The other day I wrote about TLDR’s terrible episode on Vivek Wadhwa, this guy who talks a lot about women in tech, much to the annoyance of actual women in tech.

The fallout from this episode has been fascinating. I’ve found the conspiracy-mongering is particularly interesting to watch.

The commenters who have at least a vague notion of the basic responsibilities of reporting?

They must be Wadhwa’s supporters!

What should one make of WNYC’s decision to pull the episode?

Wadhwa must have threatened them!

What evidence do you have for these claims?

Well it could be true and well, frankly, we don’t like people like him very much, so it’s probably accurate.

I don’t know how many of you have watched any of Vice News’s dispatches from Ukraine, but one sees this same sort of paranoid worldview, especially from the videos shot during the early stages of the conflict before things really heated up, and particularly among the pro-Russian separatists (clear evidence of Vice’s bias, of course).

Information that disputes their narrative? Fabrication. Encounter someone who disagrees with you? Provocateur.

And that’s exactly how they were supposed to react.

See, conspiracies do exist. The other side is clandestinely funded by the U.S. government (though not so clandestinely anymore).

There are sophisticated operations to flood Internet comment sections.

In talking about these issues with friends, I keep hearing the same comment: “Why can’t there be news that just reports facts?”

The answer is that finding facts is exhausting. And once you’ve found some, they are either too boring to be read or too unthinkable to publish.