... makes me appreciate the sweetness of deep sleep, and long breaks from online news, forums, social media etc.
Seriously though, I find both "sides" of the debate have sincere people who honestly relay their vivid experiences and concerns, whether first-hand or reported. I think it's the vividness and emotive nature of these things that leads to (let's say) a degree of distortion in the 'probabilistic mapping' of their actual significance in the wider world. Related to the Misleading Vividness fallacy in logic, and the availability heuristic described by those Nobel-prize dudes, Kahneman and Tversky. Or maybe it just riles people too much to think clearly? On both "sides".
No coincidence that it arises most from social media, Youtube, TikTok, tabloid press, etc - media forms that specialise in relaying the emotive, anecdotal, personal, situational, sensational aspect of things, rather than the factual, statistical, wider-contextual, broader-relative-importance aspects.
And no secret that the issue has been "weaponised". Quite early on, Steve Bannon openly admitted to this. He said his war was with liberalism and liberal media, and the way to fight it was to "flood the zone with shit", by which he meant stoking the woke/anti-woke thing until it clouded all other issues. Ye Olde Divide and Conquer, but now turbocharged by algorithms.
I think maybe Bannon's strategy caught on?