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Dear PA commenters: let's talk about bias

0. phoneArena 27 Nov 2012, 19:59 posted on

We here at PhoneArena can have something of a thankless job, but it is a job that we love, and one that we attempt to do as well as we can. We try our best to present you all with news, reviews, and analysis in an honest, thought-provoking, and (if possible) entertaining way. But, it seems about time we directly address our comment community, because many of you seem to have a skewed idea of the word "bias"...

This is a discussion for a news. To read the whole news, click here

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:03 46

1. JGuinan007 (Posts: 634; Member since: 19 May 2011)


Thank you I get tired of seeing IphoneArena and such in the comments

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:05 3

3. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


You're not helping by taking potshots. If anything, you're doing the complete opposite of what Michael is trying to suggest.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:18 27

13. CellularNinja (Posts: 302; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)


But what he said is true. Android users (such as myself), and Windows users who call the site iPhoneArena because a PhoneArena reviewer said that they believe the iPhone has an advantage over another device is ridiculous. I personally believe that most (if not all) android flagships have an advantage over iPhone. But I understand that others have differing opinions. There is no reason for using that term to name the site.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:37 21

87. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


But here's the thing...there is a difference between a review and an actual story. A reviewer is paid to give their opinion. That's all. As long as the reviewer makes a point and supports why they feel that way, then the reviewer has done their job and it's up to you to figure out if those "highlights" are important to you or not. I always say, just because I'd rather have my iPhone over an Android, doesn't make the Android smartphone a bad device. It just doesn't work for me. But I don't bash anyone that reviews a Nexus above the iPhone. That Android works for them.

And I cannot stress this enough, people make the news what it is. People annoy me when they say "All you see on the news are negative stories." You know why? Because whether your reaction to that negative story is good or bad, you are more willing to watch a negative story because it's more interesting. The same goes here. Whether you love Apple or absolutely hate them, you react to their stories. You post love or hate about Apple but completely neglect stories about Android, Windows Phone 8, or what's left of Blackberry. In fact, I can tell an Apple story without looking at the headline because they consistently have upward of 20 comments. Most of the time, some stories on other OS' get some comment about Apple in discussions. So if stories on Apple are getting all the hits and other stories are getting neglected, you are sending a message. You are more interested in news on Apple than any other company.

Since I started reading this site 5 years ago, I've never thought PhoneArena was bias towards any company. The site does a great job at diversifying their staff writers who have actually done some great reporting that you don't always find on tech sites. Hell, some newspapers don't do features like it anymore (anyone remember the Science section?).

But accusations of bias are easy nowadays right? We are seeing it in politics constantly. This news channel criticizes me so they are bias. This paper doesn't agree with EVERYTHING I think so they are bias. Just because you don't agree with something reported on doesn't make it bias.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 22:20 1

103. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5770; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


Hmmm. If I were reviewing iOS v. 6 and stated that iMaps was a perfidious lash-up, that would be asserting an opinion (that I could be accused of being biased in asserting, especially given my member name), right? But if I gave examples of how iMaps steered me wrong, that would be objective?

I am not trying to make an issue, just pointing out that the line separating bias from objective is oftentimes, quite fine (and on numerous occasions, painted in shades of grey).

My net contribution to this thread is that writing articles is not as easy as reading them and making accusations of bias is even easier still. Kudos to PA's writers for even attempting to respond to commenters.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 08:12 1

161. JeffdaBeat (unregistered)


Remember that when you review something, it is your opinion. When you are writing a story, you remove yourself as the subject and interview other people. Now if YOU had a bad experience with Apple Maps and write about it, a newspaper would consider that an editorial or column. But if you are reporting many people having issues with Apple Maps because it can't find locations, that is reporting, not reviewing.

The only gray line that exists is if the ONLY thing you decide to report on are issues with Apple. Then you have bias reporting.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 23:29

116. JBurd3 (Posts: 11; Member since: 07 Mar 2012)


i agree with you bro

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:19 6

15. metalpoet (unregistered)


Im sick of people thinking that Phonearena has some sort of biased towards apple or against apple and the same can go for google, windows, and blackberry. They simply put in the articles and they shouldnt be blamed if we dont like the facts, we can however comment on how certain people on the comment boards can be quite biased and down right ridiculous! You guys are doing a great job keeping me informed of whats going on in the wireless world :)

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:23 1

83. JGuinan007 (Posts: 634; Member since: 19 May 2011)


I'm not taking potshots at anyone I'm just tired of reading stupid comments from android fanatics saying PA is biased for Iphone calling PA "Iphonearena" or IOS fans such as yourself Taco or the Miz saying the opposite. Most of the time the comments don't even have anything to do with the article. It's tireing trying to sift out the good thought out and reasonable ones and I thank Mikey H for addressing this.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 08:21 1

162. -box- (Posts: 3797; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


I don't think PhoneArena itself is biased, just that some of the reviewers seem to favor one particular company or OS over others, to the point that it is detrimental to the written (or spoken in videos) perception of any of that company's competitors' devices. There are only 2 or 3 off the top of my head that do this, and recently I was pleasantly surprised to see one of them give a positive review of a competitor's product that, when I saw their name on the review, I thought that competitor's product would surely be derided throughout the entire review.

That said, there are too many commentors on this site who are willing to drop the "bias!" bomb any time something they like isn't adored (or disliked) in equal measure to their own perceptions and beliefs. They do not realize that no system is perfect, everyone is entitled to their own beliefs and perceptions, and sometimes the few hours or days the authors on this site have to test a phone are insufficient to really "get to know" a device, especially if it has a steeper learning curve but more raw capabilities because of it. Granted, IMHO I don't think any modern system needs a curve like that for generalized consumer products, and that preference is shown in what I choose to buy, and to that end it is difficult to expect the reviewers to be held to that higher standard: if they can't figure it out or make it perform to expectations (if expectations are different than reality, which they usually are) being paid professionals, how and why would a regular consumer be expected to?

With all that in mind, I have to offer kudos to Michael H for his articles. I cannot recall any in recent memory that had a hint of any strong biases. Dissatisfactions, absolutely, but not to the point that it overrode his professionalism. Furthermore, as long as the writers on this site don't start acting and writing (and videoing) like giz's apple-gobbling Biddle, I think I'd be more than satisfied with that.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:00 2

64. cncrim (Posts: 502; Member since: 15 Aug 2011)


Bias exist and will be happen very second in our life. For Example: you are open up your cloth draw and decide what color to wear you are BIAS. if you choose red, then you are bias to the color red and tomorrow you choose blue you are bias to blue. THAT'S WHAT BIAS mean and how the world work as whole, period.

If you like Google you are bias Android, if you like Apple you are bias IOS. It is what it is. Bias more like a personal preference.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 22:04 14

97. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2671; Member since: 26 May 2011)


That's exactly the opposite of my point. My point is that the word "bias" exists for a reason, because it is NOT the same as an opinion or preference. Bias is defined by being an unfair preference. There is nothing unfair about preferring red over green on Mondays.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 05:20 1

151. sadaivadai (Posts: 156; Member since: 22 Nov 2011)


http://www.phonearena.com/reviews/HTC-Windows-Phone-8X-vs-Apple-iPhone-5_id3183

In this article read the first paragraph in "Design" segment . Sometimes that's what i don't like . While reviewing and comparing sometimes you should forget your favourites .

Otherwise i don't find any of you to be biased and all .

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 06:34 1

154. CellularNinja (Posts: 302; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)


@Michael

I agree and disagree. You make a great point. But there are some cases where one can be bias by simply preferring something by default.

Example: a bunch of friends want to hang out, they are deciding if they should go ice skating or bowling, well the one kid is a hockey player so he says "well I'd rather go ice skating... But of course I'm bias".

There was nothing unfair about that, but he is still bias. But we obviously know why he was bias though. Bias doesn't have to mean unfair

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 08:43 1

163. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2671; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Maybe not in normal life, but in the world of journalism, bias inherently means unfair.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 14:34

206. CellularNinja (Posts: 302; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)


True. Good point. I kind of took it out of context I guess.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 14:38

208. CellularNinja (Posts: 302; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)


I mean the whole 'argument' of Android versus iPhone eventually boils down to preference. No matter how much faster one's processor is than the others, or how big the screen is. So to say that having a preference is bias, than any review you would ever read would have bias.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 23:41 1

118. Retro-touch (Posts: 257; Member since: 24 Oct 2011)


Big deal if some people think your bias, ever considered why do those same people keep coming back, clearly you're doing something right

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 00:00

121. Bernoulli (Posts: 1446; Member since: 01 Sep 2012)


Hey at least Michael isn't biased I don't think, but Alan seems to be more on apples feet

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 10:03 2

176. Mxyzptlk (Posts: 3510; Member since: 21 Apr 2012)


I think you are missing the point of the article.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 07:20 1

156. jroc74 (Posts: 4736; Member since: 30 Dec 2010)


I think there are some writer(s) here that are biased, Michael isnt one of them. A quick search of his articles will tell you that. And I agree with someone, its changing a lil with other writers.

I like Google/Android, dont like Apple, like Microsoft, dont really have an opinion about BB. I do try top give Apple, MS and BB props ....where its due. I feel alot of times Apple and their products get put on an amazingly high pedestal.

I can have a bias towards Google/Android. I just dont try to come off fanboyish. Alot of times, like most things in life...."its now what you say but how you say it"

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 08:08 1

160. cripton805 (Posts: 920; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


This article has proved nothing. Now, what Ive read here in the past is enough for me to decide whether phonearena is bias or not.

I have seen Android devices get flamed for certain things that the iPhone doesn't have, and it's never mentioned.

It's like they purposely try to focus on the positives instead of the negatives and the negatives are covered up by saying there will be an update or we like it that way, etc...

Read the HTC one X review and the iPhone 4s.
Usually they're more sneaky, but that article was a complete troll.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 14:23

202. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2671; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Just read the entire HTC One X review and saw absolutely nothing trollish about it. Can you point out some examples of what you're talking about?

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 11:40

194. REYNER (Posts: 187; Member since: 10 Feb 2012)


in terms of reviewing gadgets i have to say phonearena makes a thorough review and unbiased opinion writer have qualities of keeping out of the safe zone when reviewing phone or tabs. which is good BUT there are instances that makes the site looks bias because most of the news involving apple products are so often to the point that even for example an big announcement related to android,BB,WP and so on are out shined by those articles even the small details related to apple never lost out of sight in a sense that MOST of the time exposure of apple products a more frequent compare to other os or products.. i notice it because i also consider other sites when looking for some news related to gadgets i have nothing against phonearena or even the writers but sometimes small news related to other os like android,bb,wp are as important as in iOs news.. accessory products of devices such as sony,moto,samsung and others are as important as apple enabled products. thats all. im sorry for my english.. have a good day everyone

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:05 16

2. fistigons (Posts: 263; Member since: 11 Feb 2012)


You guys are doing a great job reporting the phone news. Don't change. And keep up the giveaways.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:06 8

4. CellularNinja (Posts: 302; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)


Thank you, PA. Much needed article. Many commenters seem to call out bias because a reviewer has an opinion. That is what reviews and other similar articles are for. So that we can get a feel for what one person (sometimes an expert) has to say about a particular product.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:07 3

5. AstronautJones (Posts: 262; Member since: 01 Aug 2012)


Typical biased PA reporting, lol.
Actually, if people have a problem with the articles, then why do they return?
PA is the best source for a range of mobile news and information..
My opinion at least.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:16 24

11. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


alot of us come back becasue its fun to watch the flame wars

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:19 15

14. CellularNinja (Posts: 302; Member since: 27 Sep 2011)


Haha agreed :)

I mean, I come for the news and information, but I do enjoy a good comment battle occasionally!

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:23 7

19. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


hey on the plus side they are NOT as bad as BGR..

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:13 3

74. networkdood (Posts: 6267; Member since: 31 Mar 2010)


P.A. has the best format, IMO, however, it is normally behind the times when it comes to news.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 22:59 3

112. akbar (Posts: 62; Member since: 09 Feb 2012)


Totally disagree. PA has their good sides but their format is RSS spam! The amount of useful information is totally lost in background noise. Th best reviews I have ever read are from anandtech and phone-review. They give you background of the product, intended target audience and their opinion. Generally not only review of the device but deeper analysis. Most of the PA reviews are opinionated readings of the spec sheet.
And if you end all of your articles with "what do you think" why are surprised of the flame wars. As users before said, everybody has their bias and to be objectionable is not easy that's why experts are paid so high. you can not expect this from the general public, especially when your reading base mostly teenagers.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 01:55 1

133. quakan (Posts: 1184; Member since: 02 Mar 2011)


True. I usually don't see too many stories on here that have been presented first before Engadget, BGR, etc., but what initially brought me here is that this site was and still is the best hub for phone news, reviews, and all other things related to phones and tablets. When I first started visiting this site, I used it to help me decide what my next phone would be (this was back in the feature phone days when LG was the reigning king at Verizon) because I loved the in depth reviews and comparisons that I could find on this site that no other site did at the time (to my knowledge) in a pleasant, easy-on-the-eyes presentation. I loved how well-written the articles were and how engaging the writers were to us readers/commenters and this what has kept me here all this time. I also love that PhoneArena has a much better control on its trolls than it used to in the past (sometimes they were funny, but most of the time they were irritating and filled up the comment sections with nonsense and made it impossible to find a real comment worth reading).

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 10:50

181. -box- (Posts: 3797; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


News at-a-glance (no need to scroll multiple pages), small community, and good articles that tend to be same-day as major sites (sometimes before). If you see something on another site that you think PA should repost, do what I do, fill out a tip at the top of the page.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:11 6

6. syedzain (Posts: 174; Member since: 08 Oct 2012)


U guys are doing great .. carry on for what u are doing.. U arent biased.. u are the BEST in reviews.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:11 2

7. wendygarett (unregistered)


Another nice articles you have Michael :)

There are no bias articles so far... It just a bias fanboyism, who never stand at the middle side just like me :)

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:45 6

50. wendygarett (unregistered)


Oh and Michael, can you refer the article "101 reasons not to get Windows phone" made by Victor...

This is actually an informative articles, but take a look at the comments... Hundreds of hatred comments made by those haters whose not even tried the Windows phone... Most of the readers here want you to pick android and android ONLY!!! They keep emphasize the word "choice" and yet they will never give us the choice for choose beyond android...

I listen to them, and I try android, and it does awesome... I want them to tried iDevice too because it's not as bad as they think... And yet they think I'm trolling...

They take one side too serious!!! It's not your fault pa...

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:03 5

65. nwright94 (unregistered)


This exact thing is what is pushing me toward other websites. I enjoy reading comments to see a diverse range of opinions, but on this website in particular, you can't have an opinion unless its loving android because the countless android fans (yes, they are not all like this) will insult your intelligence and tell you your opinion is wrong. It's ridiculous. I happen to enjoy iOS but if I make that fact known, I get android fans coming out of the woodworks to insult me, tell me I'm wrong, and give NO reason why they think I'm wrong other than "IPhail sucks, android is the best". The website itself is great, the comment section is getting worse and worse.

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 10:52

182. -box- (Posts: 3797; Member since: 04 Jan 2012)


In fairness, not too long ago this was a haven for apple fans, now it is one for Android fans with some who like Windows Phone. The crowd changes as the popular devices change. There was a guy (allegedly from Sweden) who was a huge bada fan. To each their own.
As for the "101 Reasons" article, that was a repost from another site, and even that site's commentariat railed on it for gross inaccuracies and trivialities

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 10:12

177. cripton805 (Posts: 920; Member since: 18 Mar 2012)


One of the dumbest posts I have ever read.

You assume we haven't used different devices? Have you?

At this moment in time, Android devices are superior. If you like something else better, thats ok!

But to say an iPhone is better because it uses aluminum over a good plastic is stupid.

The way most websites review phones is stupid. There are more important features that should be worth more points than user preference.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:12 12

8. tedkord (Posts: 4753; Member since: 17 Jun 2009)


What a biased article. ;)

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:16 1

9. Lboogey6 (Posts: 266; Member since: 31 Jan 2012)


yeah its great to see that you finally were fed up and decided to go at it head on people that just thumbs down or say a negative comment without having a spine to explain or see both ways realizing the world doesn't revolve around the cell phone world

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:16

10. darktranquillity (Posts: 284; Member since: 28 Feb 2012)


Nice article pa

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:17

12. beasteator (Posts: 7; Member since: 25 Oct 2012)


I think there are way too many aruments on here after every article (that's an opinion). I love PA and they are the best site for all the latest news (also an opinion). Thank You Phone Arena! :D

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:22 9

16. ajac09 (Posts: 1367; Member since: 30 Sep 2009)


You guys are considered Biased because

1. You will gladly put 5 apple articles up same subject same-thing 5 different ways
2. you promote apple like its god among everything
3. you think the iphone is innovative when its doing what every other phone before it has done.
4.you think Steve Jobs is a god when he was a physiological bitch

things phonearena needs to do to fix this:

1. hire someone that loves technology no matter the situation not just a fair weather fan. You guys treat cell phones like a woman that doesn't know about football.

2. show that you actually enjoy other devices.

do this basic stuff and you will loose the iphonearena label till then just change your name to Iphonearena and enjoy all your IOS fans,

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:30 11

22. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2671; Member since: 26 May 2011)


1. We may put up similar articles, but at the end of the day, we are a business, and those articles generate a lot of hits.

2-4) Please give examples, because I certainly don't remember reading any theism towards Apple or Jobs.

I'd say we tend to respect Apple, because it has been a successful company, but that hasn't stopped us from being critical when necessary.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:50 6

55. fragmentedboy (Posts: 3; Member since: 27 Nov 2012)


1. We (android user) click on the iphone news because we knew that it would be biased, and we want to normalize it.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:54 11

60. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2671; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Aha, but isn't expecting bias going to make you specifically look for things to prove that, and possibly ignore anything that shows fairness?

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:07 4

70. ojdidit84 (Posts: 314; Member since: 16 Jul 2011)


I'll admit that for the most part, articles on PA are pretty objective. The only articles that I hardly bother to read or just pass up are articles written by Ray S. who definitely has a slant toward anything Apple in the majority of articles that he writes even if the topic has nothing to do with Apple. It's one thing to be objective and critical. It's another to be blatantly biased and uneducated about the products that you write about and clearly spend all of your time with one device and barely any with another. It definitely shows.

Other than that, I pretty much enjoy reading the articles here.

The comments are the icing on the cake especially when they get into the whole isheep, fandroid and other fanboy grade-school name-calling. That's when my eyes glaze over.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:58

95. MartyK (Posts: 711; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


You are forgetting Alan F.; he's the most Ifan since mac9to5; heck he's worst then that fraud Florian Mueller.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:54

92. MartyK (Posts: 711; Member since: 11 Apr 2012)


Michael,
I have to agree with ajac09, post a link to any article ( 2 or 3 would be nice) that bash the Iphone like PA has done to many other os.( Please leave out the imap problem)

Every time you guys compare the iphone vs anyone, you guys always give the iphone a win.

There was a time you guys criticize /claiming 4+ screen size was too big. now since the Iphone has reach that size it's okay

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 22:17 7

102. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2671; Member since: 26 May 2011)


I just looked at the last 4 articles that had an Apple product vs something else, and Apple was only the clear winner once, and that was because it was up against Windows Phone. In each of the others, it was made clear that if you are looking for X, go with Apple, if you're looking for Y, go with the other one.

Off the top of my head, I remember being vocally disappointed in the iPhone 4S, the myriad Siri outages, antennagate, and the overall stagnation of iOS UI design. I don't have time to grab the links this minute, but I'll get back to you.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 22:26 5

107. Droid_X_Doug (Posts: 5770; Member since: 22 Dec 2010)


"Every time you guys compare the iphone vs anyone, you guys always give the iphone a win."

Yet the GS III was scored a 9.3 to the iP5's 9.0. Maybe PA was being biased toward the GS III?

But I thought PA was just accused of being iPA? (Confused, dunno.)

posted on 28 Nov 2012, 08:45 1

164. MichaelHeller (Posts: 2671; Member since: 26 May 2011)


Like I've said, if you go looking for Apple bias, you'll probably find it, but you may have to ignore quite a bit on the way.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 20:34 1

33. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2457; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


"things phonearena needs to do to fix this:

1. hire someone that loves technology no matter the situation not just a fair weather fan. You guys treat cell phones like a woman that doesn't know about football."'

while some of the things you said may be true............you dont need to get rid of anyone here......because whether you like it or not, they are here for a reason! and instead of "giving up" on someone .........look for the best in them and hope they change.......if not, then leave it up to God to work on that person.......but disposing of someone should be THE LAST OPTION, never the first!

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:05 5

68. nwright94 (unregistered)


So what you're saying pretty much is lose any apple and windows phone article and make it android only. You know, androidcentral.com is a great website if you don't like seeing other platforms mentioned.

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:11

72. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2457; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


were you responding to me or another post bro?

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:17 2

78. nwright94 (unregistered)


Nope, original poster. Nothing meant toward you :)

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 22:06

100. XPERIA-KNIGHT (Posts: 2457; Member since: 08 Aug 2012)


.... :)

posted on 27 Nov 2012, 21:13 2

73. techguy22 (Posts: 226; Member since: 09 Aug 2012)


you do know they paid everytime you click on an article, more clicking=more money.people love apple crap, they have to post as many they can so they can get few bucks. engadget the verge and others do it too. thats how tech blogs survive. on ads, traffic.

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