The Fallacy of Objective Reviews

A journalist reviews a video game unfavorably and gets blasted for an "unfair" review. The people disagreeing with her in the comments say she's wrong because one of the main twists was "cool" and not "dull" like she claimed. They call her tasteless and uncultured. One of them even writes the managing editor in the hope that she's fired.
Reviews are opinions. Opinions can be based on fact, but it doesn't magically alter them into truth. I don't know when we stopped teaching this in school, but I feel the world is worse for it (especially in the age of the Internet).

Saying your opinion is factual because it's based on a fact doesn't mean you're factually correct. You may have a well-informed opinion. You might be knowledgeable in a certain subject. No one is a robot, though.

Everyone has their preferences and dislikes. Where some people will tank a review score because they hate excessive profanity, another person won't be bothered by it. You might like the misunderstanding subplot in romance novels, but I absolutely abhor it. A more detailed review might save some people who also hate profanity or the misunderstanding trope a disappointing read, but their agreement also doesn't invalidate someone else's opinion.

The world needs people who have all different tastes, joys, and passions. We need people who can see problems in integrity while others see grace in design. Different views are good because they help keep this world well-rounded. Different backgrounds cultivate different points of view. In other words: It takes all kinds of kinds.
End note:  This is discussing reviews and not bigotry. Thinking you're superior to someone solely based on your skin color, gender, or other variation isn't merely an opinion but another type of (harmful) fallacy.

1 comment:

  1. I don't get the idea that reviews are supposed to be objective. There is no standard measure of quality of some things, especially art--there's just people's opinions, and assessments of whether the work if for them or not. I'd much rather see reviews that just admit up front what preferences and biases the reviewer has so you see if you share them and might, therefore, find their opinion informative for purchase decisions.