Why Internet arguments fail…and how we can improve them

Author Brene Brown said “It’s not important for me to be right. It’s important for me to get it right.”

This brief video (4:53) explains why it’s so hard to win an argument on the Internet, even when you’re correct. Very few people actually change their minds, even when confronted with facts. This study calls it “the Backfire effect.”

What are the implications of this when we promote Digital Literacy online? This video explains how some tactics might work…sometimes.

And is it really important to “win”, which implies that the other person must “lose”? Maybe we shouldn’t try to win arguments, we should improve our arguments and the way we argue so that instead of an adversarial approach we argue to clarify and inform for mutual benefit.

#theBackfireEffect #onlinearguments #digitalliteracy #medialiteracy #truth #accuracy #gettingitright #factchecking #DigitalLiteracyManifesto #LearnToBeFree


Introducing the #DigitalLiteracyManifesto

Digital literacy (aka information literacy or media literacy) is an essential competency for everyone in the 21st century. Canadians have always valued truth, transparency, knowledge, collaboration and communication. Education and awareness campaigns are helping Canadians learn to be critical and well-informed consumers of information, but information publishers can also play a crucial role by promoting digital citizenship and facilitating information and media literacy. We believe that communications professionals in industries, government, nonprofits and the media can help set higher standards for digital literacy in Canada and worldwide by adopting the following five imperatives:

1 Give Technology a Human Voice

Ensure that digital information always speaks with a human voice so it is accessible to all.

2 Uphold Digital Citizenship

Support dialogue and learning about digital literacy so individuals, groups and communities may understand their rights and responsibilities in information sharing.

3 Dethrone Social Media

Design social content to serve people by giving people and communities advanced tools to self-govern their own social media spheres and have more control over the dynamics.

4 Live the Questions Now

Foster critical thinking by providing accurate, reliable and well-crafted information and by helping people know how to ask questions and which questions need to be asked.

5 Authenticate & Orientate

Include human-readable, verifiable context in all digital information including author(s), date published, date modified, geolocation (if related), intended audience(s) and sources.

Globalisland.ca 2020 | Garth von Buchholz

Universal Design Chart

Free Download, Creative Commons Licence

To understand access needs, you also have to understand the barriers. This universal design access chart, compiled from a variety of sources, outlines access needs and potential barriers to consider when developing online content for the web or social media. You can share it under the terms of the specified Creative Commons licence.