Conspiracies are something that always interest me. The way people sometimes blatantly belief in something that others don’t just fascinates me. If I’m completely honest, sometimes I even laugh at people who belief in conspiracy theories. However, lately I keep thinking about this conspiracy like phenomenon that I encounter on news pages on Facebook. A lot of times I see these banners or titles of news articles that makes me think that they are made to evoke a keyboard warrior fight in the comment section. I mean It really seems that those news pages seem to instigate arguments and a lot of angry comments beneath those articles.
In the Dutch news social media bubble I encounter a lot of either extremely over the top positive news about immigrants or the Islam or something that has to do with those or something negative about them. The extremely positive causes for an extreme counter reaction from people of which I assume lean towards far-right in the political spectrum. The negative reporting actually has the same effect. Another thing that is report a lot about are stories where immigrants or refugees are granted something or given something. This can be anything. And you can imagine, it makes people go mad in the comment section.
What I’m talking about are articles with titles such as: ’Connexion wants to give jobs to refugees’. Connexion is a Dutch public transport company. This seems like a positive news article but the comment section is a digital warzone. People writing things like: ‘they take away all our jobs!’ etc. I understand that this seems to be a positive article. But anyone with a bit of knowledge about how a lot of people think about refugees in the Netherlands could predict the huge amount of hate that will appear underneath this post.
My conspiracy theory is that pages as this actually put articles like this on Facebook on purpose. I don’t know exactly how they benefit from it. Maybe a lot of comments will make their page and posts appear more visible within the Facebook algorithm. Or maybe in some way they make more money when their comment section is full of comments. I am however quite sure that they benefit from it somehow. To me it seems like they do these things on purpose to make angry xenophobes go crazy on their keyboards. I think this is not a good thing because it seems to generate a lot of hate.