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prisonchaplain

Fact Checkers Too Dangerous to Trust

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We discussed the reliability of fact checkers in a different string. Consensus seems to be that they are quite good...even mostly accurate. However, in mulling this over, that's not good enough. Why? Fact-checkers allow powerful media platforms to slant what they provide and then outsource blame when bias is exposed. See: https://www.realclearpolitics.com/articles/2020/05/12/facebooks_evidence-free_false_rating_143182.html

The problems are:

1. Fact checkers simply make judgments and report their findings.

2. Sometimes they are biased, and those who use them seldom allow any recourse.

3. Entities like Facebook and Google are so prolific that even if their fact-checkers are 95% accurate, rogue evaluators can shut down voices without cause.

The solution is to return to the free marketplace of ideas. Fire the fact checkers and let users decide for themselves what they will and will not believe. That might sound dangerous, but hey, I'm not 6. I don't need big corporate brother telling me what's true and false anymore than I need government doing so.

 

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31 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

hey, I'm not 6

You aren't, but the average social media user is, regardless of their real age. They'll throw their hands up, demand a juice box and need a nap if confronted with anything that doesn't fit their already held bias. Liberals used to be the ones who did it, but conservatives have jumped on the train. I've seen it again and again- people will disbelieve anything if goes what they already believe. That's not reality. Sorry. 

In most cases, the fact checkers aren't the problem. You are. 

Edited by MormonGator

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Slightly off topic: Both the right and left hate the media, it's just for different reasons. The right hates them because of a perceived "liberal bias". The left hates them because they are owned by "giant corporations". Once again, its amusing to me that the right and left both dislike/hate the same thing, just for different reasons. I think it's more a personality trait than a political one. 

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52 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

You aren't, but the average social media user is, regardless of their real age. They'll throw their hands up, demand a juice box and need a nap if confronted with anything that doesn't fit their already held bias. Liberals used to be the ones who did it, but conservatives have jumped on the train. I've seen it again and again- people will disbelieve anything if goes what they already believe. That's not reality. Sorry. 

In most cases, the fact checkers aren't the problem. You are. 

Then let my 18+ self be the problem. We're all monotheists here. Why allow fact checkers to approach that threshold? You might trust fact checkers more than the typical online patron, but you should not get to assess me anymore than FB or Google or US.gov should. I suspect that there is a good measure of humor in your post. Then again, I trust you more than 'them.'

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41 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

The right hates them because of a perceived "liberal bias". The left hates them because they are owned by "giant corporations".

Both sides are factually right. I'd humbly suggest that one side's complaint is far more legitimate than the other. One side perceives bias based upon who/what the owners are, while the other side flat-out demonstrates the bias.

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9 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Both sides are factually right. I'd humbly suggest that one side's complaint is far more legitimate than the other. One side perceives bias based upon who/what the owners are, while the other side flat-out demonstrates the bias.

I agree in part-there IS a liberal bias. But....three important things. 

1. It doesn't work the way conservatives think it does. They don't sit in circles saying "We're going to promote liberalism by twisting facts/stories". It doesn't work that way

2. It doesn't matter anymore. Because we can get our news from 45,000 different sources, no one under, oh, 70 is influenced by the mainstream news anymore.

3. We live in such a partisan environment that the overwhelming majority of people who pay attention to news only pay attention to news that fits their bias. IE-conseratives only go to Fox News, liberals only go to Mother Jones. The moderates-both of them-go to CNN. 

Part of conservatism that drives me crazy is that they either fight battles they've already won or fight battles they have no chance of winning. IE- liberal bias in the news. It's an irrelevant battle today. You've won, you are beating a dead horse. Move on. 

Edited by MormonGator

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Conservatives do not believe that liberal bias is an intentional, secret meeting, conspiracy type thing. Rather, in universities liberals gravitate to media, and most of the slant is  via story/topic selection, not editorializing. Further, there is the problem of self-fulfilling prophesy. The media personality sees what s/he expects to see. Some call this confirmation bias. My hope, in pointing bias out, is to urge a return to intentionally objective reporting. We can do better than FOX and CNN. They will always exist, but intelligent explorers, who really want both sides, or even an objective deep dive, are finding fewer and fewer trustworthy sources.

Bias does matter, because it's moved from the news media to the universities. In some fields even moderates will not make grad school. They certainly won't find faculty to sponsor them. Indeed, too many of today's students openly oppose the First Amendment. No...this is a fight worth having. If I lose, at least I can tell my grandkids I tried.

Edited by prisonchaplain

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2 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Bias does matter, because it's moved from the news media to the universities. Too many of today's students openly oppose the First Amendment. No...this is a fight worth having.

Different kind of bias-and that one, I'm on your side 10,000%. Totally different fight. 

2 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

Conservatives do not believe that liberal bias is an intentional, secret meeting, conspiracy type thing.

Many do. 

 

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42 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

1. It doesn't work the way conservatives think it does. They don't sit in circles saying "We're going to promote liberalism by twisting facts/stories". It doesn't work that way

No one believes the Snidely Whiplash model of conspiracy. No one.

43 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

2. It doesn't matter anymore. Because we can get our news from 45,000 different sources, no one under, oh, 70 is influenced by the mainstream news anymore.

Absolutely false. I can't believe you're even trying to make this argument. Of course CNN's site has a broader reach and more influence than Vort's TH posts!

43 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

3. We live in such a partisan environment that the overwhelming majority of people who pay attention to news only pay attention to news that fits their bias. IE-conseratives only go to Fox News, liberals only go to Mother Jones. The moderates-both of them-go to CNN. 

This is a drum that you beat all day, every day. But you are wrong. Many conservatives (myself included) do indeed go to the "other sides' sites" to get their take. Liberals are far less likely to do this, so your criticism might be true for them. Certainly some conservatives fall into the same camp. But your broad characterizations fail on closer examination.

And by the way, CNN is not a "moderate" site. Fox News is twenty times more "moderate" (I believe their wording is "fair and balanced") than the Clinton News Network.

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29 minutes ago, Vort said:

No one believes the Snidely Whiplash model of conspiracy. No one.

Wrong, but believe what you wish. 

29 minutes ago, Vort said:

Absolutely false. I can't believe you're even trying to make this argument. Of course CNN's site has a broader reach and more influence than Vort's TH posts!

You are comparing your posts to CNN? Indeed. 

29 minutes ago, Vort said:

 And by the way, CNN is not a "moderate" site. Fox News is twenty times more "moderate" (I believe their wording is "fair and balanced") than the Clinton News Network.

Showing your own bias here. Like I've said many times-to quote you-you are so far to the right that anyone who isn't a Bircher is a communist. 

You proved my point very well .Conservatives love kicking dead horses. They'll never learn that by wasting time fighting battles they've already won or can't win, they use up resources when the battle actually matters. 

Fight on! 

Edited by MormonGator

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28 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Wrong, but believe what you wish.

Not a very convincing rebuttal. But believe what you wish.

Quote

You are comparing your posts to CNN? Indeed.

Of course I am. Remember your claim?

Because we can get our news from 45,000 different sources, no one under, oh, 70 is influenced by the mainstream news anymore.

If the mainstream news doesn't influence anyone under the age of 70 any more, then my TH posts are at least as influential as CNN's offerings. Where's the logical disconnect? If what you wrote is true, the above assertion undeniably follows. Contrariwise, if the above assertion is wrong, then your initial assertion is false.

Quote

Showing your own bias here. Like I've said many times-to quote you-you are so far to the right that anyone who isn't a Bircher is a communist. 

That sounds like an MG thing to say. Where did I ever say such a thing?

And I assume you don't actually believe the nonsense stated above. If you do, then you do not know either me or an honest-to-goodness Bircher.

28 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

You proved my point very well .Conservatives love kicking dead horses. They'll never learn that by wasting time fighting battles they've already won or can't win, they use up resources when the battle actually matters.

Please do the following:

1. Show me which dead horses I have been kicking in this conversation.

2. Explain which resources I have exhausted in said horse-kicking that cannot now be used "when the battle actually matters".

28 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

Fight on!

You do mockery pretty well, MG. But nothing you have written above bears any resemblance to actual truth, either about me or about the issues at hand.

Edited by Vort

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8 minutes ago, Vort said:

You do mockery pretty well, MG

Thank you! Too bad The Onion feels differently. Thought I would get a good job there! 

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8 minutes ago, prisonchaplain said:

CNN used to be moderate. They learned from FOX and MSNBC that there’s no $ in the middle. Reuter’s and The Hill ... and maybe WSJ are moderate. Print is cheaper, so semi-objectivity is possible.

The real problem is that the term "moderate", like "liberal" and "progressive", has been co-opted by the political left. A "moderate" today is someone who agrees with the sociopolitical left's agenda, but who doesn't yell about it too loudly and who might have some non-socialistic economic ideas. Someone who believes any of the following:

  • elective abortion is morally repugnant and should not be legal
  • homosexuality should not be taught in public school
  • parents are primarily responsible for the care and education of their own children
  • the right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed

will never be considered "moderate", even though the above opinions are held by either a majority, a plurality, or at least a sizable minority of Americans. The term itself is a lie, like many of the Orwellian words foisted upon us by the political left.

Edited by Vort

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3 hours ago, MormonGator said:

You aren't, but the average social media user is, regardless of their real age. They'll throw their hands up, demand a juice box and need a nap if confronted with anything that doesn't fit their already held bias. Liberals used to be the ones who did it, but conservatives have jumped on the train. I've seen it again and again- people will disbelieve anything if goes what they already believe. That's not reality. Sorry. 

In most cases, the fact checkers aren't the problem. You are. 

Even if something fits my already held bias, I can always use a nap...especially on Sunday Afternoons! 

Most 6 years olds I've met try hard NOT to take naps...

For many that starts as early as 2...they start fighting you when you say naptime...and hate to be told to go to sleep (that last part lasts into their teenage years...and if they stayed home instead of going to college or to the workforce, probably into their twenties as well!)

One you hit...oh...somewhere in your 30s you start to appreciate naps again (maybe because you get jealous of those toddlers who you want to take a nap but are refusing to)...and it gets more and more appreciated the older you get...at least for me it did.

16 minutes ago, Vort said:
  • elective abortion is morally repugnant and should not be legal
  • homosexuality should not be taught in public school
  • parents are primarily responsible for the care and education of their own children
  • the right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed

:P

That sounds like the Blue Dogs...

If you remove the "parents are primarily responsible for the care and education of their own children"...you might get a few Republicans (the homeschooling crowd, most others just let the public school system teach their kids) in that description as well...

:angel:

 

 

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7 minutes ago, JohnsonJones said:

Even if something fits my already held bias, I can always use a nap...especially on Sunday Afternoons! 

Most 6 years olds I've met try hard NOT to take naps...

For many that starts as early as 2...they start fighting you when you say naptime...and hate to be told to go to sleep (that last part lasts into their teenage years...and if they stayed home instead of going to college or to the workforce, probably into their twenties as well!)

One you hit...oh...somewhere in your 30s you start to appreciate naps again (maybe because you get jealous of those toddlers who you want to take a nap but are refusing to)...and it gets more and more appreciated the older you get...at least for me it did.

I'm a high energy guy-I don't nap. My body can't relax in the middle of the day enough to sleep. 

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2 minutes ago, MormonGator said:

I'm a high energy guy-I don't nap. My body can't relax in the middle of the day enough to sleep. 

Give it time.  Or not.  I suppose there are some out there that have that type of energy.

I probably started spending too many late evenings doing studies and then research...but as I'm tend to wake up EARLY (some would say TOO early) I need the extra sleep later on if I could get it (normally only on Weekends, though the past few weeks have given me LOTS of time to take naps in the afternoon should I so desire).

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Just now, JohnsonJones said:

I'm tend to wake up EARLY

I do as well, though "early" is a relative term! 

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4 hours ago, MormonGator said:

people will disbelieve anything if goes what they already believe. 

I just refuse to believe that because it goes against my non-fact based other-worldly opinions I developed after listening to Rush Limbaugh and parroting whatever he said 23 years ago about last week's news.

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3 minutes ago, Carborendum said:

I just refuse to believe that because it goes against my non-fact based other-worldly opinions I developed after listening to Rush Limbaugh and parroting whatever he said 23 years ago about last week's news.

Yeah, I see it totally differently. No apologies. 

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3 hours ago, MormonGator said:

They don't sit in circles saying "We're going to promote liberalism by twisting facts/stories". It doesn't work that way

I'd be interested in hearing what you think really is the way that it works.  I'm not saying it does work that way.  But I wouldn't be surprised to hear it.  In fact, some individuals on the left have at the very least hinted at it.

The recent "deceptive editing" now admitted to by Chuck Todd as "Inadvertent editing" raises the question about deceptive vs. irresponsible and shoddy due dilligence.  But to borrow some sayings.

Quote

When a long train of abuses and userpations...

Quote

One time is happenstance.

Twice is coincidence.

Third time is enemy action.

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I will illustrate to y'all 2 different manifestations of bias using everybody's "most trusted" fact checker:  Snopes.

1.  This is a left-wing biased article.  This is not a depiction of Snopes deliberately slanting the article to conform to their political views (this is, of course, possible, but I'm giving them the benefit of the doubt for illustrative purposes).  This is a depiction of how anybody can inadvertently promote a bias when selecting mainstream sources for their information.  Remember, Snopes do not send people on the ground to investigate events.  Rather, they "google" it - which gives heavy weight to mainstream sources (google any politicized thing and look at the first 2 pages of results - they're always mainstream news sources).  We all agree mainstream is left-leaning, yes?

https://www.snopes.com/news/2017/08/17/are-antifa-and-the-alt-right-equally-violent/

- Now, look at the quotes selection used in the article ... the references to the words Antifa to mean only the new crop of black mask, black flag protesters of the past - then, 3 years - and not their ARA-type progenitors from the 70's and 80's while at the same time using the word Alt-Right to describe the age-old Richard-Spencer-type white supremacist groups and not the past - then, 3 years - of media-labeled Alt-Rights like Milo Yiannapolis makes that entire article BLATANTLY LEFT-WING BIASED.

2.  Now, this one, I put on the feet of Snopes themselves being blatantly biased.  Here are 2 Snopes ratings of the exact same type of manufactured images - one image used by left-winger narrative, the other image used by right-winger narrative.  Both images are FAKE NEWS and the answer to the Snopes question should be "FALSEST FALSE OF ALL FALSES".  But the 2 narratives come from different sides of the political spectrum.  The left-wing narrative is marked "MisCaptioned", the right-wing narrative is marked "False".  Now, if you read the articles beyond the markers, you'll see that Snopes accurately portrayed both images as false.  So, why is the different marker important?  Because... places like Google, Facebook, Twitter, et. al., will suppress any articles marked as False by Snopes but will not do the same for ones labeled Miscaptioned. 

Left-wing narrative:  https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/toddler-cage-photo/

Right-wing narrative: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/gun-toting-children-photographed-united-states-border/

 

So yeah.  I don't take Fact-Checkers' fact checking at face value.  I can fact check things myself if all they're doing is googling sources to support their Fact Check.

 

 

 

 

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