Is Internet Sensationalizing Acceptable?
For most Netizens, the following scenario may be familiar: a post with erotic photos is submitted by a Netizen in certain forum; “interested” Netizens begin to make both positive and negative comments so that increasing number of Netizens would be involved in the hot discussion; and then the post is to be linked to their forums and websites, the post-submitter to be interviewed by a series of entertainment programs and newspapers; eventually, the post-submitter gains celebrity overnight. Netizens call this process Internet sensationalizing.
By far, there have been a variety of successful Internet sensationalizing cases such as Lotus Sister and February Girl. While many conservative people deem it vulgar, I personally think that the sensationalizing is acceptable so long as it is not maliciously intended.
Firstly, the Internet sensationalizing provides opportunities to grass-root people who want to make a name. Generally speaking, it is difficult for grass-root people to become eminent through conventional means, for the world is so competitive that only those most talented and diligent people can make it. Even if they eventually realize their dreams, it would take time and efforts.
Thanks to the Internet, people can easily be informed, which indicates that so long as the news is sensational enough, it will be quickly transmitted to each corner of our country. Overnight, it is likely that an unknown person hits the headlines of portal websites, and then is interviewed by different newspapers. If the new big shot proves well-received by the public, they will soon be offered a role in movies or TV series.
Secondly, as Internet sensationalizing can not succeed without hot discussion of contrast opinions, participants in the discussion will have access to different ideas and become more rational. For example, in Chanel Girl’s case, she claimed that she was expelled by the university authorities because she had renounced foreign language teaching in her blog. In response, some Netizens argue that as an individual has the right of delivering free speeches, it is ridiculous for a prestigious university to expel the student.
Of course, there are Netizens who disagree with the argument. They argue that we can not believe in all what Chanel Girl said in her blog, for it would take time for the university to make the decision. As the later revealed truth indicates, the girl lied. In this sense, people will learn to figure out the truth in the Internet sensationalizing and hence become more rational.
Undoubtedly, there are some negative impacts of Internet sensationalizing. For example, those involved in the sensationalizing may be unfairly criticized. Anyway, Internet sensationalizing can be used by grass-root people to make a name overnight, if they do not have malicious intentions.