Why we debunk and who do we reach.

Critical Thinker

Senior Member.
There have been other threads started about 'why we debunk' that CTers started in order to cast aspersions about why people would debunk.They do not seem to grasp the idea that there are people that would take the time to dispel falsehoods without someone paying them to do so. I, on the other hand, have always been puzzled why people do not speak up when they hear someone spreading misinformation with the intent to manipulate others. Various members have addressed why they debunk and who they want to reach, in various threads throughout Metabunk.

As for myself, I am bothered by people intentionally (or otherwise) spreading misinformation... I think the best decisions (politically, environmentally, and in every facet of life) for people and humanity in general can only be reached by examining the available evidence, discarding that which is irrelevant or erroneous, and applying reason, rationality and fairness in order to determine what decision should be made.

Who I seek to reach are the people that are open to looking at evidence in forming an opinion. People that get exposed to the emphatic fear-mongering and misinformation from conspiracy promoters, people that don't just jump on the band wagon of hysteria, but instead take the few minutes that are needed to investigate further the counterarguments, who consider the reliability of the various sources and then use reason to reach an opinion.

Anyhow.... the reason I started this thread is that I happened upon a Facebook conversation between a conspiracy promoter and one of her Facebook friends. I saw the usual tactics from the conspiracy promoters to influence their friend, but he seemed determined to do his own research into whether or not there is a worldwide chemtrail conspiracy and if what he was being told by the conspiracy promoters held up to scrutiny.....

The good news is that people's efforts to debunk the misinformation circulated by the conspiracy crowd does have a positive effect. These havens of sanity that Mick administers, where the various claims can all be found in one place, along with a reasoned analysis of the claimed evidence is an invaluable resource for anyone with a little time to investigate the claims.

Case in point, here Stacy Weiss and Carly LeBrun try to recruit their Facebook friend, Bill Barnes via Internet Memes and photos that have been spread and debunked of airplane interiors. Bill decides to do his own research, other than what he is being told to rely on.... the result is that he found Contrailscience and posted the link on "How to Debunk Chemtrails" to his own page..... much to the dismay of the conspiracy promoters.

Sorry for the rather long post, but I wanted to show how the chemtrail promoters tried to inundate their friend with bunk, scare-mongering and a large assortment of logical fallacies. I want people to be aware of and to recognize those tactics being used. In this case, to quote W.C. Fields; “If you can't dazzle them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.” was the tactic employed by the conspiracy propmoters

https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?...21388781315.2076977.1434322088&type=1&theater

Mobile Uploads
Back to Album · Stacey's Photos · Stacey's Timeline
Previous · Next








Stacey Weiss


Charlotte Michelle Province Ian Espinosa Rob Schick John Graf Gail Susan Gail Lansing Cindi Conners please add a comment and thoughts thx!

Share · April 23 · Edited

After doing his own research into those rather extraordinary claims being made.....

Capture.JPG
 

Mick West

Administrator
Staff member
Who I seek to reach are the people that are open to looking at evidence in forming an opinion. People that get exposed to the emphatic fear-mongering and misinformation from conspiracy promoters, people that don't just jump on the band wagon of hysteria, but instead take the few minutes that are needed to investigate further the counterarguments, who consider the reliability of the various sources and then use reason to reach an opinion.
Agreed. And this example I think demonstrate there are two distinct types of debunking: discussing and demonstrating.

Discussing would be trying to persuade someone via direct communication - i.e. talking to them, or engaging them on Twitter, Facebook, email, or forum discussions (like here).

Demonstrating would be creating resources for people to use when they go looking for more information. Providing clear information and simple reasoned arguments that they can consider at leisure in a non-confrontational way.

Of course there's overlap here. One an provide sources of information in a discussion, and sometimes a discussion alone can be all that is needed to work out the kinks in reasoning. And discussion are great for understanding the mindset of believers. But I see it in a couple of ways:

Show, don't tell - Focusing on showing them things they can check for themselves, rather than coming across as "My opinion is that you are wrong"

Debunking effort multiplier - Skeptics waste a lot of time debunking. There are several threads here (and I'm guilty of this too) that are just long digressing arguments, often over arcane points that are essentially irrelevant, just raised to win points in a debate. On other forums like the International Skeptics there are multi-part threads with over ten thousand posts. That's a lot of debunking effort that is just whistling in the wind. If instead people took their talents at exposition and analysis and distilled that down into useful articles on a focused aspect of a topic, then you'd have something much more useful. A debunking that could be used again and again.

The above is a good example. I didn't engage Bill Barnes at all. I spent time (a few years ago, that's a 2011 post) writing posts on Contrail Science. Years later he finds that post, and it's useful to him. Contrail Science gets thousands of visitors every month. That's a lot of multiplication of my efforts back from 2011.
 

Balance

Senior Member.
I just came across this post in an UK activist anti-fracking group. I'd already unfollowed a similar group last year as it began to get infected with unrelated conspiracy theory promotion and my calls for tighter moderation went unanswered. I'm not the most effective de-bunker (not that I really qualify) but when I get hit with so many posts in such a short time (effectively crapflooding) as I did, I can't respond effectively with the end result that only a small percentage of posts were fracking related and I ended wasting too much time scrolling past them all each day.

I've also suspended/redirected my support of previous other campaigns for similar reasons - which is what actually drove me to contrailscience and subsequently here (as I hope will the last post in this thread :) ) It was becoming apparent I was drowning in a tsunami of woo and I was at risk of not knowing which way was up! contrail science and metabunk, are I suppose, the lifeboat that rescued me.
 
Last edited by a moderator:
Thread starter Related Articles Forum Replies Date
N Debunked: Google Mail icon shows linkage to Freemasons Conspiracy Theories 4
chrono117 How to Debunk Flat Earth Without Relying on NASA or Photos Flat Earth 42
Rory Explained: How Mount Rainier helps demonstrate the shape of the globe Flat Earth 38
Rory Debunked: 120-mile shot of San Jacinto proves flat earth Flat Earth 39
George Tasker Using pin hole lenses to debunk CGI Rebuttals of Photos of Earth Curvature Flat Earth 7
Tom Binney Does my FE Debunk in this case make sense to you guys? Practical Debunking 23
derwoodii My eyes deceived me so I had to debunk myself Skydentify - What is that Thing in the Sky? 8
N How can I debunk the orbs in this photo? UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 22
HoaxEye How to calculate the visible fraction of the Earth [e.g. 1972 Blue Marble, Apollo 17] Flat Earth 28
N Please help me to debunk this topic: stranges sphere outside of the ISS. General Discussion 18
Mick West Fireproof Cabbage, Burning Snow, Flat Earth - Are Some Things too Silly to Debunk? Practical Debunking 7
Mick West Burying the Debunk: How Fake News about "Pyramids" in Antarctica Creates False Balance UFOs, Aliens, Monsters, and the Paranormal 2
TWCobra Flat earth Debunk-change in apparent altitude of clouds as seen from airliner Flat Earth 2
Mick West An Easy Experiment to Debunk the Flat Earth by Observing the Size of the Sun Flat Earth 55
passionfly1 Lets finally debunk Nico and Marco Kaschuba (video hoaxers) People Debunked 0
Svartbjørn The Solar System.. To Scale (just for fun, nothing to debunk here) General Discussion 0
Mick West What to do about the Flat Earthers? Debunk, or ignore? Flat Earth 238
C MH370: Help me debunk this General Discussion 21
TemplarJLS Can someone debunk this George Washington quote? Quotes Debunked 6
TemplarJLS Some depopulation quotes to debunk? Quotes Debunked 16
Henk001 High altitude clouds don't have a cooling effect Contrails and Chemtrails 2
Mike Fl Can someone debunk this? Sandy Hook Shooting 100% Fraud Proof in 2 mins. - Photo Time Analysis Sandy Hook 21
Stevan Gvozdenovic Let's debunk my (very simple) perpetuum mobile Science and Pseudoscience 57
M Debunk: The horizon never falling as proof of flat Earth theory Flat Earth 29
WeedWhacker Let's imagine the actual area of the sky, above.... Contrails and Chemtrails 4
Dan Wilson PopSci article claiming to debunk ten GMO myths Health and Quackery 10
Vindog Debunk this [Planes at different altitude and different contrails over France] Contrails and Chemtrails 43
Critical Thinker Gawker article: Why I Write About (and Debunk) the Chemtrail Conspiracy Theory Contrails and Chemtrails 0
W Debunk NASA is proposing spraying stratospheric aerosols. Contrails and Chemtrails 9
T Debunk: Chemtrails leave no space between aircraft and the beginning of the trail. Contrails and Chemtrails 7
Jeffrey Orling Is there anything about 9/11 left to debunk 9/11 46
C Help debunk please!? [Contrail Grids, Weather Modification, Fuel Dumping] Contrails and Chemtrails 18
George B Debunk: Kinder gentler Debunking is better. . . ?? Practical Debunking 38
Noblelox Practical bunk used to debunk Boston Marathon Bombings 18
Alchemist Please Debunk: The Drills (conflicting info from 2 reputable sources) Boston Marathon Bombings 13
Alchemist Debunk This New JFK Information Conspiracy Theories 101
David Fraser Should we debunk "hoax" tragedies with "crisis actors"? Practical Debunking 21
DebunkingShills Orbs: Something the metaJUNK shills just can't debunk. Contrails and Chemtrails 24
Joe Newman There will be widescale rioting after Zimmerman verdict. Debunk, please Conspiracy Theories 256
Mick West Using Campaign Finance Reform to Debunk Conspiracy Theories Practical Debunking 25
Z please someone debunk this crap Contrails and Chemtrails 15
BlindIdiots Please Debunk WeatherWar101s "Weather War Big Picture" Video Contrails and Chemtrails 5
Soulfly DOJ investigation of the AP debunk the government controlling the media? General Discussion 0
Oxymoron Easy WTC 7 Video to Debunk 9/11 2
sgirl Col. Richard French of the USAF States his Job was to Debunk UFOs - Citizen Hearing Conspiracy Theories 6
N Little help to debunk clouds with color Practical Debunking 2
Rroval Debunk: imgur: "Boston Truth Revealed" Boston Marathon Bombings 84
Drew Debunk: Saudi National Linked Boston Marathon Bombings 5
George B Debunk . . . intuition can save your life or prevent considerable pain and suffering General Discussion 43
newportrojan Can someone debunk Vigilant Citizen? Conspiracy Theories 344
Related Articles


















































Related Articles

Top