The lack of objective usage of references and information in debates on racism and discrimination on the internet.
While talking about racism and discrimination on the internet forums, there are a lot of users who use informational and constructive publications about immigration incorrectly. They take the information that supports their own negative and sometimes even hostile ways of thinking and don’t accept the positive facts.
I’ve been following a forum called Suomi24.fi and its topics about immigration, racism and multiculturalism. Suomi24.fi is the biggest Finnish bulletin board on the internet so it’s quite clear that the topics are attended by a huge variety of different people. Some of the topics are discussed in a friendly and respective way.
However, there are lots of conversations going on about immigrants and immigration where the users’ hostile and negative attitude towards immigrants can be easily read between the lines.
While I read through the discussions about immigration, racism and multiculturalism, it occurred to me that the users who base their arguments on statistics and other external publications are often the most heard. Using references is a good thing, but the problem was how the information was taken out and turned into a negative weapon against immigrants and immigration. Also, a common way of criticizing immigrants was pointing out the flaws in them as a matter-of-fact kind of way, even if the researches state otherwise.
I started thinking that it’s alarming how some people refuse to open their mind and begin to accept other point of views about immigration. How can a negative attitude get a hold on to someone so strongly that even if the outcomes of the research that they are referring to is positive, the person still turns the whole thing upside down.
As the user “minnajee” wrote here in Massidea.org: “They manage to turn everything against immigrants: If the immigrant is working, then he is taking the job from a Finn. If the immigrant is unemployed, then he is a bum.”
Research question: What should change so people start referring to other sources of information than just those that support one’s personal views of the issu