As a member of a couple of social networking website that specialise in connecting travellers, I find participants’ inability or unwillingness to provide accurate or honest answers to questions, extremely frustrating.
This is not a one off, or just one particular website. It happens time after time as members manage to praise one place while giving a disparaging account of another. Yet some, by their own admission, have rarely if ever, visited the areas they are condemning.
I appreciate that having a passion for a particular place makes answering easier, but it is important not to let it take over every reply you make, whether relevant or not. Even worse, ignore the questors’ needs just to make your point.
To be objective means not having a pre-set opinion and word choice can indicate a posters bias. It doesn’t have to be negative. Posters who are overly favourable also display bias. Objectivity receives respect and trust from readers whereas obvious bias will often turn a reader away from the ideas the poster is trying to make.
In some folks, biases are deeply ingrained or perhaps they are just the sort of person who takes delight in forcing their own preferences and personal prejudices on others. However, I believe, if you are going to take an active part in helping travellers with their queries, you should be aware of your own biases and how you express them. Try to adequately substantiate or prove your statements (I like to give images from the internet that back up my comments particularly the island weather that can vary from one place to the next) Otherwise, it is just personal preference or even worse hearsay.
I would love to ban bias, but I am sceptical as to whether it can be reduced, let alone eliminated.