Lately, Odyssey has been getting A LOT of flack for articles that have been published on the website and that have been shared on social media platforms such as Facebook.
Take a moment and realize that what you are posting in the comments is just as bad as the articles that made you angry.
I understand that these articles you read and see Odyssey sharing on Facebook are controversial opinions, thoughts that not every young person or adult in America has. But if you're going to get angry, please be informed before you target your anger at Odyssey and the writers of these articles.
Odyssey is not a publisher, which I think many people forget. Odyssey is a social media platform, dedicated to spreading the thoughts and opinions of Millennials across the world. Yes, Odyssey is a business that has a CEO and Editors and Communities, but these are all layers of a business dedicated to helping Odyssey run.
I am the Editor-in-Chief of the Cleveland State University team and recently one of my writers has been getting a lot of negative feedback on an article they wrote.
So, I am going to point out the missions of Odyssey, which are taken directly off of the Odyssey website.
“Keep it real.
The community decides what content goes on Odyssey based on what’s important to them, not on what merely sells more media. Contributors write long-form articles and create videos on what matters to them, and share them organically across their own social networks. What you see represents nothing other than authentic ideas that the community deems important.”
“The monopoly on minds is over.
The status quo of publishing and social media makes it hard for those voices to be heard. Odyssey democratizes content, giving people the opportunity to share what’s most important to them and their communities, enriching everyone with broader, more honest perspectives on topics they care about.”
“Get it from all sides.
Open up to new perspectives and ideas, and enrich your life. More people openly contributing content means more opportunities to discover new, diverse opinions and ideas from thousands of writers in local communities around the world. A 360-degree view.”
I completely agree that there are articles posted by Odyssey that are controversial and not everyone is going to agree with them. I don’t agree with every controversial article that gets put out there, but with over 12,000 communities across the country, what do you expect? Thousands of creators are sharing their opinions and experiences, and odds are you're not going to agree with every single one of them.
I don’t agree with articles or sentences that condemn individuals. I don’t agree with sentences that might perpetuate rape culture. This is not what Odyssey or creators aim for.
Odyssey is here to share points of view and to cultivate discussions. So, in a way, the hate and anger that you may spread due to an Odyssey article are just what we want. (I am speaking on behalf of myself, not the entire Odyssey platform.) These hate comments still spurn great discussions.
After my creator started to get a lot of hate about her article, a group of fellow EIC’s and I started to have a lengthy discussion on what this means for Odyssey as a whole.
I didn’t agree with every word of the article that my writer wrote, but I respected that she and other people in the world might feel this way. I read it, edited it and sent it along for the next stage of editing. It doesn’t affect me negatively because I know I have my own opinions and this article won’t change them - and neither will the hundreds of other articles I see and disagree with. However, they do create discussions, which is what Odyssey aims for.
All I ask is that before targeting the platform of Odyssey and the creators that write these articles, remember that Odyssey is here to share all perspectives, a 360-degree point of view. Remember when getting mad at an article shared on Facebook that those in charge of social media for Odyssey don’t pick and choose what to share with their followers.
Articles posted on Facebook are shared due to the traffic they may bring in and how they are trending on the main website. Ultimately, the views and comments you give these articles are helping that community of writers, as well as Odyssey, in the end.
(Below are comments directed at my writer - names are blocked about, but the hate speech is not).
I don’t agree with the wording of the comments and the hate speech that was directed toward a writer, but I don’t think that they should be shamed for voicing their comments, hence me blocking out their names. Some of the opinions I agree with, others I do not. But I don’t agree with using slurs and derogatory remarks to spread your anger. Also, some comments don't always help the situation.