolling in other places.

I'm sorry but, as far as I can see, even as an item of discourse analysis this doesn't have much to say because you haven't asked any of those accusing you of trolling why they thought it was trolling.

Was it site policy? Was it just one moderator? Why so in either case?

This wasn't done to show a bias, or lack thereof. Honestly, the fact that my comment got even 43 upvotes is very telling about the Fox News audience. Also remember my comment was buried under 1,000 others in 24 hours.

Again, there was very little scientific about this study. It was more an exercise in reaction. Arguing with the voters would have compromised my findings (people changing their vote to counter-troll, or mess with me in response, especially on YouTube where the troll count is abnormally high).

As far as moderation goes, I didn't work with any of the sites, or even let them know why I was doing this. Without that, analyzing moderation wasn't going to happen.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

This wasn't done to show a bias, or lack thereof. Honestly, the fact that my comment got even 43 upvotes is very telling about the Fox News audience. Also remember my comment was buried under 1,000 others in 24 hours.

Again, there was very little scientific about this study. It was more an exercise in reaction. Arguing with the voters would have compromised my findings (people changing their vote to counter-troll, or mess with me in response, especially on YouTube where the troll count is abnormally high).

As far as moderation goes, I didn't work with any of the sites, or even let them know why I was doing this. Without that, analyzing moderation wasn't going to happen.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Does this hold any relevence to the internet and the idea of bias? Or was this a waste of time (not ruling that out yet)?

Okay, if it's not about bias, then...

What hypothesis did you set out with? What are you gleaning from the results?

While interesting, I think it's important first of all to consider the sample size, as Danny Ocean already mentioned. However, I'm not a statistician, you're probably not a statistician, and I doubt there are many hanging around the escapist, and you did this just in your free time. So I don't think anyone can really fault you here.

It's also important to consider the nature of your comment. It is extremely loaded towards wight wing nutcases, which suggests that while fox news had a balanced response, is a balanced response to a highly unbalanced and inflammatory comment REALLY balanced in the general sense?

What I think would be interesting, would be for a more neutral comment on politics, only leaning slightly towards the left or right, and seeing how that is responded to. I guess the problem there is that the less inflammatory the comment, the smaller your sample size will end up.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

League of Legends: Told to kill myself and my family. -27 votes. Thread locked. Account banned.

Any questions? Thoughts? Any of the data surprise you? Does this hold any relevence to the internet and the idea of bias? Or was this a waste of time (not ruling that out yet)?

Well, if we use the logic that applies to Anita Sarkeesian, then this right here would prove that "Obama is Muslim terrorist who is destroying what is good about America" beyond any doubt.

Or that, you know, death threats over the internet are a thing and in forms like that are just hyperbole and best to be ignored.

Danny Ocean:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

This wasn't done to show a bias, or lack thereof. Honestly, the fact that my comment got even 43 upvotes is very telling about the Fox News audience. Also remember my comment was buried under 1,000 others in 24 hours.

Again, there was very little scientific about this study. It was more an exercise in reaction. Arguing with the voters would have compromised my findings (people changing their vote to counter-troll, or mess with me in response, especially on YouTube where the troll count is abnormally high).

As far as moderation goes, I didn't work with any of the sites, or even let them know why I was doing this. Without that, analyzing moderation wasn't going to happen.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Does this hold any relevence to the internet and the idea of bias? Or was this a waste of time (not ruling that out yet)?

Okay, if it's not about bias, then...

What hypothesis did you set out with? What are you gleaning from the results?

The original hypothesis was "The reaction to a highly inflammatory statement will become increased based on how much political discussion takes place."

I guessed that CNN would downvote me to the bottom, FoxNews would upvote to the top, Yahoo would lie in the middle, YouTube would ignore the comment entirely, and LoL was a wildcard, anything could happen.

I didn't expect as many downvotes on Fox as I got, and the discussion was far less hate filled than on the the others, excepting League of Legends. I also didn't expect the Yahoo section to grab on as hard as they did, and even defend my post.

From what I can tell from early results, about half of Fox News online readers have a tremendous dislike for Obama (as to be expected) but individually do not believe the lies of Obama being a terrorist, a Kenyan, or a Muslim. Meanwhile, the hatred for Obama on Yahoo is bizarrely high, and I can only expect either manipulation by an outside source, or straight trolling. League only showed why the community is disliked. Four comments telling me to off myself, and three more saying they had sex with my mother showed that very quickly.

Interesting. I didn't know that Yahoo was that bloody moronic.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

League of Legends: Told to kill myself and my family. -27 votes. Thread locked. Account banned.

Isn't that just how people say "hello" in LoL?

Copper Zen:
There are numerous stories/rumors (which I can't remember where to look up) that people are even being paid to systematically troll Yahoo news stories using multiple accounts.

Given the overwhelming swing to the Right that I witnessed I can't help but wonder if there is some truth to those stories.

They are certainly more than rumours. I've read articles about politically affiliated campaign groups that fill comment boards with charged content in order to sway minds. An awful lot people will be more comfortable believing stuff if they think lots of other people also believe it, so it pays dividends to make certain views seem like the norm.

I have a virulent hatred of neo-liberals. They're as bad if not worse, than the Stormfront crowd. But the thing is, neo-liberals get much more attention on the internet due to appealing to teenagers and pseudo-intellectualism. They have perverted the word "liberal" to the point its an insult meaning immature and brainwashed. Thank god I was red-pilled by /pol/.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Any questions? Thoughts?

Yeah, what exactly is your avatar? I'm not sure if I should be intrigued or scared. Possibly both.

Danny Ocean:

3. Should have posted in less obviously trolling words- good chance many ignored it for that reason.

Sadly, his words weren't obviously trolling. They were pretty mild compared to some of the completely insane opinions people earnestly spout off. The horror of conservative sites...

LetalisK:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Any questions? Thoughts?

Yeah, what exactly is your avatar? I'm not sure if I should be intrigued or scared. Possibly both.

Danny Ocean:

3. Should have posted in less obviously trolling words- good chance many ignored it for that reason.

Sadly, his words weren't obviously trolling. They were pretty mild compared to some of the completely insane opinions people earnestly spout off. The horror of conservative sites...

Yeah, but Poe's law sorta guarantees that there's always a possibility any troll could be confused for a genuine crazy person and vice verse. I still agree with Danny that he could have gotten a better result spread if he had been less nakedly crazy though, but then again Yahoo and Fox News's comment sections largely agreed with him so I guess mission accomplished on his part?

The Gentleman:
Well, now we know where the yahoos hand out: Yahoo!

I find it amusing that Yahoo has such a large portion of troglodytes considering that Yahoo itself is an archaic throwback to an earlier time on the internet. It's like the internet's version of a frozen caveman, so it amuses me that frozen cavemen flock to it.

Helmholtz Watson:
If I'm going by the voting alone, it seems like this is probably the only time where Foxnews can proudly say that they are "fair and balanced". I have to say that I'm surprised that it was Foxnews that evened out the most between the five sites, but I guess that just goes to show that I shouldn't buy into stereotypes about different groups.

It's hardly fair and balanced. Even a sane conservative should reject his bullshit claim. I would think that a room with 100% sane, but still conservative people, that comment would get a 100% negative reaction.

It makes me a bit sad that you are suggesting the 'fair and balanced' view point would be between an insane comment and ... anything else. Your attempt at making Fox News look good just portrays the right as, well, basically nuts.

There shouldn't be a 50% spread in favor of nuts, if conservatives want to portray their viewpoint, or at least their constituents and viewers, as not insane.

I'd imagine if there was a poll here about "Are you pro gay" and the option included "Kill all heterosexuals!" and we got 50% of people responding to that, we wouldn't really be able to say "The Escapist is evenly left and right", it'd be "The Escapist is 50% crazy".

LetalisK:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Any questions? Thoughts?

Yeah, what exactly is your avatar? I'm not sure if I should be intrigued or scared. Possibly both.

Danny Ocean:

3. Should have posted in less obviously trolling words- good chance many ignored it for that reason.

Sadly, his words weren't obviously trolling. They were pretty mild compared to some of the completely insane opinions people earnestly spout off. The horror of conservative sites...

That is Rinona Miller cosplaying Medusa Gorgon from Soul Eater.

amuasyeas:
I have a virulent hatred of neo-liberals. They're as bad if not worse, than the Stormfront crowd. But the thing is, neo-liberals get much more attention on the internet due to appealing to teenagers and pseudo-intellectualism. They have perverted the word "liberal" to the point its an insult meaning immature and brainwashed. Thank god I was red-pilled by /pol/.

Care to explain what you hate about them?

Danny Ocean:

I'm sorry, but your experiment doesn't really tell us very much about anything.

This, although I think the experiment is quite interesting.

Unfortunately this doesn't actually display any realistically useful data because there is no real way to determine anything else about the persons acting upon your comment; no gender, age, etc. etc. etc. data so there is zero context other than making blanket assumption and chalking it up to correlation of viewership, which doesn't accurately make any type of realistic observations other than a lot of people who believe conspiracy theories choose to read Yahoo news.

NameIsRobertPaulson:
Care to explain what you hate about them?

Based on what he said, his hate of neo-liberals is basically translated directly to 'modern American conservatism.' I could be wrong about this, but if I am than he's butchered the meaning of neo-liberal.

NameIsRobertPaulson:

LetalisK:

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Any questions? Thoughts?

Yeah, what exactly is your avatar? I'm not sure if I should be intrigued or scared. Possibly both.

Danny Ocean:

3. Should have posted in less obviously trolling words- good chance many ignored it for that reason.

Sadly, his words weren't obviously trolling. They were pretty mild compared to some of the completely insane opinions people earnestly spout off. The horror of conservative sites...

That is Rinona Miller cosplaying Medusa Gorgon from Soul Eater.

amuasyeas:
I have a virulent hatred of neo-liberals. They're as bad if not worse, than the Stormfront crowd. But the thing is, neo-liberals get much more attention on the internet due to appealing to teenagers and pseudo-intellectualism. They have perverted the word "liberal" to the point its an insult meaning immature and brainwashed. Thank god I was red-pilled by /pol/.

Care to explain what you hate about them?

Being liberal has changed meaning. "The government should let us do x" changed to "The government should provide us with x". This is an immature philosophy, expecting the citizens should be coddled and everything should be institutionalized.

amuasyeas:

Being liberal has changed meaning. "The government should let us do x" changed to "The government should provide us with x". This is an immature philosophy, expecting the citizens should be coddled and everything should be institutionalized.

Uh...

Neo-Liberals are basically a combination of Classical Liberals and American Exceptionalism, aren't they?

"Liberalism" has always had the divide straight down the middle between those who place more emphasis on formal equality and those who place more emphasis on substantive equality. Contrast the French with the Americans.

You really should have said something like "Obama is a horrible president, and he is running this country into the ground". The quote you used is something not many far right leaning conservatives would agree with, which is probably why you didn't get as many up-votes from FOX as you probably thought you would. Even amongst those that hate him, nobody really believes Obama is a Muslim or a terrorist.

The only disappointing thing about this is the sites on which your comment was removed or your account was banned. Censorship is cowardly and disgusting, even if the opinion you are censoring completely deplorable. You can banhammer all the trolls you want and create a nice little fantasy world were you never have to encounter offensive opinions because the though police have removed them all. But that's equivalent to hiding your head in the sand.

cthulhuspawn82:

The only disappointing thing about this is the sites on which your comment was removed or your account was banned. Censorship is cowardly and disgusting, even if the opinion you are censoring completely deplorable. You can banhammer all the trolls you want and create a nice little fantasy world were you never have to encounter offensive opinions because the though police have removed them all. But that's equivalent to hiding your head in the sand.

Depends. It seems quite fair to me that a media organisation might view a comments section as a place for "reasonable" people to debate "reasonable" things. Allows trolls to troll the site is harmful to everyone else's enjoyment, and at worst drive audience (i.e. customers) elsewhere.

Let's put it this way - imagine you rented out a football pitch, and whilst clients were playing, a couple of guys would set up and start a game of table tennis in the middle. A pitch-owner who permitted that to continue would have a lot of angry footballers, who'd find a different pitch.

Media often needs to be viewed in a more holistic fashion - as long as there's some place people with highly unconventional (/inflammatory / ridiculous) views can make themselves heard, individual media organisations don't have any particular necessity to cater to them.

While this is certainly an interesting experiment, the comment you used was rather... Silly. It's a comment designed not for a political discussion, but for trolling and flame baiting. If it were me, rather than using a comment such as that I would have used a political statement, strongly worded. "Gays getting married would undermine traditional values." or, "America needs to regulate guns strictly."

I'm not a fan of the president, but I'd down vote that comment in an instant just because of how stupid it was.

Danny Ocean:

amuasyeas:

Being liberal has changed meaning. "The government should let us do x" changed to "The government should provide us with x". This is an immature philosophy, expecting the citizens should be coddled and everything should be institutionalized.

Uh...

Neo-Liberals are basically a combination of Classical Liberals and American Exceptionalism, aren't they?

"Liberalism" has always had the divide straight down the middle between those who place more emphasis on formal equality and those who place more emphasis on substantive equality. Contrast the French with the Americans.

That's the thing, these American neo-liberals with their demands of entitlement and large government has ruined it all. It DOES NOT WORK.

amuasyeas:

That's the thing, these American neo-liberals with their demands of entitlement and large government has ruined it all. It DOES NOT WORK.

You misunderstand me: "Classical Liberals"- the group to which Libertarians are probably most closely aligned- are very much against the state. They believe it is best used for enforcement of contracts and laws thanks to its (theorised, in their point of view) monopoly on legitimate coercive force. This force is most importantly used in the provision of formal equality, which is, to them, inherently good. No matter the consequences, this formal equality must be preserved. They see nothing immoral about inequality because the means (Usually natural rights) justify the ends (real-world inequality). Negative freedom (formal) is all that matters.

Combine that with American Exceptionalism and you have the groups' ideological and literal aggression and expansionism. They think they have the ultimate answer, and want to tell it to the world whether the world wants it or not. Or, indeed, whether it's right or not. Or overly simplistic and idealistic (which is why I usually find them annoying as hell.)

The other flavour of Liberals are mostly utilitarian, viewing actual real-world consequences as far more important than rules. For this reason, they see the state or other things Libertarians view as inherently good or bad as merely instrumental, used in pursuit of other goals- like happiness, longevity, autonomy, and human fulfilment. These people tend to find inequality immoral because it compromises those goals, and dubious reverence of "Freedom at any cost" doesn't persuade them to ignore the structurally-induced suffering around them. To them, the means do not justify the ends, but that is not to say that the ends justify any means. They value positive freedom (substantive) equally with negative freedom (formal).

This more practical approach tends to mellow any kind of exceptionalism, partly because acts undertaken as a result of exceptionalism can compromise those end-goals.

They are, however, still basically Liberals.

Naturally most countries fall between the two approaches. In the whole Liberal World, the USA sits in the position of "Most valuing formal equality," and the Scandinavian countries probably sit in the "Equally value both types" camp. The two are not incompatible with eachother, they do not exist on an analogue scale where increasing one decreases the other. The relationship is more nuanced than that.

And the latter approach most definitely does work. The big question at the moment is to the economic sustainability of its current implementations. A similar question can be asked of the first approach: is it politically sustainable?

NameIsRobertPaulson:

Yahoo: 1198 upvotes, 43 downvotes. Large amount of support for the comment, and anyone who attacked my post was downvoted. No action against account.

Any questions? Thoughts? Any of the data surprise you? Does this hold any relevence to the internet and the idea of bias? Or was this a waste of time (not ruling that out yet)?

FOX doesn't surprise me but Yahoo! (!) - wow!

I had no idea Yahoo! was a hotbed of conservative activism or people that thought Obama was a Muslim terrorist.

Whoa. :D

 

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