March 28, 2011
One of the big surprises of working at Xanga has been the sheer number of conspiracy theories we hear on a pretty regular basis!
Back when we hand-selected posts for Featured Weblogs, some Xangans were pretty quick to say that we were purposefully avoiding featuring their blog posts. Conspiracy! That said, it’s pretty difficult to come up with a truly fair way to spread around featured posts. We did our best, but the weird thing was that we usually got the most complaints from people we featured the most. I never quite figured that one out, but figured that the only way to address that would be by removing the human element.
Anyway so we eventually switched up the frontpage to use a more automated approach that we called Top Blogs. On a pretty regular basis though, people still write in and say that we are censoring them from appearing in Top Blogs… because we disagree with their conservative thoughts. Or their liberal anti-war position. Or whatever. But believe it or not, we don’t read every post and evaluate it for compliance with Xanga’s official political line. That’s because (drumroll please)… we don’t really have an official political line and don’t care what people’s politics are! The issue is almost always that the person in question has used future publishing to draft their posts. We draw Top Blogs from posts created in the past 24 hours, in order to prevent timestamping.
In any case, this is just a small sampling of the conspiracy theories we hear on a pretty regular basis. After the first few years of battling these conspiracies, I kind of gave up and let people float their theories… it is always fun to read a good conspiracy theory. But over time, I’ve come to realize that it’s important to keep battling conspiracy theories. Otherwise people start to think they are true.
At least Xanga wasn’t born in Kenya… or was it???