Bloggers are no Idiots #OnlineWriting

This week’s prompt questions intelligence of bloggers, influencers and reviewers that write review on a broad range of topics – book, tech, lifestyle, food and fashion. I disagree with this suggestion for the following reasons:

No one is qualified to call out a fellow blogger an idiot. We should not use such a harsh word without any proper evidence to back the claim.

By nature, the process of review any product is bound to be subjective. What I may like to eat, wear, read may be very different from the likes of next person. Difference is bound to crop up. Does that make a blogger an idiot? I don’t think so.

Yes there are many bloggers that write on topics like motherhood, food, restaurant, fashion, books etc. There are many different types of blogs and bloggers. Some blogger may do deep research while others may not be as thorough. Some blogs may be very popular because content is very relevant, blog is reaching right audience, blog is well presented, blog is easy to follow. Any blog and blogger should be judged by readership and the amount of traffic a blog generates.

It is possible that a blogger may lack subject area knowledge, unless the blogger is an subject area expert. If a non expert is picked to publicise a product simply because of excellent writing skill and popularity of the blog / blogger, then it should be personal decision of the blogger to take up such an assignment. Even in such a situation, the blogger knows what he is doing and cannot be called an idiot.

A recent case that came to light was presence of asbestos in Johnson and Johnson’s (J&J) baby powder. It was claimed that use of such a powder may cause ovarian cancer. According to report, jury in the US had awarded a lot of money to a group of women that sued. This information was picked up by makers talcum powder in India. Bloggers wrote J&J baby powder is potentially dangerous.

Nothing wrong factually. But an domain expert would have considered a few points : t

  • Scientifically, to cause cancer a product has to go inside the body in sufficient amount and for a long period of time. Chance of asbestos from talcum powder applied on body surface reaching ovaries is very remote.
  • Given that so many people that use J&J brand of powder, how many cancer cases have been reported?
  • Does the verdict means, Johnson and Johnson brand is not good for females but fine for males?
  • Even in the present case, experts believe that evidence is shaky at best and the verdict will be challenged in higher court.

I think bloggers should have highlighted these aspects in their articles rather than simply claiming how dangerous is J&J’s baby powder and how good is their competitor’s product.

Finally, like in any field, there is a huge diversity among bloggers. Some may want to write because writing gives them freedom to express their thoughts. Others may write because they want to earn money by blogging. All said and done, bloggers are trying to express their thought on any given topic. One may not like what a blogger is writing, we may not want to visit the site, it may not be right to call a blogger an idiot.

The present post is written as part of Indispire prompt. More articles based on the prompt may be found here.

19 thoughts on “Bloggers are no Idiots #OnlineWriting

Add yours

  1. I liked your analysis on the baby powder. While I can’t see asbestos being a good component, I thought it was almost exclusively tied to mesothelioma (the lung cancer). I find it surprising that lung cancer isn’t the problem investigated, though I suppose the amount aerosolized in baby powder is small.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It is not baby food it is talcum powder used for babies as well as adults. J&J was sued in the US for ovarian cancer. I found that unbelievable. But asbestos and lung disease there is good association.

      Liked by 1 person

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