I have an idea about the fake news problem

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by The Internet, Dec 2, 2016.

  1. The Internet Member

    No surprise, a lot of stuff you read on the Internet is bullshit. Sadly, gradually the BS has been hogging more space, just like spam took up more and more space in your inbox until filters.

    Why so much BS made to look like news? Two reasons, I think:
    1. To manipulate potential customers or voters into doing something they wouldn't want to do if they knew the facts.
    2. Advertisers pay for pageloads and BS makes better clickbait.

    My plan addresses #2 mostly but also #1 if money is involved --e.g., a political party paying for page hits. Here it is in a nutshell:

    1. We convince people hiring advertisers or PR firms to add a clause to their contracts.
    2. The clause says that there will be no charge for ads that appear on pages with fake news or for referrals from pages with fake news.
    3. If an article is tagged as "Entertainment" or "Opinion" right at the top, it will not count as "News."

    Voila! Problem solved and the Earth is saved.
  2. Brilliant plan, with one fatal flaw:
    as this is premised on the notion that most/all stuff we read from The Internet is bullshit,
    because this idea was posted by
    everyone must assume it's bullshit too.
  3. She's got you there

    As pressure mounts on firms such as Google, Facebook and Twitter to do more to tackle fake news, some are taking things into their own hands.
    Technologist Daniel Sieradski has developed a plug-in - known as BS Detector - that flags up "questionable" websites on Facebook and Twitter.
    The plug-in - has appeared in dozens of news feeds, leading some to think it was an official Facebook feature.
    It appears Facebook is currently blocking links to the site.
    BS Detector is a plug-in that uses a list of fake news sources as its reference point. It can be added to Chrome and Mozilla browsers and when it spots a potentially false story, flags it with a red banner reading: "This website is considered a questionable source."
    It was created, Mr Sieradski said, "in about an hour" as a "rejoinder to Mark Zuckerberg's dubious claims that Facebook is unable to substantively address the proliferation of fake news on its platform".
    It has had over 25,000 installs since launch. "I and other open source contributors have spent many more hours improving its functionality," Mr Sieradski told the BBC.
    Website TechCrunch mistakenly reported that the plug-in was a new Facebook feature, leading Mr Sieradski to tweet about it.
    [IMG]Image copyrightTWITTER
    Since that article was published, Facebook appears to have blocked anyone from posting a link to the BS Detector website.
    "Facebook now provides a security warning and disallows you to do so," Mr Sieradski told the BBC.
    Facebook said that it was "looking into the matter".
    The plug-in is currently a proof-of-concept tool rather than a solution to the issue and some users have reported it has caused their browser to crash.
    Facebook faces growing criticism for what some see as a failure to tackle fake news.
    In a blogpost in mid-November, founder Mark Zuckerberg said: "Our goal is to connect people with the stories they find most meaningful, and we know people want accurate information.
    "We do not want to be arbiters of truth ourselves, but instead rely on our community and trusted third parties."
    'Danger to democracy'

    He said that the firm was doing more to allow people to report stories as fake as well as directing people to fact-checking organisations, adding: "We are exploring labelling stories that have been flagged as false by third parties or our community, and showing warnings when people read or share them."
    He also announced plans to stop fake news organisations from making money by cutting off their advertising funding.
    There has also been much scrutiny on the role played by fake news in influencing the outcome of the US presidential election.
    [IMG]Image copyrightGETTY IMAGESImage captionThe role of fake news in the US presidential election is being scrutinised
    A report from BuzzFeed found that, in the final three months of the US presidential campaign, the top-performing fake election news stories on Facebook generated more engagement than the top stories from major news outlets such as the New York Times, Washington Post, Huffington Post, NBC News and others.
    Sally Lehrman, founder of the Trust Project - an organisation set up to re-establish trust in mainstream media - told the BBC: "We don't know enough yet to know how it affected the election but we do know that fake news travels rapidly and it can change the conversation, not just by misinforming people but by focusing attention on something that may not be the issue.
    "It is a real danger to democracy."
    Ms Lehrman is not convinced that it is the job of platforms such as Google and Facebook to flag up fake news though.
    "I would be concerned if we relied on Google, Facebook and Twitter to solve the problem of trust - we have to do that for ourselves," she said.
    News organisations, especially in the US, needed to regain the trust of communities who felt that their voices "are not heard".
    "People lose trust if they feel that the media does not accurately reflect the world they live in," she said.
    'Uphill battle'

    The Trust Project, in partnership with BBC News Labs, recently hosted a hackathon in London, aimed at getting legitimate news outlets thinking about ways to increase trust among readers.
    Mirror Group executive editor of digital Ann Gripper, who attended the event, told the BBC that the onus was on Facebook, Twitter and Google to tackle the issue.
    "They have a huge amount of power and it is where people access news, so without them, it is an uphill battle," she said.
    The hackathon teams, representing a range of news organisations, came up with the following ideas:
    • Mirror Group developed a tool that identifies whether an organisation sticks to the Trust Project guidelines as well as information about the author of a news story.
    • La Stampa developed a tool that identifies the level of trust that the author enjoys by looking at how many similar stories they have written.
    • WashingtonPost/BuzzFeed developed a tool that scans articles to find links and sources and makes this information visible to readers.
    • BBC News Labs came up with a way to make the information that journalists collect as they are researching a story visible to readers.
    • The Guardian: A tool designed to get people out of their filter bubbles, by offering articles that give an opposing view alongside the articles users choose to read.
  5. The truth is out there somewhere.

  6. RightOn Member

    This just in....
    Scientology works and it helps people.
    They are expanding more now in the last five years than they ever have in the history of their existence and helping communities with their social betterment programs.
    Narconon, being one of those programs which has a 75% success rate!
    And cities that have Scientology centers have totally cleared up crime and drug addiction!
    How am I doing?
    Scientology = the authorities on fake news.
  7. Cuntsparkle Member

    Scientology is a religious body right?
    It they are saying that it must be true, where do I sign?
  8. RightOn Member

    You sound like Sea Org material.
    I think a billion year contract to help save the planet is a proper fit.
    Hip hip huuuuuurray!

    PS. As I have said before, Best WWP member name evar
  9. Cuntsparkle Member

    Win. You converted me with all your fax and news .
    Sea Org it is !

    From now on imma believe everything I read no more fact checking for me.

    :D glad you like the name .
  10. The Internet Member

    My idea was to make fake news less profitable. I realize money is not the only thing motivating lies. But money cranks up the repetition of bullshit. It's the repetition that makes bs seem true.

    Illustration: Ivory soap contracts with Clickbait Inc to get its ads onto websites with lots of page hits. It pays a certain amount per page view. Somebody notes bs on Brietbart where an Ivory ad appears. They write up a Snopes style debunk and notify Ivory, which asks for a refund from Clickbait.

    Ivory might pay for fact checkers! That would be cool because we need moar.
  11. The Internet Member

    People are confused about the difference between facts and opinions. So we need to spam the world with an explanation:

    Facts can be checked by others. Opinions can't be checked.

    I have heard some people trying to claim that "fact checking" is bullshit. But those people are really confused. A statement doesn't become a fact until someone can check it. Checking is how we get facts in the first place.
  12. Mann Ace Member

    Tell you what. TI, I'll be your fact checker, see how that works out for you.

    The fact (hehe) that you can't understand that you are proposing censorship is telling.
  13. The Internet Member

    Sure you can be my fact checker. You can check my grammar and my math also. Other people can do the same, if they understand the rules of grammar, math, and good journalism.

    There are two ways to censor the truth:
    1. Suppress people speaking the truth.
    2. Spam misinfo so the truth becomes hard to find.

    I am interested in dealing with #2. Are you interested in that problem?

    BTW I thought you might like my libertarian solution to the problem. I guess I was wrong.
  14. Mann Ace Member

    Not at all, except when people propose censorship as a solution. You see, I already have the answer to your problem. I've even offered it to you, free of charge, You rejected it So oh well, I have nothing to add to that.

    You don't understand that #2 above is the normal condition of humanity. You can not solve human nature, you can only live with it. And no, the internet didn't change the problem, only expanded it.
  15. Mann Ace Member

    er, what libertarian solution? It escaped my notice

    EDIT: ah, that libertarian solution. I understand, There is another fatal flaw with your plan that hasn't been brought up before, namely, that you skip over who the fact checkers are. Again, the whole enterprise hinges on the fact checkers, ie people with a point of view.
  16. The Internet Member

    I don't think you understand what "censorship" means.

    BTW this is not the first time that you've said you already won the argument a while back. It is kind of a gay things to say without a link.
  17. Mann Ace Member

    We already have fact checkers. There are web sites where you can indulge you need to fact check to your heart's delight. So, your proposal hinges on who the fact checkers are, and what authority they have. If it's all private contracts, more power to you. Hell, Kellogg is a prime example. They stopped advertising in Breitbart.

    So if all you want is for some private party to try to convince people not to advertise, fine. But, if as I assumed, considering the source, you want the gov involved, then it becomes censorship. If not, well, it sounds like a good hobby for you.

    But of course the whole thing is a red herring for the real problems. So please, continue to focus on irrelevancies. It means you can't be very effective in your political actions.
  18. The Internet Member

    I am grateful that you took the time to read what I wrote instead of hallucinating what you think I wrote.

    BTW, be careful of the naturalistic fallacy.
  19. Mann Ace Member

    And be careful of not understanding that there is already a solution to your seeming problem.
  20. Voter: Facts are subjective! 2+2 is 5! Smoking cures cancer! Carbon dioxide is not a greenhouse gas! The Earth is only 6000 years old, evolution is a lie, and men hunted dinosaurs!

    Mann Ace: You know, this guy has a point. You all are idiots for not being more sensitive to this Voter's point of view. Liberal elites will continue to lose elections for as long as they refuse to acknowledge this Voter's reality while calling his viewpoints backwards and uneducated. Democrats need to come down from their ivory towers and stop telling people they're wrong just because of pesky things like empirical evidence. The nerve of such people - you would think they had won the popular vote by over 2 million votes! It's so obvious to me why the Democrats lost, but no one listens to my astute observations and clever analysis. By the way, don't you think it's clear that I am the most brilliant political scientist to ever post on WWP.? Carry on.
  21. The Internet Member

    Gay. That is, "a gay things" as stated previously.

    My checkers are failing me.
  22. The Internet Member

    Mann Ace is no fan of Voltaire.
  23. Mann Ace Member

    The only fact checker you'll ever need, or will ever have, is already between your ears. Use it, and you'll have no need for external fact checkers.

    All you did in OP is call for a boycott, and mislabeled it as fact checking. Opinion checking is what you are really after, as in "Does he agree with me? If so, check, if not he's a fool."

    It's almost like you tried to fool us, by calling a boycott a fact checker group.

    Cheeky, TI,, very cheeky.
  24. Mann Ace Member

    When you start putting words in my mouth, I figure I've gotten under your skin.

    Does it itch?
  25. The Internet Member

    I cannot check all the info that comes at me everyday. Some info is technical and must be checked by experts.

    I do not know what you mean by "opinion checking." Are you saying that there is no difference between facts and opinions?
  26. Mann Ace Member

    Who checks the fact checkers? According to some, 97% of scientists agree about global warming. Who decides if that is a fact or not? By what criteria do you judge this statement?
  27. The Internet Member

    Who checks the math of people doing calculations?

    The answer is, anyone capable and motivated to do so.
  28. Mann Ace Member

    I did. That statement is a nonsense tweet from Obama, He was maybe trying to say that 97% of climate scientists, which is also a falsehood. I checked the calculations personally, and looked over the reasoning of several other scientist who came to the same conclusion I did.

    Yet you and I might argue until the end of time, and I'd never convince you, nor you me.

    So, as I said, you are trying to avoid your uncertainty, the uncertainty we all feel, the uncertainty of being human, by substituting experts who can tell you just exactly what the facts are.

    The whole issue is simply a way to avoid looking at why the Dems lost so badly. rather than admit that the flaws are within, the Dems are looking for external reasons, avoiding reality and the pain that comes with this scorching loss.

    "It can't be because we fucked up, so it has to be because the other people were too stupid to know what's good for them, confused by all the false news, the overwhelming amount, it was too much for them to comprehend, therefore we must come to their rescue."

    It's going to be fun watching the Dems fall apart at the seams.
  29. The Internet Member

    Please explain in more detail. From my previous conversations with you, it seemed you had not read the Cook paper.
  30. Americans choose fake, BS people like Trump to be their President but they don't like fake, BS news?
  31. The Internet Member

    People do not intentionally believe bullshit. They rely upon a few signifiers of authenticity that usually help to separate bs from facts. Those signifiers can be manipulated and that is how people get fooled.

    When people strongly identify with some group they will look to signifiers of group consensus, such as when a respected member endorses something or when some idea appears to be commonly accepted by the group. So, for example, if global warming seems to be rejected by conservatives and one happens to be conservative, he or she will adopt an attitude of rejection. This happens even if conservatism would not necessarily lead to global warming rejection.

    Certain social authorities have helped to keep communities grounded, particularly doctors, teachers, lawyers, and other professionals with advanced degrees. But since the 1990s there has been a movement to combine unproven therapies with proven therapies. So now doctors cannot be as trusted as before. Newspapers and journalists used to be more of a self-critical profession. But now journalists have to please their masters who are mostly business people intent on making money. I think the loss of two professions that would help us reality-test is moving us toward a more unhinged culture. Perhaps the rise of for-profit higher education will further separate us from a basis in scholarship and double-checking shit carefully.
  32. Mann Ace Member

    You and I both have access to the same facts regarding climate. You seem to think there's a dire threat, something about 4-5 years, while I think we're in no great peril from climate change. Same facts, different conclusions.

    Can you agree that we can reach different conclusions based on the same facts? That the facts are important, but it's how people filter the facts through their world view that will determine what what use we make of the same facts?
  33. The Internet Member

    Nope. You are not entitled to make up whatever "conclusion" you want no matter the facts. Because if you get to do that then so does everyone else, including politicians. Including the jury that sits on some criminal trial against you.

    We have to rely upon scientific modeling of the climate a few years hence, not the opinions of random people on the Internet. Unfortunately the models cannot predict those tipping points that can cause radical change over a short period of time. As it stands the models do not predict a bright future for the planet. But once you add in a tipping point, the future looks hella worse.

    One tipping point is the melting of the permafrost which releases a lot of CO2 and methane, causing more warming, causing more melting, etc. Another tipping point is the loss of ice sheets in the Northern Hemisphere, causing less reflection of the sun's rays, causing more warming, causing more melting. Such positive feedback loops can rapidly change everything once they are triggered.

    Already the permafrost is melting across Siberia. And by mid-century, maybe sooner, the Arctic ice may be gone.

    If we were to stop the burning of fossil fuels today we may still experience a tipping point. We really should have addressed this problem back in the 1980s or 1990s but Exxon and others convinced us not to.

    We are not going to stop the burning of fossil fuels. But we can radically reduce our dependence upon them if we act now.
  34. Mann Ace Member

    Well, that's certainly a unique interpretation of what i said. The scare quotes are a nice touch.
  35. The Internet Member

    Conclusions should be necessary. They should follow necessarily from the premises that precede them.
  36. Mann Ace Member

    Not everything is Aristotelian logic. Not everything can be put in premises and conclusions. Some things have to be filtered through your values

    Minimum wage is an example

    The positive (meaning objective and fact based)) view is that raising the min wage decreases the amount of labor used.

    The normative (meaning subjective and value based) view is, yes, that's true, but it is worth the societal cost to implement one.

    Same facts, completely different conclusion. This is the norm is most issues that are not hard science. As Neil Tyson said, things get exponentially more complicated when people are involved.
  37. The Internet Member

    What we want are compelling conclusions, ones we must accept because it would be perverse to do otherwise.

    Americans think choice is a good thing. When it comes to subjective matters, choice is nice. But with factual matters, choice sucks.

    If you are diagnosed with cancer and your doctor offers you several treatment options, you will probably feel empowered to take control of your own healthcare because you are an American. But if you thought about your situation a little more deeply, you'd realize that having a choice means the doctors aren't compelled by the evidence to recommend one treatment above the others. In other words, you are facing death and the experts don't know what is most likely to save you. That sucks.

    There are many situations where the evidence is not compelling. In those situations reasonable people may disagree. But that disagreement is nothing to celebrate as it represents human ignorance.

    With respect to economics, my impression was the economists are trying to be more empirical. Meaning they would look to past examples of minimum wage increase to see if an outcome correlates.
  38. Mann Ace Member

    First, are we agreed that people can come to different conclusions from the same facts, based on the values of the people involved?

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