SankakuComplex, and the art(?) of scandalization

Issac Newton once said, it was only by standing on the shoulders of giants, did he see further. Similarly, when in doubt I often find myself reading other blogs trying to find information. Recently, I stumbled upon an article by SankakuComplex titled ‘ASIMO VS PETMAN: Japanese robots are a joke!’ And then it hit me: the secret to their success, when compared to more legitimate news sites such as Moetron – scandalization.

When we bloggers include ‘break’ tags, only a small portion of the post which the readers can read on the main page needs to be selected. For instance, for this post one can only see the picture of Kurisu and the first paragraph of this post. (Duh.) For that post, we are given 3 parts to base our initial impressions of the post:

  1. Title
  2. Photo
  3. Excerpt/Introduction
Title:  ‘ASIMO VS PETMAN: Japanese robots are a joke!’. What we can read from the title alone is the gist of the article, being a comparison between the ASIMO robots, made in Japan, and the PETMAN robots, made by Boston Dynamics for military usage. The ‘vs’ part isn’t important, but the first strike is made by the ‘quote’, ‘Japanese robots are a joke!’. Coupled with the photos, one would not only be unable to know that the robot PETMAN was for military usage, but also, compare the two robots based on what ASIMO is famous for – its ‘peaceful’ usages. The wire-covered, highly metallic PETMAN loses out to the sleek ASIMO in this category. This one-two punch is finished up by the introduction: “how pathetic their nation’s robotic poster-child ASIMO is compared to America’s new bipedal military prototype PETMAN.”
Do I need to piece the pieces together? Here’s how it goes. The title is a quote – but from whom? It seems to attack ASIMO: sounds sort of arrogant, doesn’t it? Comparing such a sleek robot to Petman’s prototype and calling it more advanced than Asimo, a robot that has been developed over the course of years. This is the first step of scandalization: forcing the reader to take sides. The quote seems to come from Americans commenting on the two robots – but it would be later shown that it came from 2ch commenters. The worse part is that the offending quote isn’t even shown to be by 2ch commentators: it was only shown to be along the same line of argument. The photos and the introduction not only lend themselves to building the image of the other party as ‘arrogant’ (arguably), the introduction also makes it seem as though this comparison was one made by the other party as well, while it was, like most of other of SankakuComplex’s news, based on the right-wing commentators’ remarks on 2ch. As though to further, lend sympathy to their cause, they also link a video of Honda’s new Asimo update, claiming that it could have been a response to Petman, despite the West’s continued progress in the realm of robotics not being surprising.
But what did it accomplish? Support for the Japanese, of course. The first comment already validates my argument:

Notice how…

… American robots are almost always military-related. Or, the robots are to assist soldiers in some way whether to augment their strength, movement, or assist in transport or deal with dangerous items like IEDs.

… Japanese robots are almost always about making our lives better whether it’s for the disabled and handicap; taking out the pony factor in nuclear reactor management; or providing us with sexual toys.

(That’s until Japan makes piloted mechs capable, fully realized and fully functional then we’re all screwed.)

Which would you prefer?

-octoberasian

 

You got a point! Even if Japanese robots may be a little behind the American ones nowadays, just the fact of the goal of the Japanese be a much more noble instead of the Americans, makes me prefer them.

I can’t just say that all news is biased. That is a no-brainer. However, showing how news can be distorted to change our perception is another case.  What SankakuComplex has effectively done is translate ItaiNews and other news sites (I find this funny, don’t flame me or anything =/) and exaggerate, scandalizing certain details to change the message of the news articles. The best part-  the evidence is missing. The news article is based upon ,well, news. News contain a sliver of truth. Without any of this in the article itself, and the readers distracted by scandalization techniques, one does not realize the inherent lies within the articles.  All of this contributes to something we term ‘unconscious bias’ – as it says on the label, being biased without knowing it. This is the same thing that helps perpetuate racism and other social evils, as discussed in Malcolm Gladwell’s book, Blink.

More specifically, Priming. Here’s what Wikipedia terms it as:

Priming is an implicit memory effect in which exposure to a stimulus influences a response to a later stimulus.

Basically, what we read from the start affects our overall impression of the news. It’s why headlines ,bylines and photos are so important to the newspaper industry. This is why websites want good design. It all contributes to how people view the website, and their subsequent impression of the website. By already using selective language at the start, the reader is primed so that he or she is biased before he or she even starts reading the article itself!  Priming is what spreads stereotypes, as ‘attention to a response increases the frequency of that response, even if the attended response is undesired’. For a website using apparent altruism to provoke sympathy for the Japanese, it too, perpetuates vicious stereotypes of the Chinese and the West in general.

To summarize, In the land of the blind , the man with one eye is king. He who controls the media, has true power: the power to change our perceptions , for whatever cause he or she may seek. By limiting the amount of news it releases, and by using techniques of scandalization and selective wording, SankakuComplex effectively attracts readers despite neglecting its ‘purpose’ – to release news, a form of media meant to be as unbiased as possible , yet never given any justice.

Don’t get me wrong. Personally, I still read it for its figure photos and its anime news. Those, you have to give it credit. Even this article I wrote seeks to change your perception: to get you to see the way I do, or at least put my argument into perspective. All media has purpose, after all, and so does both Sankaku Complex and AOIA. But when SC attempts to dip into ‘real-world affairs’, I can’t help but choke a little on the vomit, rising in my throat.

Remind me to do an article on the philosophy and psychology of yanderes, lol

 

 

About Valence

Starting over from Ambivalence, or Is it Ambiguity, now blogging at Monolith 32. Anime, MTG, Music fan. Amateur poet. I blog things.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to SankakuComplex, and the art(?) of scandalization

  1. Gabest says:

    I agree with you, just be careful with those question marks in the headlines, you might fall into the same category :D

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Betteridge's_Law_of_Headlines

  2. Eri says:

    More intriguing is the fact that you read SankakuComplex-/shot

    Joking aside, I don’t really pay attention to the main page of Sankaku Complex unless there is a an accident footage [which will seriously make me lol ('cause I'm that sick)] or an update to Aya Hirano’s constant flame attacks from haters (which also provides some form of entertainment). Other than that, I skip to the gallery!!! Don’t get me wrong, though! Besides the terrible amount of echii Sankaku Channel has, there are some pretty legit images in there~

  3. FunBunCinnabon says:

    >2011
    >reading SankakuComplex

    LaughingManPointingAtYou.jpg

  4. Pingback: Doubt ambiguity | Golneatr

  5. Mathew says:

    The damned media may have one eye, but remember kids, man is born with two!

  6. HomuHomu says:

    I usually don’t pay attention to the articles unless they’re figure related.

    The only reason I visit the site is for the forum.

  7. Nopy says:

    SankakuComplex exists for entertainment, pure and simple. If anyone says they go there for anything more, I’d question their sanity.

    • Valence says:

      But still it makes me rage for some reason. I mean,surely not everyone believes wholeheartedly in their ‘news’ right?

      But why do I think they do?

      I often think that everyone thinks that way of China and the not-Japan world whenever I think of SankakuComplex. Perhaps it’s just me after all.

  8. MAS says:

    Sankaku Complex sucks, the commenters there are some of the most creepiest, racist, nationalistic, narrow minded, stupidest idiots there are. Yes the world is fucked up but man I didn’t know people like that existed until I went on that site and went through the comments sections. Rarely do you read a good, thorough, informative, educational comment over there, but then you do, they’re gems. Sadly 99% of the comments are overdone creepy loli pedo jokes.

Comments are closed.