Linked by Thom Holwerda on Tue 22nd Nov 2016 22:53 UTC
Internet & Networking

Let me be clear: I am well aware of the problematic aspects of Facebook' s impact; I am particularly worried about the ease with which we sort ourselves into tribes, in part because of the filter bubble effect noted above (that's one of the reasons Why Twitter Must Be Saved). But the solution is not the reimposition of gatekeepers done in by the Internet; whatever fixes this problem must spring from the power of the Internet, and the fact that each of us, if we choose, has access to more information and sources of truth than ever before, and more ways to reach out and understand and persuade those with whom we disagree. Yes, that is more work than demanding Zuckerberg change what people see, but giving up liberty for laziness never works out well in the end.

Absolutely, 100% spot-on.

Order by: Score:
Bill Shooter of Bul
Member since:
2006-07-14

Its taken me a long time to finally realize that people aren't like me. They don't have the desire to seek out the truth. To consume media they disagree with. To ask questions of people you disagree with and openly consider their opinions and explore the reasoning behind why they think the way they do.

I guess over the past eight years, I've discovered that isn't true. Now, I'm not sure what the solution to the misinformation is.

I don't think just providing access to the truth is enough. I think facebook was already doing that, from what I could tell. Where next to each fake story, was other real stories. Some segments of the population (Regardless of political affiliation), have decided that some sources are "Bad" and nothing they say can be trusted even if its water being wet, or gravity pulling bodies of mass towards each other. I don't know how to over come that level of polarization.

Reply Score: 7

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill Shooter of Bul,

I guess over the past eight years, I've discovered that isn't true. Now, I'm not sure what the solution to the misinformation is.


That's the question, how do you even start to fix misinformation? By the time you flag the original as a "fake parody", it gets a life of it's own and millions are involved in spreading it.

I'm curious of the breakdown between people spreading misinformation knowingly versus people who are being deceived. Has this ever been studied? It would be a good research paper.

Reply Score: 4

Delgarde Member since:
2008-08-19

Yeah, you can't fight that kind of misinformation just by arguing, or by trying to count it with facts. Because they've got "facts" too... not necessarily true ones, but who's to tell the difference?

How can a third party witnessing the argument tell which of you is right, short of spending extensive time doing their own research, and learning which sources can be trusted and which ones can't?

Reply Score: 5

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Delgarde,

Yeah, you can't fight that kind of misinformation just by arguing, or by trying to count it with facts. Because they've got "facts" too... not necessarily true ones, but who's to tell the difference?


There's that problem, but I think a more fundamental problem may be that many people have grown up in a culture that openly rejects logical analysis in favor of dogma. They want to believe their "truths" so much that they turn off critical thinking and are willing to overlook the facts completely.

Borrowing a phrase: The gullible brain treats facts as a defect and routes around it.

Edited 2016-11-23 01:16 UTC

Reply Score: 3

darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

but I think a more fundamental problem may be that many people have grown up in a culture that openly rejects logical analysis in favor of dogma.

You've just described damn near every religion on the planet. Religion, which has been the central authority system of all major cultures at one point or another, and still is in many. So yeah, I think you're spot on, and the resurgence of fundamentalist beliefs certainly is not helping matters.

Reply Score: 4

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

It has very little to do with religion. At least in the west with Christianity. The whole point of the reformation was to remove central authority and singular interpretation of holy texts. There is a reason why there are five billion sub groups of Christianity instead of two or three.

Its not what is believed, but ones own educational philosophy that's the problem. As one could see from the primary, the most orthodox in religious or party doctrine did not win a majority of votes. Voters either never believed the doctrine, or changed their minds.

And that's the key for me. Did they change their minds about what they held as sacred? Why? What caused that? Or if they never believed what they had previously indicated they believed, that's fascinating as well. Why did we think they believed as they did?

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill Shooter of Bul,

Its not what is believed, but ones own educational philosophy that's the problem. As one could see from the primary, the most orthodox in religious or party doctrine did not win a majority of votes. Voters either never believed the doctrine, or changed their minds.


I don't think (christian) voters changed their minds, they were just faced with with unappealing choices and voted along party lines, just like everyone else. Remember that both candidates were overwhelmingly disliked even within their own parties. We would likely have seen a surge in third party votes if it weren't for the US electoral system that discourages voting for them.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

No, I'm referring to the primaries. Republicans voted for a candidate that did not meet the gold standard that they had been declaring for the past eight years. While there were several that did meet that previous standard. The voters changed their minds, or the gold standard was always a fraud.

Reply Score: 2

Alfman Member since:
2011-01-28

Bill Shooter of Bul,

No, I'm referring to the primaries. Republicans voted for a candidate that did not meet the gold standard that they had been declaring for the past eight years. While there were several that did meet that previous standard. The voters changed their minds, or the gold standard was always a fraud.


I see.

In the primaries I think what happened there is pretty simple: the normal conservative republican vote got divided by 20ish candidates. Trump was the uncontested champion for bigotry, KKK, xenophobic groups, white-supremacists, pre-civil rights movements. Even though these groups do not speak for all republicans, the less provocative candidates all canceled each other out in the primaries.


Approaching the end, had Ted Cruz or John Kasich dropped out, then those votes would have been combined and Trump would likely have lost the primaries going head to head with a single opponent. This is how we end up with candidates that the majority hate.

https://poll.qu.edu/national/release-detail?ReleaseID=2333
Trump and Clinton top the "no way" list as 54 percent of American voters say they "would definitely not" vote for Trump, with 43 percent saying no to Clinton, 33 percent nixing Cruz, 27 percent saying no to Sanders and 14 percent saying no to Kasich.



A rank vote would address this problem, since Trump was the least desirable choice for most voters, he would not have been able to win. By the time the general election was under say, voters were left with voting against the other party rather than for their own candidates, which is a terrible situation to be in. For better or worse, all the quirks of our system came together to make Trump electable. The majority of voters, republicans included, did not get a good outcome this election.

However I'll concede your point that many were lying to themselves and others in order to reconcile what they were voting for with what they claim to believe in.

Edited 2016-11-25 15:47 UTC

Reply Score: 2

WorknMan Member since:
2005-11-13

Its taken me a long time to finally realize that people aren't like me. They don't have the desire to seek out the truth.



Well, seeking out the truth also takes a lot of time, which is time a lot of people probably don't have. For example, it's usually all I can do every day just to keep up with the tech news, and some days I just end up skimming blogs.

Now, as for the political shite... I haven't seen an unbiased source of information yet. (Note: If it's not pissing off BOTH liberals and conservatives on the regular, it's not unbiased.) So really the only thing you can do is follow multiple, biased sources, and try to suss out the truth from the bullshit. But most people have full-time jobs and adult responsibilities, so I can't imagine many of them want to spend a significant amount of time, sitting in front of their PC or tablet every day, fact checking every goddamn article they read.

That kind of thing is not going to happen in 2016. Now, for this election, I followed both left and right-leaning blogs, and can say with 100% certainty that if you only followed one or the other, you're not getting the whole picture. And if you followed both, you're kind of getting a grotesque, distorted, bastardized version of the whole picture, with lots and lots and lots of BS and toxicity thrown in for good measure.

Reply Score: 2

Bill Shooter of Bul Member since:
2006-07-14

Well, seeking out the truth also takes a lot of time, which is time a lot of people probably don't have. For example, it's usually all I can do every day just to keep up with the tech news, and some days I just end up skimming blogs.


For me, it doesn't take long to do a quick google of a news item and find an alternative take on the event and quickly skim it for relevant information. But, I as I mentioned, I don't think everyone else is as good at reading comprehension as I am.

Hope, I'm not making out myself to be perfect. That's not the intent. In fact this misguided belief that I was of average ability blinded me to how people perceive and react to common events. I'm not normal in that sense.. So , I'm not sure I'd even understand the right solution when it was offered.

Reply Score: 3

matthekc Member since:
2006-10-28

I read a good story the other day stating some of it is fundamentalism. Keep in mind for many Americans things like climate change are impossible because god won't allow it and their neighbors must be "saved from sin" for whatever they deem sinful.

Reply Score: 2

Fake News
by Alfman on Tue 22nd Nov 2016 23:57 UTC
Alfman
Member since:
2011-01-28

Thom Holwerda,

Absolutely, 100% spot-on.


You cited a small piece of the article, but do you agree with the more polarizing question of whether it's ok that "news" sources be prioritized based on profits rather than facts?

Focusing on profits rather than facts is...well profitable. The truth is facts are hard and there isn't always incentive to deliver them, something the author clearly agrees on. But I strongly disagree with his notion that because facts are hard, that we shouldn't even bother trying to promote factual content, that's a recipe for mass ignorance.

Fighting ignorance is hard, but if we don't try to do something to give factual sources a fighting chance, then they will become marginalized in a sea of lies and be unable to counter the capitalistic forces that render facts obsolete.

Reply Score: 6

mistersoft
Member since:
2011-01-05

(is what I think Facebook ought to do)

Sure - they're pretty happy with their echo-chamber-bubble time line....

But if FB used clever machine learning algorithms to categorise and "understand" news stories - and then posted opposing-view stories right above/below the potentially offending fake stories - then at least people will have a more balanced fake-story-a-thon

Reply Score: 3

Verify News button
by Adurbe on Wed 23rd Nov 2016 14:44 UTC
Adurbe
Member since:
2005-07-06

I would like to see a "verify news" button on news stories in facebook.

Click on it, perform a google (or similar) search of the title, display a "Authenticity Rating"

Facebbok can then apply a weighting based on who returns it.

Times, BBC, Telegraph, Guardian = 9 and a "gold" stamp
mybullblog.com = 1 and a "big red question mark" stamp

Over time this could feed into their intelligent learning systems to be better able to spot uncorroborated stories.

Reply Score: 4

RE: Verify News button
by darknexus on Wed 23rd Nov 2016 15:19 UTC in reply to "Verify News button"
darknexus Member since:
2008-07-15

The problem with what you're proposing is that they could easily choose to "verify" only the parts of the story they wish, and people would believe it because "hey, Facebook says it's reliable."
I don't think any amount of machine learning can substitute for our own brains. The problem is getting people to use them, not to make them even more reliant on some machine algorithm.

Reply Score: 3

RE[2]: Verify News button
by Adurbe on Thu 24th Nov 2016 09:40 UTC in reply to "RE: Verify News button"
Adurbe Member since:
2005-07-06

I agree, what this mechanism would (hopefully) do is establish an element of doubt in authenticity of stories. Stories marked as "Fake" would almost certainly stop being shared in such a viral way.

Reply Score: 2