How Fake News Goes Viral

JRBids

Senior Member
that demonization is responsible for people not trusting MSM.
Demonization of the MSM is prevalent in the CT community, though. Post ANY source that is not a CT source, any news station, the WP, metabunk, snopes, anything.... it's discounted. A commen taunt from CTs is "you believe everything the MSM spoon feeds you?" or similar. I think Critical Thinker is right.
 

Greylandra

Member
i guess that depends on what religion you were back in the 1600s when the Church started using it with it's new 'agenda' meaning.

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That's true, but lets keep the context of "church and state" durring the 1600's in mind as well as the lack of widespread information at the time. From the perspective of the western establishment or "Christendom" ,at that time, propaganda was a useful tool towards the furtherance of an "orthodox" agenda... Now that this tool is in the hands of anyone with an opinion; it has become a hiss and a byword. Not surprisingly. One persons "fake news"/propaganda is anothers entertainment/information. Same as it always was. The important bit is what information is going viral and what is being ignored and why.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member
Demonization of the MSM is prevalent in the CT community, though. Post ANY source that is not a CT source, any news station, the WP, metabunk, snopes, anything.... it's discounted. A commen taunt from CTs is "you believe everything the MSM spoon feeds you?" or similar. I think Critical Thinker is right.
Don't forget to invoke the sinister hand of George Soros.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member
Viral is a relative term. Stories such as chemtrails have gone "viral" to an extent, it just took a decade or so and really started with an appearance on the old Art Bell Show. Why? It's the same sort of thing as mentioned above. It's sort of a 'rebellion' thing, I think, and people wanting to feel as if they have made a grande discovery and that it means they are smarter than the average person and have inside information.
 

deirdre

Senior Member
From the perspective of the western establishment or "Christendom" ,at that time, propaganda was a useful tool towards the furtherance of an "orthodox" agenda
silly. obviously the people spreading the propaganda always thinks it's good. otherwise what would be the point of spreading it :)
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
isn't one of the simple answers "clickbait" and the need for websites to get ad revenue

so in a sense even some of the MSM are responsible - in part

I have been on pretty main stream i.e. reputable websites, and the banner ads at the bottom have the

"you'll never believe what happened next"

you are then usually just a click away from viral news sites
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
isn't one of the simple answers "clickbait" and the need for websites to get ad revenue

so in a sense even some of the MSM are responsible - in part

I have been on pretty main stream i.e. reputable websites, and the banner ads at the bottom have the

"you'll never believe what happened next"

you are then usually just a click away from viral news sites
Well yes, news that goes viral is quite often going viral because that was the intent. Regular news has headlines that are designed to make people want to read the story. There's a continuum of just how accurate the headlines are, but the "fake news" sites have basically arrived at a point where they are maximizing clicks, regardless of facts.

The thing is, fake news that is entirely fake has a limited audience. Even disclose.tv has a some facts in there. The best viral fake stories have verifiable facts, but just tweak their meaning. For example, from the OP:



Here the facts are that there were anti-trump protests in Austin, and those busses were there. However the fake part was the claim the protestors came in on busses. But it seems like a real story, as you can't quickly prove they were not, and many people are predisposed to believe the broader "paid protestors" narrative, so they like and share.

Fake news is basically evolving. The best practices in fake news survive, and it gets better and better at going viral.
 

deirdre

Senior Member
isn't one of the simple answers "clickbait" and the need for websites to get ad revenue
agreed.

and how people get their news would play a part. For example i get most of my AP news (originally then i searched more for specific stories) right off of Yahoo News because it's just convenient ie on my 'homepage'. They now have the fake articles, ads and clickbait right IN the real article list ... some of them are pretty hard to resist clicking.
 

tadaaa

Senior Member
. The best viral fake stories have verifiable facts, but just tweak their meaning. For example, from the OP:

.
the above is also true of conspiracy theories too, often a "fact" with a completely erroneous narrative wrapped around it

"The WT7 fell straight down" springs to mind

what certainly is true is that the relevance and need for sites like this one have gone mainstream

the BBC radio ran yet another Russia/Putin/fake news story with respect to the UK Brexit vote etc this morning


certainly wiped the smirk of my wifes face when she asks what I am doing on the internet/computer :)
 

SR1419

Senior Member
Here is another example of "fake news"- this time purposefully propagated for profit supposedly. Very enlightening.


http://www.startribune.com/he-created-anti-clinton-fake-news-campaign-that-swept-nation-now-he-tells-why-he-did-it/411094425/
 
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Critical Thinker

Senior Member
On a lighter note.... In the ongoing war effort against fake News:

Capture.JPG


NY Times article


 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member
A pet peeve of mine has been the lack of Critical Thinking skills being taught in American grade schools, and that omission has in part contributed to people falling for fake News stories from dubious sources that have a serious credibility issue. I was pleased to read this article on CNN:

Reading, writing, fighting fake news: How schools are teaching kids to separate fact from fiction


 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member
Part of the problem is that "credible" news sources are using more and more sensationalist techniques to grab eyeballs too. They are frantic over loosing their share of attention.
 

MikeG

Senior Member
Part of the problem is that "credible" news sources are using more and more sensationalist techniques to grab eyeballs too. They are frantic over loosing their share of attention.
I totally agree. I always show Edward R. Murrow in class and point out the lack of fancy graphics and theme music. Murrow read copy and let the words speak for themselves

Source: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-YOIueFbG4g


btw, The McCarthy Years is a great documentary for anyone interested.

http://www.docurama.com/docurama/mccarthy-years-the/
 

Leifer

Senior Member
A recent California Bill by Chau, AB 1104, 'fake news law' was pulled, but it specified,
Of interest......one website quoted similar historical attempts, to the now defunct Bill....(according to the below site)
http://calcorporatelaw.com/2017/04/california-considers-following-new-england-colonists-outlawing-fake-news/
 

Apple

New Member
A recent California Bill by Chau, AB 1104, 'fake news law' was pulled, but it specified,
Of interest......one website quoted similar historical attempts, to the now defunct Bill....(according to the below site)
http://calcorporatelaw.com/2017/04/california-considers-following-new-england-colonists-outlawing-fake-news/
Maybe I am cynical but both Republican and Liberal Media Organizations are know for making fake news every so often so I doubt their will ever be enough support in the USA for any kind of bill to pass at a state or federal level as neither stand to gain anything from a bill that would be difficult to pass other than maybe the liberals with fake news appearing more commonly in Republican political groups like the Tea Party (do they even exist anymore?) and Trump's Group.

When it comes to responding to fake news. The best response IMO would be the development of strictly non partisan fact checkers. As this will allow those who believe they can't trust current fact checkers due to their biased for either of the parties. With the main claim being the fact checkers like Snopes for example has a liberal bias and "enter in here other fact checker here".

Such laws could also harm satire like the The Onion as "a false or deceptive statement designed to influence the vote" could be be used to claim that the The Onion fit the bill based on their production of false statements and with weaselly nonsense you might be able to win in court that their intent was to influence voters.
 

NoParty

Senior Member
...Republican and Liberal Media Organizations are know for making fake news...

...claim being the fact checkers like Snopes for example has a liberal bias....
Hi.
Welcome.
Could you give examples of what you mean in the first passage? I'm kinda clueless both on what
"organizations" you're talking about, and what kind of "fake news" you mean.

As to Snopes, I think that one's easy: I discussed with Barbara Mikkelson (maybe 15 years ago?)
the reasons why Snopes is always dealing so many more claims from the right than the left,
and it seems obvious to me that Snopes shooting down most of the fun "Did Obama cuss out a soldier?"
etc., stories is why the "Well, you know Snopes is liberal shills, don't you?" talking point had to be created.


p.s. I nominate "viral" for most overused word in cyberspace.
 

Apple

New Member
Hi.
Welcome.
Could you give examples of what you mean in the first passage? I'm kinda clueless both on what
"organizations" you're talking about, and what kind of "fake news" you mean.

As to Snopes, I think that one's easy: I discussed with Barbara Mikkelson (maybe 15 years ago?)
the reasons why Snopes is always dealing so many more claims from the right than the left,
and it seems obvious to me that Snopes shooting down most of the fun "Did Obama cuss out a soldier?"
etc., stories is why the "Well, you know Snopes is liberal shills, don't you?" talking point had to be created.


p.s. I nominate "viral" for most overused word in cyberspace.
When I refer to Media Organizations I mean Media Organization like CNN and Fox News. Both are known for pushing narratives for their respective side and caught lying and distorting fact in the past. With both Fox News and CNN making news pieces that border on and sometimes fit the definition of fake news in the meaning of a story with fake facts used to push a narrative.

For example in CNN's case take the coverage of the 2016 American Election and the follow up. Take their "No, the presidential election can't be hacked"[2] vs. their "Where's the outrage over Russia's hack of the US election?"[3].

Where they try to prepare the defense for the victory of Hillary Clinton but their defense works against their narrative of Russian hacking the elections so they just ignore the first piece and create a clear contradiction in the first said it's impossible for an outside group to influence the election outcome, while the other piece said we should be angry that an outside group influenced the election outcome.

No, the presidential election can't be hacked - Article

The public is understandably concerned about the integrity of next month's election. [2]

But election officials and cyber experts say it's virtually impossible for Moscow or some other outside group to influence the election outcome. [2]

Where's the outrage over Russia's hack of the US election? - Article

But that's not what we got. Confronted with an attack by a hostile foreign power on our most critical institutions, Republicans decided that Russian hacking was OK, as long as it was against Democrats -- indeed, as Wikileaks strategically released the hacked emails over a period of weeks for maximum political impact, Republicans celebrated. [3]

CNN has been caught lying in non political matters as well.

Take the St. Mary’s Medical Center case where CNN claimed that the hospital had an mortality rate that was 3 times higher than the national average. With the court case still outstanding but the fact that their statement was a lie a clear cut fact as no data supports this statement.[1]

"According to the documents CNN obtained from the state, from 2011 to 2013, St. Mary's Medical Center performed 48 open heart surgeries on children and babies. Independently, CNN determined that six infants died, and confirmed the deaths with parents of all six children. From those numbers, CNN was able to calculate the death rate for open heart surgeries as 12.5%, more than three times the national average of 3.3% cited by the Society for Thoracic Surgeons."[4]

"Davide Carbone, former CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN after they aired what he claims were a “series of false and defamatory news reports"[1]

"On Wednesday, Federal District Judge Orinda Evans ruled that the case could move forward, even ruling that she found that CNN may have acted with “actual malice” with the report — a standard necessary to prove a defamation claim."[1]


I use to believe that Snopes were shills to be honest but after reading debunks/articles they publish. They seem to be fine with Snopes responding to both claims that befit both sides. Regardless the more the merry IMO as Snopes can only handle so much work flow and the amount of claims and news after the 2016 election is insane.

As I would not be surprised if the news out pore was equal to or exceeded 911. Making it rather hard for experts let alone people trying to be skeptical to keep up.



[1] - http://lawnewz.com/uncategorized/hospital-ceo-wins-major-court-ruling-after-accusing-cnn-of-false-reporting/

[2] - http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/19/politics/election-day-russia-hacking-explained/index.html\

[3] - http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/10/opinions/how-politicians-let-russia-hack-americas-election-waldman/index.html

[4] - http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/01/health/st-marys-medical-center/index.html
 
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Hama Neggs

Senior Member
A recent California Bill by Chau, AB 1104, 'fake news law' was pulled, but it specified,
Of interest......one website quoted similar historical attempts, to the now defunct Bill....(according to the below site)
http://calcorporatelaw.com/2017/04/california-considers-following-new-england-colonists-outlawing-fake-news/
It would be political insanity to pass any such law and have the government involved in policing such things.
 

NoParty

Senior Member
When I refer to Media Organizations I mean Media Organization like CNN and Fox News. Both are known for pushing narratives for their respective side and caught lying and distorting fact in the past. With both Fox News and CNN making news pieces that border on and sometimes fit the definition of fake news in the meaning of a story with fake facts used to push a narrative.

For example in CNN's case take the coverage of the 2016 American Election and the follow up. Take their "No, the presidential election can't be hacked"[2] vs. their "Where's the outrage over Russia's hack of the US election?"[3].

Where they try to prepare the defense for the victory of Hillary Clinton but their defense works against their narrative of Russian hacking the elections so they just ignore the first piece and create a clear contradiction in the first said it's impossible for an outside group to influence the election outcome, while the other piece said we should be angry that an outside group influenced the election outcome.

No, the presidential election can't be hacked - Article

The public is understandably concerned about the integrity of next month's election. [2]

But election officials and cyber experts say it's virtually impossible for Moscow or some other outside group to influence the election outcome. [2]

Where's the outrage over Russia's hack of the US election? - Article

But that's not what we got. Confronted with an attack by a hostile foreign power on our most critical institutions, Republicans decided that Russian hacking was OK, as long as it was against Democrats -- indeed, as Wikileaks strategically released the hacked emails over a period of weeks for maximum political impact, Republicans celebrated. [3]

CNN has been caught lying in non political matters as well.

Take the St. Mary’s Medical Center case where CNN claimed that the hospital had an mortality rate that was 3 times higher than the national average. With the court case still outstanding but the fact that their statement was a lie a clear cut fact as no data supports this statement.[1]

"According to the documents CNN obtained from the state, from 2011 to 2013, St. Mary's Medical Center performed 48 open heart surgeries on children and babies. Independently, CNN determined that six infants died, and confirmed the deaths with parents of all six children. From those numbers, CNN was able to calculate the death rate for open heart surgeries as 12.5%, more than three times the national average of 3.3% cited by the Society for Thoracic Surgeons."[4]

"Davide Carbone, former CEO of St. Mary’s Medical Center in West Palm Beach, filed a defamation lawsuit against CNN after they aired what he claims were a “series of false and defamatory news reports"[1]

"On Wednesday, Federal District Judge Orinda Evans ruled that the case could move forward, even ruling that she found that CNN may have acted with “actual malice” with the report — a standard necessary to prove a defamation claim."[1]


I use to believe that Snopes were shills to be honest but after reading debunks/articles they publish. They seem to be fine with Snopes responding to both claims that befit both sides. Regardless the more the merry IMO as Snopes can only handle so much work flow and the amount of claims and news after the 2016 election is insane.

As I would not be surprised if the news out pore was equal to or exceeded 911. Making it rather hard for experts let alone people trying to be skeptical to keep up.



[1] - http://lawnewz.com/uncategorized/hospital-ceo-wins-major-court-ruling-after-accusing-cnn-of-false-reporting/

[2] - http://www.cnn.com/2016/10/19/politics/election-day-russia-hacking-explained/index.html\

[3] - http://www.cnn.com/2016/12/10/opinions/how-politicians-let-russia-hack-americas-election-waldman/index.html

[4] - http://www.cnn.com/2015/06/01/health/st-marys-medical-center/index.html
Thank you. That's a lot of stuff.
My first question would be about lumping CNN & Fox. The former was set up to make money.
The latter was set up to advance a political position...to the degree that Murdoch took the extraordinary
step of actually paying carriers to carry the channel. Murdoch & Roger Ailes felt strongly that the media
wasn't telling the conservative side of the story enough, so they would. And for two decades, they've been 100% faithful
to the mission: No Republican presidential candidate has had to worry that Fox wouldn't be openly promoting them.
A Cheney or Trump can always find safe haven on Fox, when they don't want to expose themselves to tough questions.
I realize that some Republicans feel CNN is like Fox (but on the other foot), but one simply can't support that view
with facts. And I'm no fan of CNN...but it's origin, reason to exist and track record are nothing like Fox's.

I'm not clear on your point on the Russia hacking (for one thing, your link #2 doesn't work)...
but it seems like you're talking about two different issues: Could Russia literally hack the election:
change electronic vote totals? (Answer: Probably not) vs. could Russia affect the outcome of the election by
releasing illegally obtained info, designed to hurt one candidate, to help the other win (Answer: Almost certainly).

Why in the world--other than traditional hyping of the news--would CNN have motive to harm a particular hospital?
I thought you were going to suggest a political bias (?)
Even still, if this really is a significant problem, why couldn't you cite a single example?
I know, you mentioned St. Mary's Medical Center, but that's currently an open file with no wrongdoing
determined. A judge merely said that a suit could proceed. All that means is that the hospital's complaint
is not so absurd as to deny them the right to try to sue. If CNN has a bad pattern, surely you can illustrate
it with multiple resolved cases that shows them lying, right? They've covered thousands and thousands of stories.

And, just curious, why did you "use to believe that Snopes were shills"?

I went on longer than I wanted, but you took some time to meet my request, so I figured I owed you the same. :)
 
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tinkertailor

Senior Member
A pet peeve of mine has been the lack of Critical Thinking skills being taught in American grade schools
(late in responding, sorry)
One of the biggest differences for me between high school and college was and is the way students were taught about sources for essays and the like. In high school, we spent ten times more time being taught the way to do proper MLA format (to cite our sources) than we did actually being taught what a reasonable source was. The time that we DID spend on learning what a good source was and what a bad source was was literally just one piece of advice: WIKIPEDIA IS BAD, ANYONE CAN EDIT IT, DON'T USE IT, IT'S SO UNRELIABLE, IF YOU CITE WIKIPEDIA I WILL AUTOMATICALLY FAIL YOU.
In college, it's been the opposite. My professors have told the class that so long as you get the citation done correctly and in the proper format asked, you don't need to worry about whether you know how exactly to create a citation from memory. So now, when I write an essay or an article review or a research paper, I use a citation generator online. Also, I've barely ever even used MLA in college. Four years of information being drilled into my brain were a waste. And Wikipedia is a great starting point and a reference for further research. I LOVE Wikipedia. I use it all the time, for any sort of research I do. I just check. It isn't great, but it's still worthy. For every one trickster there's ten dedicated editors.
I remember once in high school, we all had to do little reports on a chosen politician, looking at their life and the like. One girl and I were paired to edit our research papers and in the middle of her essay about a democratic congressman there was a really odd sentence. "X X is 'widely regarded as one of the most crooked supporters of welfare queens in politics today*'". I looked at her, followed her source down to her bibliography, and saw that it was quoted from Conservapedia. I told her 'this has to go,' and she asked why so I told her it was a biased source. It amazed me that she didn't get that and it still does to this day.
 

Graham2001

Active Member
Two articles one from the Washington Post and the other from Snopes.com discussing how a legitimate attempt to use social media to help in the search for missing children became the source of a meme to the effect that there is an 'epidemic' of child abductions in Washington DC.

Washington Post: No, there is no spike in missing girls in D.C.; how tweets created a crisis

https://www.washingtonpost.com/local/dc-politics/tweets-stats-and-confusion-the-case-of-dcs-missing-girls/2017/04/02/c35dde3c-161f-11e7-ada0-1489b735b3a3_story.html?utm_term=.ffc1a5969c28&wpisrc=nl_rainbow&wpmm=1

Snopes.com: Did 14 Washington, D.C., Girls Go Missing Within a 24-Hour Period?

http://www.snopes.com/washington-dc-girls-missing/
 

NoParty

Senior Member
A recent California Bill by Chau, AB 1104, 'fake news law' was pulled, but it specified,
It would be political insanity to pass any such law and have the government involved in policing such things.
I love the spirit of the attempt, but application would be an absolute mine field...and in the U.S.
we virtually always err on the right of more free speech. But boy would it be nice to reduce the dishonest bullshit.
 

Hama Neggs

Senior Member
and in the U.S.
we virtually always err on the right of more free speech.
I hope that holds true in the face of the PC/identity politics/social engineering being implemented these days across the western world. I have my doubts, as free speech which gets designated as "hate speech" by rabid ideologs doesn't fare well.
 

SR1419

Senior Member
news pieces that border on and sometimes fit the definition of fake news in the meaning of a story with fake facts used to push a narrative.

For example in CNN's case take the coverage of the 2016 American Election
They are pushing a narrative for sure but there are no "fake facts" used. Its not "fake news". Its biased coverage.

CNN has been caught lying in non political matters as well.
The example you gave is not evidence of CNN "lying". The actual numbers used by CNN were correct. Its their interpretation of them that the plaintiff- Carbonne- disagrees with. As the judges ruling states: "the plaintiff is not disputing the numbers; he is disputing the manner in which CNN used them as a comparison" Its a dispute over statistical methodology. Moreover, the ruling only allowed to the case to move forward and offered no judgement on the actual claims of the plaintiff. Hard to say they were "caught" when no ruling has actually determined that yet.
 

Apple

New Member
Thank you. That's a lot of stuff.
My first question would be about lumping CNN & Fox. The former was set up to make money.
The latter was set up to advance a political position...to the degree that Murdoch took the extraordinary
step of actually paying carriers to carry the channel. Murdoch & Roger Ailes felt strongly that the media
wasn't telling the conservative side of the story enough, so they would. And for two decades, they've been 100% faithful

to the mission: No Republican presidential candidate has had to worry that Fox wouldn't be openly promoting them.
A Cheney or Trump can always find safe haven on Fox, when they don't want to expose themselves to tough questions.

I realize that some Republicans feel CNN is like Fox (but on the other foot), but one simply can't support that view
with facts. And I'm no fan of CNN...but it's origin, reason to exist and track record are nothing like Fox's.

I'm not clear on your point on the Russia hacking (for one thing, your link #2 doesn't work)...
but it seems like you're talking about two different issues: Could Russia literally hack the election:
change electronic vote totals? (Answer: Probably not) vs. could Russia affect the outcome of the election by
releasing illegally obtained info, designed to hurt one candidate, to help the other win (Answer: Almost certainly).

Why in the world--other than traditional hyping of the news--would CNN have motive to harm a particular hospital?

I thought you were going to suggest a political bias (?)
Even still, if this really is a significant problem, why couldn't you cite a single example?
I know, you mentioned St. Mary's Medical Center, but that's currently an open file with no wrongdoing
determined. A judge merely said that a suit could proceed. All that means is that the hospital's complaint
is not so absurd as to deny them the right to try to sue. If CNN has a bad pattern, surely you can illustrate
it with multiple resolved cases that shows them lying, right? They've covered thousands and thousands of storie
After taking a closer look at my evidence you guys look to be right, at worst CNN is biased and can be deceptive and the claim that they engages in fake news and lying doesn't really hold up.

With my first piece of evidence being up to debate given the context in first piece. As it could mean election machine tampering which would be hard to impossible for an outside party to complete. While even if it means all forms of influencing then you can say the expert is wrong and it's not a lie.

The second piece of evidence is for an ongoing court case and the verdict hasn't even declared. With my carelessness in a couple months the case could result in the innocence of CNN being declared and even more there isn't really any visible motive as said. The fact that numbers if wrong could also possibly be a mistake, as if publish thousands of pieces monthly your bound to make mistakes whether you are a professional or an amateur writer/publisher/editor.

So oops on my part :3. Thanks for pointing out the issues with that guys.



And, just curious, why did you "use to believe that Snopes were shills"?

I went on longer than I wanted, but you took some time to meet my request, so I figured I owed you the same. :)
During the 2016 American election I came to believe a variety of far right conspiracies theories. I originally believed 911 truth, creeping sharia and all sorts of nonsense. Of the nonsense I grew to believe that the whole media was part of NWO or Deep State conspiracy and I came to believe that Snopes was just one more member. I eventually took a chance and checked them out and came to learn that the they where fine and the evidence for them being shills was nonsense.

Too this day I still believe some CTs and I hope to purge them as well. I find some are harder to debunk as 911 CTs are easier to handle as we have years of work put towards debunking it from thousands of people.

While most new CTs have been on the scene in their current form for a short duration.

Thanks for taking the time to read and reply to my post.
 
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MikeG

Senior Member
New Republic Image.png

New Republic offered another take on the issue in its June edition. The variations on old Cold War practices was interesting

https://newrepublic.com/article/142344/russia-weaponized-fake-news-sow-chaos
 

Anuanki

New Member
I feel the skepticism is well deserved and to second this the media has a bad track record of blowing with the wind. And at a time when people were extremely displeased with the establishment this kind of adds up to a perfect storm of distrust /fake news media problems
 

Nuwanda

New Member
That's exactly right.

The interesting thing about bias is it can assume the same weight/effect as fake news. Bias usually results in the favoring of one side of the story to the detriment of the other. No fakery takes place. But an agenda is pushed. And the goal of fake news is to push an agenda. It's agenda-pushing by different means.

Bias is lying by omission. Fake news is lying by commission.


They are pushing a narrative for sure but there are no "fake facts" used. Its not "fake news". Its biased coverage.
 

Nuwanda

New Member
It's not that using Conservapedia invalidates the information, it's that the original source was not cited. Conservapedia may very well be a reliable source on many topics. You would need to judge that it is not on this particular topic. How do you?

Let's say we cite Greenpeace as an authority for a statement made in an article. Does the fact that Greenpeace made the statement mean we can rely upon it? No. We would need to see the underlying evidence. We would need a citation for the citation.

So we say we shouldn't cite anything that isn't original material. We can't accept a statement that claims to be based on original material. We must cite the original material itself.

Yes?

No. You should be aware that every history (just to name one discipline) book cites another history book as supporting reference. They don't cite the original research, just the author/work that made it. They are relying upon YOU to read that reference whereby you will find the original material, or as often happens, another cited author/work that contains that material.


I looked at her, followed her source down to her bibliography, and saw that it was quoted from Conservapedia. I told her 'this has to go,' and she asked why so I told her it was a biased source. It amazed me that she didn't get that and it still does to this day.
 

MikeG

Senior Member
No. You should be aware that every history (just to name one discipline) book cites another history book as supporting reference. They don't cite the original research, just the author/work that made it. They are relying upon YOU to read that reference whereby you will find the original material, or as often happens, another cited author/work that contains that material.
I would be careful about over generalizing here.

Good history books cite primary (original) sources. If you want to get at the origin of the story, that is what you do. But, even original sources have a bias. Fifty years from now, historians will look at Jim Comey's memos and see original sources, but they do not offer a complete story.

History books use other authors to establish a place in the literature (historiography). You are right in saying that sometimes authors do use other secondary works for their facts as well.

Good scholars, or journalists, or anybody need to rely, as best they can, on corroboration. That is, any story is made up of bits and pieces of information. Finding a reasonable method to corroborate facts is what makes a story valid.

Bias might come from an agenda or the absence of adequate facts/analysis. These two are not the same.

A bigger point here is that we are talking about objectivity.

Beyond sources and agendas, we have to look at whether or not the author is putting a good faith effort into the process of acquiring facts, corroborating them, and presenting them.

That to me is an important difference. It separates a legitimate journalist or academic from someone like Roger Stone.

My two cents.
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member
The New York Times just published a story about "A Pro-Trump Conspiracy Theorist, a False Tweet and a Runaway Story" that provides a timeline of how a fake news story went viral.

 
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