Linking to that Egan piece got me thinking back to a crisis of internet I experienced during the presidential elections.
Now that clicks to a link are newsworthy as a measure of buzz, and create revenue, is it moral to click on something you don’t support?
First of all, you’re validating them by giving them what they want. Even if it’s not support, they’re getting a buzz for their article/cause/website. That, all too often, translates into success.
Now eventually, technology will get to the point that it knows if you “support” a website. For example, if you use the advertisements to click through and actually buy something. But for now this stuff is measured through bean counting.
That’s why during the presidential elections I made a point to visit the websites of the candidates I was more supportive of (doing so on a regular basis) and actively avoided those I didn’t.
The counter-argument probably being – with such a marginal impact (one click), who the hell cares anyway?