Should there be a Conspiracy Forum Rating System.

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Should there be a Conspiracy Blog and Forum Rating System.

I suggest there is a need for an independent rating system to survey and assign ratings to inform internet users of the content and reliability of what they might encounter. What are the pitfalls and issues with such a process?

These are the following questions:

1) How to select the list of Forums/Blogs and subject matter?
Answer: By popularity, most popular first determined by published viewership, volume of Views, Posts, Votes, etc.

2) What would be the rating criteria?
Answer: A composite score based on several dimensions. 1-10, 10 being the best.

Suggested Dimensions:

a. entertainment value: 1-10

b. Adult conversations by age groups: green, blue, Red or 1,5 or 10, etc

c. Overly Biased: 1-10

d. Politeness: 1-10

e. Professional moderation: 1-10

f. Ease of format for participation or viewing: 1-10

g. Efficiency to correct errors and appropriate editing: 1-10

h. Accuracy and reliability of the information presented: 1-10
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
then the CBFRS would become a conspiracy unto itself! "bunch of government shills trying to hide the truth" ; )
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
then the CBFRS would become a conspiracy unto itself! "bunch of government shills trying to hide the truth" ; )
CBFRS? I am sure the hard core would have much to say (criticize) but many could possibly benefit from a warning label. Especially younger participants. ;)
 

Sarcastro

Member
Based on what legal theory?
That they are "unreliable". They don't necessarily need to win, many sue just to get an out of court settlement. And believe it or not, some of them could win. The burden falls on the CBFRS to actually prove that in court. You have to show how and why they are unreliable. And given the vagueness of a lot of claims and the amount of hearsay (i.e. a former pilot saying that he was once ordered to spray clouds) that becomes a near impossible task.

Ever wonder why Penn & Teller refer to people in their shows with terms likes "Mother ####ers" and "B####rds"? It's because they can't be sued for that. They can be sued for calling the person a liar, a scammer, etc., even if they actually are.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Unfortunately there's a lot of subjectivity there. Perhaps if the rating were accompanied by a personal review - so it's clear that it's your opinion.
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
That they are "unreliable". They don't necessarily need to win, many sue just to get an out of court settlement. And believe it or not, some of them could win. The burden falls on the CBFRS to actually prove that in court. You have to show how and why they are unreliable. And given the vagueness of a lot of claims and the amount of hearsay (i.e. a former pilot saying that he was once ordered to spray clouds) that becomes a near impossible task.

Ever wonder why Penn & Teller refer to people in their shows with terms likes "Mother ####ers" and "B####rds"? It's because they can't be sued for that. They can be sued for calling the person a liar, a scammer, etc., even if they actually are.

Godlike productions is unreliable.

Nobody can sue me for that. For one thing it's my opinion. I believe it. It's not directed at a person. It's also something I could back up.
 

Sarcastro

Member
Godlike productions is unreliable.

Nobody can sue me for that. For one thing it's my opinion. I believe it. It's not directed at a person. It's also something I could back up.
I could sue you for breathing. Seriously. You can sue anyone at anytime for anything. You won't necessarily win. Heck the judge may even punish you for such a frivolous lawsuit. And nowadays you got companies suing people for leaving bad reviews on sites like yelp (and sometimes, they win.)
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
I could sue you for breathing. Seriously. You can sue anyone at anytime for anything. You won't necessarily win. Heck the judge may even punish you for such a frivolous lawsuit. And nowadays you got companies suing people for leaving bad reviews on sites like yelp (and sometimes, they win.)

And so? Are you suggesting never mentioning anyone or anything ever?

Tom Cruise could sue me for mentioning him as a possible person who might sue me. It's theoretically possible, but it's not something to worry about.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I could sue you for breathing. Seriously. You can sue anyone at anytime for anything. You won't necessarily win. Heck the judge may even punish you for such a frivolous lawsuit. And nowadays you got companies suing people for leaving bad reviews on sites like yelp (and sometimes, they win.)
What if the reviewers were designed to be totally anonymous and open to all participants? Who would you sue? Any participant could fill out a survey about their experiences and the results tallied and presented as they are submitted.
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Or a forum devoted to each of the myriad of conspiracy promotion sites to illustrate just how inaccurate the stories found on those sites are. When an inaccurate/false story is found we could provide a debunk of those stories, before long those forums would be populated with stories that have been shown to be false or misleading from each of the sites.... and wouldn't that demonstrate just how poor a source for reliable information those sites actually are....
 

Sarcastro

Member
What if the reviewers were designed to be totally anonymous and open to all participants? Who would you sue?
Take action against CBFRS to make them release info leading to the identity of a bad review (Yelp is anonymous too. Hasn't helped the people leaving bad reviews there)
 

Soulfly

Banned
Banned

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Or a forum devoted to each of the myriad of conspiracy promotion sites to illustrate just how inaccurate the stories found on those sites are. When an inaccurate/false story is found we could provide a debunk of those stories, before long those forums would be populated with stories that have been shown to be false or misleading from each of the sites.... and wouldn't that demonstrate just how poor a source for reliable information those sites actually are....
Take action against CBFRS to make them release info leading to the identity of a bad review (Yelp is anonymous too. Hasn't helped the people leaving bad reviews there)


Could you give some specifics or links so I can review the cases?
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Thanks! Seems the issues here are unique. The businesses in question had fiduciary relationships. There was alleged fraud and blackmail involved or falsification of known facts. Either you advertise with us or we will destroy your business with false negative reviews. This is a real crime and not a freedom of speech issue. I don't think this is a threat to what we are proposing. We have no relationship with a business as in an Angie's List situation. Do you have any other examples that include personal opinions expressed in a journal or publication as the center of the legal actions?
 
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Sarcastro

Member
Thanks! Seems the issues here are unique. The businesses in question had fiduciary relationships. There was alleged fraud and blackmail involved or falsification of known facts. Either you advertise with us or we will destroy your business with false negative reviews. This is a real crime and not a freedom of speech issue. I don't think this is a threat to what we are proposing. We have no relationship with a business as in an Angie's List situation. Do you have any other examples that include personal opinions expressed in a journal or publication as the center of the legal actions?
Sure. they're called libel cases.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
Sure. they're called libel cases.
Libel cases are extremely hard to adjudicate especially in the US. There has to be measurable damage and proof of false statements published with intent or negligence. While anything is possible, there is a greater probability of an injunction to cease publication. All ventures of importance require some risk. The question is: do the benefits outweigh the risks?

http://injury.findlaw.com/torts-and-personal-injuries/elements-of-libel-and-slander.html

Here is an interesting case:

 
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deirdre

Senior Member.
There's Consumer Reports, don't know what their set up is.

youre probably ok if you go all out satirical, maybe. like Conspirasumer Reports reviewing the infobores. com ?

I think if youre trying to reach the conspiracy minded types anyway, you'd have to figure out how to write it 'delusional/crass' (whatever their style is called) like the ct sites do, in order to make any difference and get the CTs to listen to you.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
There's Consumer Reports, don't know what their set up is.

youre probably ok if you go all out satirical, maybe. like Conspirasumer Reports reviewing the infobores. com ?

I think if youre trying to reach the conspiracy minded types anyway, you'd have to figure out how to write it 'delusional/crass' (whatever their style is called) like the ct sites do, in order to make any difference and get the CTs to listen to you.
My target would not really be the CT folks, at least the true believers, but fence sitters or naive, young potential participants. There are new lookers everyday. Keeping one or two from being sucked in might be worth the effort. It might also make the CT manipulators accountable to something as well.
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
My target would not really be the CT folks, at least the true believers, but fence sitters or naive, young potential participants. There are new lookers everyday. Keeping one or two from being sucked in might be worth the effort. It might also make the CT manipulators accountable to something as well.
I don't know. there are only a few sites that aren't blatantly ridiculous. like geoengineering watch (which doesn't throw in every conspiracy under the sun). You can definitely write an opinion piece on those site(s).
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I don't know. there are only a few sites that aren't blatantly ridiculous. like geoengineering watch (which doesn't throw in every conspiracy under the sun). You can definitely write an opinion piece on those site(s).
Well, that is what this Thread is about. Is there any benefit from such an effort? As you say they all may be the same basic thing. The only thing I would add would be: we may recognize they are all basically awful but will everyone less informed realize it?
 

deirdre

Senior Member.
if youre popular enough to be listed high in google searches, like Metabunk is, it would be somewhat beneficial. and IF people use the search option vs. just clicking a link direct to these sites and then not ever researching the site.

I cant relate to how people cant see them as basically awful, so i dont know.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
if youre popular enough to be listed high in google searches, like Metabunk is, it would be somewhat beneficial. and IF people use the search option vs. just clicking a link direct to these sites and then not ever researching the site.

I cant relate to how people cant see them as basically awful, so i dont know.
I think some people really don't understand their lack of reliability/credibility and many think they are harmless entertainment and indirectly contribute to their success.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
rbutr is for linking a rebuttal to an article. I use it quite often to help spread my debunkings.
Mick, "rbutr" is then a tool. I would think it is not capable of bringing attention to an entire Forum (for example) but would be very useful to demonstrate alternative explanations within a Forum's content. Possibly a metric from the number of "rbutr's" links would be useful to publish along with a rating.
 

Pete Tar

Senior Member.
I signed up for it, but have yet to learn to use it. The icon doesn't show up in my browser though I downloaded the extension.
But the site itself can be searched on subject or web addresses.
 

George B

Extinct but not forgotten Staff Member
I signed up for it, but have yet to learn to use it. The icon doesn't show up in my browser though I downloaded the extension.
But the site itself can be searched on subject or web addresses.
Thanks! Pete, is there a service charge? If it isn't too spendy I might try it. Sort of reminds me of electronic warfare countermeasures. There are countermeasures and countermeasures for countermeasures. When dose rebutting end?:)
 

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
Or a forum devoted to each of the myriad of conspiracy promotion sites to illustrate just how inaccurate the stories found on those sites are. When an inaccurate/false story is found we could provide a debunk of those stories, before long those forums would be populated with stories that have been shown to be false or misleading from each of the sites.... and wouldn't that demonstrate just how poor a source for reliable information those sites actually are....


How about something along these lines?

Natural News: Some of the misinformation found there
 

moderateGOP

Active Member
Should there be a Conspiracy Blog and Forum Rating System.

I suggest there is a need for an independent rating system to survey and assign ratings to inform internet users of the content and reliability of what they might encounter. What are the pitfalls and issues with such a process?

These are the following questions:

1) How to select the list of Forums/Blogs and subject matter?
Answer: By popularity, most popular first determined by published viewership, volume of Views, Posts, Votes, etc.

2) What would be the rating criteria?
Answer: A composite score based on several dimensions. 1-10, 10 being the best.

Suggested Dimensions:

a. entertainment value: 1-10

b. Adult conversations by age groups: green, blue, Red or 1,5 or 10, etc

c. Overly Biased: 1-10

d. Politeness: 1-10

e. Professional moderation: 1-10

f. Ease of format for participation or viewing: 1-10

g. Efficiency to correct errors and appropriate editing: 1-10

h. Accuracy and reliability of the information presented: 1-10

This is very interesting. I sort of do this already on my blog, which is mainly about Ron Paul and his cult-like following. I have four sections currently: Libertarians (about libertarian figureheads or people libertarians like), Philosophy (stuff libertarians or CTs believe in and highlighting various CT activism and how silly some of the topics that they get behind are), Conspiracies (where I debunk internet rumors or CTs), and YouTube (stuff I found on YouTube). Most CTs I run into are libertarian minded anti-government and usually support Ron Paul. I've been on some CT sites and just simply asked questions about Ron Paul and they ban me. Even though, as a CT you were supposed to ask questions right? This was around 2006 leading up to the Republican Primaries. So I am already working towards something like this idea...
 
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