The Doe: Combating Conformity in the Media


How anonymous news outlets can lead to a greater understanding of other people’s perspectives.

The rate of globalisation is speeding up. The internet made our world smaller, while social media made it easier for us to share our opinions with whoever we want. No matter who you are or how you identify, we’re all susceptible to the enforcement of conformity. Our worldview is curated so we only see what we – or an algorithm – wants us to. We rarely fact check, often remaining dogmatic in our ideals, and the mere idea of civil discourse online is almost ludicrous. Changing someone else’s opinion is about as likely as lighting striking their head, twice. 

And now we’re facing a crisis of confidence. Opinions are going underground amid the fear of potential backlash, people aren’t expressing themselves as honestly as they normally would, and on and offline retribution is a real and terrifying possibility. We’re living in a cancel culture where one wrong utterance can be made punishable by social isolation and even careericide. Just ask anyone who’s gone viral for the wrong reasons how their life was turned upside-down – death threats and cyber bullying don’t begin to cover it. It doesn’t matter whether you’re a good person who helps elderly people cross the street, if you don’t conform to the status quo, one wrong move and you’re public enemy number one.

It’s a problem for all of us. Our hyper-personalized media is curated for conformity. You must pick a side and reconstruct your entire reality to fit within that pre-defined narrative, or become an outcast. It’s created a society that literally incentivizes us to remain blind and even dismissive of anyone who doesn’t agree with our point of view. Even if we know we’re a part of the machine, there isn’t anywhere we can go to escape the farcical thinktank we’re immersed in.  

Until now…

Enter, The Doe, a news outlet looking to reinvent the wheel by creating a space for honest and open exploration of the human experience, free from assumptions and affiliations. It does this in a simple way: by making every contributor anonymous. This exposure to other people’s unfiltered experiences and beliefs allows The Doe to share experiences and opinions that challenge the way people engage with each other. Done right, it can provide a platform that offers valuable insight into what people are really thinking. Through the sharing of these unique perspectives in this entirely unique way, we can confront our biases and restore open conversation. Knowledge is power. It might not be pretty, but it’s vital if we’re to move the dialogue forward, free from fear. 

This isn’t about making a platform for nefarious means. It’s about allowing people the freedom to add their voice to the dialogue around our culture and where we – as unique individuals – fit into it. If we’re unable to break the cycle of conformity, we remain at the mercy of a society unable to see or think objectively.

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