Well, after checking the date of the first post published on Angry Mob it would appear that Angry Mob has now existed for one year. It happens to share the anniversary with the excellent Tabloid Watch who has managed a staggering 579 posts in just one year.
Angry Mob has managed a less impressive 226 posts which have attracted 541 comments. It has been mentioned in the Guardian Guide (print and online) and got to 200 in the overall Wikio rankings for November. I’m immensely grateful to all those that have read, commented on, contributed to and even donated to Angry Mob during the first year. I have been very pleased with the general readership of the blog, even if I’m still surprised at what stories fly around Twitter and generate thousands of page views and which don’t really attract many readers at all.
Often a post that I have lovingly crafted and am pleased with is roundly ignored whilst a post thrown together in a few minutes goes global for a few days and gets infinitely more readers than the one I was really proud of. I imagine I am not the only blogger who feels this, but often just putting a sentiment or idea out there is enough and the readership is more of an ego thing. I am aware that the majority of posts written on this blog are rushed. I work full time, spend two hours commuting (driving, so cannot write / research stuff) and have many other projects on the go, so if things sometimes feel rushed it’s probably because they are because I needed to get to bed.
Anyway, Angry Mob started with a post entitled ‘Left-bashing‘ pondering on what a strange world it is we live in when the word ‘liberal’ is considered a vile insult and anyone labelled as such is blamed for pretty much everything that certain sections of the media think is wrong with the world. One year on and nothing much has changed, the Pope being the latest person to talk about the ‘unjust’ and ‘intolerant’ nature of equality. As I wrote in my first post:
As usual the Mail interprets diversity as positive discrimination, as something negative, rather than simply a greater acceptance of different lifestyles. So, rather than diversity being about acceptance and understanding; Mail readers instead interpret it as an attack on ‘normal’ values or ‘traditional’ families. Mail readers do not seem to understand that families break up for numerous reasons, not because New Labour or the ‘left’ are waging some kind of war against families.
Likewise, a year on ‘equality’ is being labelled as ‘intolerance’, the term is being distorted so that it seems like an attack on certain values, rather than an acceptance of different values. The tolerance of gay people becomes an intolerance of people who believe they hold the right to be intolerant towards gays. Again, the implication somehow seems to be: if we don’t tolerate gays, they will simply cease to exist. This is of course as irrational as thinking that if all ‘liberal’ values were destroyed the ‘normal’ Daily Mail vision of the traditional family would thrive.
I don’t hold out a huge amount of hope that this blog will ever succeed in making a massive difference to the thought-patterns of beliefs of the average Daily Mail reader. However, I do think it helps to point out some of the most blatant lies or atrocious ideas or hatred published by the paper because this blog then forms part of a growing social media that rejects the values of the Daily Mail and the other tabloid newspapers.
The social media revolution has demonstrated one thing: people do have an appetite for the truth. People do seek out websites that exist to demonstrate the everyday lies and distortions published by the mainstream media – whether it is MMR scares, bad science in general, lies about immigration, climate change, banning Christmas and so on. People don’t like to be treated like mindless simpletons and they don’t like to be lied to.
This is what the mainstream media does with its reporting (and also what it does not report), it distorts the world around us until it becomes a scary place full of hatred, paranoia and ‘outsiders’. This world is only sustainable for as long as our main media consumption is provided by the mainstream media. If the PCC is completely overhauled and actually starts to regulate the press and the readership of the many blogs like this one continues to grow, then perhaps their control will start to slip and more and more people will be free to enjoy (and feel lucky to be) living in what is a pretty decent part of the world.