Wednesday, 20 October 2021

How social media platforms reward misinformation-spreaders


Dan Hodges is the anti-left polemicist who wrote the Daily Mail's grotesque "Labour Should Kill Vampire Jezza" article, just ten days after Labour MP Jo Cox was brutally murdered in the street in 2016.

Dan's absolutely notorious for his ability to find the wrong take on pretty much any subject, and many have even argued that he's actually delivering some kind of absurd wrong-on-purpose performance piece designed to create as much reaction as possible.

You may well ask why on earth anyone would want to make themselves look like a venal, mindless idiot on purpose, just for attention?

The reason of course is that social media sites are designed in such a way that the loudest, crudest, most attention-seeking idiots actually get rewarded by the algorithm, as a result of the reaction to the bile and misinformation they spew.

These grifters either get their content positively shared by users who have had their minds rotted away by years of exposure to the venal radical right culture war bollocks, or it gets amplified by masses of reasonable people trying to point out how wrong and/or completely unreasonable they're being.

The golden ticket for attention-seeking grifters is the kind of post that does massive numbers from both of these target audiences, like that dreadful GB News hack who was invited onto the BBC to argue in favour of drowning migrants, which caused the extreme-right demographic to gleefully retweet clips of it, and liberal icons with vast social media followings like Gary Lineker to spread it further and wider by retweeting it in order to say how much they disagreed with it.

This kind of polemical attention-seeking grift is the entire modus operandi of GB News, and it's absolutely no surprise that Dan Hodges has got himself involved with their professional grifting operation.
 
In some cases the traffic is entirely made up of condemnation, as with Dan Hodges' economically illiterate interpretation of a BBC News item about a tiny fall in the rate of inflation, which he tweeted with a caption reading "Cost of living falls, just as everyone predicted".

Over a thousand people responded with comments pointing out that Hodges was completely misrepresenting the meaning of the story, either through economic illiteracy, or out of a desire to deliberately spread misinformation.

It's absolutely obvious that a fall in the rate of inflation from 3.2% to 3.1% is not wonderfully good news for the British people, or for the government, when the inflation target is 2%, and the Bank of England rate of interest is a paltry 0.1%, but who cares about facts and evidence, when Dan can just claim the article he's sharing means the opposite of what it actually says?

A fall in the rate of inflation, is simply not the same thing as inflation falling (deflation), and it's no wonder that public understanding of economic issues is so poor, when high profile commentators like Dan Hodges spread economic misinformation like this with impunity.

After such a large backlash, anyone with a shred of decency would delete the post and put up an apology, but attention-seekers who value their social media numbers above their reputation would never erase such a post, because 1,400+ negative replies, and 400+ negative quote tweets all still point to the Twitter account of Dan Hodges.

For being totally wrong about something, Twitter rewards him with thousands of links pointing to his profile, and the algorithm even begins automatically offering his account as a 'suggested follow' to people who got involved in the conversation about how wrong he was!

Why on earth would Dan Hodges delete his reward for spreading misinformation?

And it's clear that he knows it's misinformation too, because his follow up Tweet admitted that he got it wrong, then smugly implied that the people at fault are actually the ones who got "agitated" by his misinformation (which produced himself another reward of hundreds more negative replies and negative quote tweets).

Dan Hodges publicly admits that he knows that it was wrong, but he's leaving it up anyway, meaning there's no way it can now be interpreted as anything other than deliberate misinformation.

And he's actually gloating at all the people who have called him out, and revelling in all the attention and free publicity!

If social media sites like Twitter actually cared about confronting misinformation, they'd allow users the means to effectively report misinformation (crowdsourced peer review), reduce the visibility of misinformation-spreading accounts, and improve the visibility of accounts that routinely tell the truth and cite their sources.

Instead, social media algorithms reward misinformation-spreaders by treating all the criticism of their misinformation as if it's people merely sharing and replying to something that's "interesting"!

We're well into the second decade of the social media age, and none of the social media platforms have even attempted to try to effectively resolve this rewarding misinformation problem.

In fact Facebook has even developed a bizarre "violations" system designed to reduce the visibility of accounts that cite evidence and sources, whilst allowing outright liars to get off scot free!

This failure to address the rewarding misinformation problem means the rabble-rousers, hate-mongers, attention-seekers, and misinformation-peddlers are obviously going to continue gaming poorly-designed algorithms to bag themselves ever more social media prominence.

In a system in which the more wrong, more venal, and more provocative the content, the higher the reward, it's natural that amoral attention-seeking grifters like Dan Hodges would continue to work the system to their advantage, isn't it?


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50 comments:

Mr. Magoo said...

You are incredible! In one article you're criticising the government for wanting to take away our internet freedoms, and in the next you're advocating social media platforms censor "mis-information"! The Left and the Right should respect freedom of speech instead of trying to have each other censored on social media!

The best way to beat propaganda is to rationally explain why it's wrong, not to censor it.

Thomas G. Clark said...

I didn't say social media should censor misinformation. I said they should provide users with the means to provide 'peer reviews' and use that information to reward reliable accounts.

It's like you didn't even read the article at all if you're advocating 'the best way to beat propaganda is to argue with it'.

I just explained how arguing with it actually increases its visibility, because of the shitty way the social media algorithms are designed.

Crowdsourced accountability is the only way to effectively deal with attention seeking grifters.



Anonymous said...

@Thomas G Clarke

"I said they should provide users with the means to provide 'peer reviews' and use that information to reward reliable accounts."

I would love for you to explain this or provide details of an already existing example and how it would be formulated in a social media site as at the moment; this appears to be a complete flight of fantasy on your part.

Anonymous said...

@MrMagoo

You're correct on this one, he wants to stifle free speech.

Mr. Magoo said...

@Thomas G. Clark

"If social media sites like Twitter actually cared about confronting misinformation, they'd allow users the means to effectively report misinformation (crowdsourced peer review), reduce the visibility of misinformation-spreading accounts, and improve the visibility of accounts that routinely tell the truth and cite their sources."

I'm with Anonymous, in that it would great if you would provide a couple of examples of how that would work in practice.

Misinformation is in the eye of the beholder. Often propagandists don't outright lie, but bend the facts.

Let's say social media sites adopt your plan. Someone then posts on Facebook saying the Labour Party has an anti-Semitism crisis, and they link to an article about it from the Guardian. In response, you write a post saying the anti-Semitism crisis in Labour is made up, and link to a Media-Lens article on it. Facebook increases the visibility of the former because it's information sourced from a "respectable" news organisation, but reduces the visibility of the latter because it's information sourced from a "radical" website.

Mr. Magoo said...

The best way to deal with trolls is to ignore them, and (to repeat myself) the best way to deal with the liars and the dirty, dirty cheats of the world is to debate them with facts and evidence.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n9e7esJj6Hw

MonkeyAnga said...

Ok well maybe you have a point but equally I think you’re strawmanning a bit here. I think he’s saying that if someone says something is factually wrong and they’re certainly arguing that firstly they shouldn’t be rewarded. But secondly they should be reported. Well while you might raise a good point about the practicality off the latter you’ve ignored other good points made. Such as the problem with the dystopian ways in which social media operate, and that their system can be improved.

Perhaps you are right about the latter. So well done, you’ve made your case. But there’s also something to be learned too right? And while you might be right one could argue that if they are going to be monitoring misinformation, as they claim to be, then they should deal with obvious things like that. However maybe it is better to allow all.

His point about not rewarding liars who are infact getting mocked can still be taken. A more intelligent system could be designed for that aspect

Scrotox said...

@Magoo


"Facebook has admitted core parts of its platform appear hardwired for spreading misinformation and divisive content, according to a fresh wave of internal documents that showed the social media company struggled to contain hate speech in the developing world and was reluctant to censor rightwing US news organisations.

An internal memo warned that Facebook’s “core product mechanics”, or the basics of how the product worked, had let hate speech and misinformation grow on the platform. The memo added that the basic functions of Facebook were “not neutral”.

“We also have compelling evidence that our core product mechanics, such as vitality, recommendations, and optimizing for engagement, are a significant part of why these types of speech flourish on the platform,” said the 2019 memo.

Facebook revelations: what is in cache of internal documents?
Read more
Referring to Facebook’s safety unit, the document added: “If integrity takes a hands-off stance for these problems, whether for technical (precision) or philosophical reasons, then the net result is that Facebook, taken as a whole, will be actively (if not necessarily consciously) promoting these types of activities. The mechanics of our platform are not neutral.”

------ From The Guardian 25th October 2021



You are clearly not following the currently breaking scandal over Frances Haugen's whistleblowing.

You say

"I'm with Anonymous, in that it would great if you would provide a couple of examples of how that would work in practice."

It's clear that a major improvement could be made simply by Facebook and similar platforms ceasing the behaviour they have already admitted to.
Given the level of sophistication of the algorithms already in use to manipulate behaviour on social media, what the author is asking for does not sound beyond the wit of humankind.
"Misinformation is in the eye of the beholder. Often propagandists don't outright lie, but bend the facts."
But they frequently do tell outright lies. In either case, making reliable sources of information available to people so that they are able to make more considered judgements on what is being said can only be a good thing.
The posts you frequently make on this blog make it hard to tell whether you are deliberately obfuscating the issues, or whether you genuinely do not understand what the author has written.








Scrotox said...

@Anonymous

Not at all.

Backing up your opinions with reliable evidence is the very soul post-enlightenment rational debate.

If you want to talk bollocks and have no-one question your ill-informed, irrational beliefs, pop down to your local dive bar, drink your usual eight pints of Old Prolapse, and surround yourself with like-minded cornichons.

There, you can all spout shit like broken bilge pipes with no danger of reality impinging upon you until closing time.

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

Oof, nothing of any actual substance and some quiet lengthy insults based upon stereotypes for the individuals who disagree with you. Really tells you a lot about your own prejudices there Mr Scrotox. But rather then indulging in your childish interactions, lets try and learn something form each other through the medium of constructive conversation, offered through the now dying mechanism of free speech.

So lets recap!

Thomas stated:
"I said they should provide users with the means to provide 'peer reviews' and use that information to reward reliable accounts."

I mean on the outside it appears quiet to be quiet a reasonable request; get the centralised tech authority like google, facebook, twitter et al (the one's heavily subsidized neo-liberal style by China, Saudi Arabia, the U.S government and multiple others with steaks in the handling of information to the public) to give us the means to access peer reviewed data through a yet as unidentified application?

Firstly; there isn't one. I've perused for a bit, even asked around on here and no one has come up with any such thing so once again we have a socialist type scathingly putting down individual's arguing for a freer market because they think humanity will magically conjure up an answer despite no evidence to the contrary it even exists in beta stage.

Green New Deal ring any bells?

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox Part Deux.

So you can see why myself and my oft ideological, yet friendly faced nemesis the good MrMagoo would actually ne agreeing upon this one. We've realised some concerns a la the actual existence of what it is Mr Clarke is demanding and he and yourself have fallen drastically short.

Not only have you no proven the existence of said application, you have failed to address any criticisms even if it did exist; who peer reviews these articles? Are they socialists? Are they individuals with a bias toward your ideology? The idea that yourself and Mr Clarke feel you're educated and informed above all others despite really only displaying a thinly veiled hatred of anyone who disagrees with you and nothing more, shows just how delusional you both are in your narcissism and belief that its you who can socio-engineer society for the better rather then letting people decide for themselves.

But you have been quiet demeaning and insulting about our insistence on this thing called freedom of speech, deriding myself as an alcoholic who gets his information down the pub from conspiracy theorists. I retort sir: You've forced my hand. The gloves are indeed off!

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

Mr Clarke of Another Angry voice is absolutely in favour of a minimum wage and demands a peer review app from Facebook to prove that he's right. Here's a website that has collected peer reviewed studies to come to the conclusion that the implementation of the minimum wage raises unemployment:

https://minimumwage.com/

Here's a peer reviewed study done by the Federal Reserve and the University of California stating it increased unemployment from said website:
https://www.nber.org/system/files/working_papers/w12663/w12663.pdf

Would these be something yourself and Mr Clarke would be willing to take on board to educate your stance on politics? Or would you merely dismiss them, demanding the 'peer reviewed studies' that agree with you opinion? Would these be the sort of studies that would make it into the imaginary application?

See? I didn't even insult you with a banal stereotype! Please respond in kind, I look forward to the free flow of dialogue in the free market of ideas.

Scrotox said...

"Oof, nothing of any actual substance"

Other than a long quotation from a newspaper on a current story which is being covered in the entire media left and right, pertaining directly to the people and companies involved, and the documents which have been leaked from them.
Pay attention.

"Not only have you not proven the existence of said application"

What has come to light via the story you have failed to follow is that in fact the tech companies, by their own admission, have weighted public public platforms toward hate speech and controversy-seeking provocateurs.
I have pointed out (perhaps, again, you didn't read) that the removal of these inbuilt biases would, in and of itself constitute a major improvement.

"I mean on the outside it appears quiet to be quiet a reasonable request........to give us the means to access peer reviewed data through a yet as unidentified application?"

I do not wish to speak for Thomas, but as I understand he said that posts by high profile users on social media platforms that provide links to peer-reviewed evidence and cite sources should be given higher visibility than those which do not.
This can and should be done from a non-ideological standpoint.
Asking for a basic standard of accountability from influential people is something that encourages a higher standard of debate and democracy.

"Firstly; there isn't one. I've perused for a bit, even asked around on here and no one has come up with any such thing"

You're confusing 'doesn't currently exist' with 'can't exist'.
Events have made clear that the unaccountable oligarchs who run the tech companies have, in fact, been skewing public debate for their own ends - and in fact it might be more pertinent to ask whether a more responsible line hasn't been taken because it doesn't suit those ends.
Users, as Thomas has pointed out, should be demanding something better from them.
If you're asking Thomas to re-engineer the websites and post the code on his blog, you're just being a disingenuous twat, aren't you?

"The idea that yourself and Mr Clarke feel you're educated and informed above all others despite really only displaying a thinly veiled hatred of anyone who disagrees with you and nothing more, shows just how delusional you both are in your narcissism and belief that its you who can socio-engineer society for the better rather then letting people decide for themselves."

That you have apprehended the entire thrust of the argument so poorly is quite tragi-comic.
In a debate where something important is at stake, deferring to evidence and data gathered and analysed by academics and specialists in a particular field is the opposite of being delusional...it's the definition of being rational. It may even change your opinion of something.
As for socio-engineering, this is precisely what the tech companies have admitted to, by biasing the platforms of public debate.

"Who peer reviews these articles? Are they socialists? Are they individuals with a bias toward your ideology?"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review

"But you have been quite demeaning and insulting about our insistence on this thing called freedom of speech"

Freedom of speech isn't a group of unaccountable oligarchs deliberately engineering the space in which a debate takes place to have predetermined outcomes, it it?

It's adequately clear from other posts you've made on this blog you're here to insult, obfuscate (as in your fairly transparent attempt to change the subject to minimum wage, where it is not under discussion) and troll.

It's a bit late to act butthurt now.

Anonymous said...

“Other than a long quotation from a newspaper on a current story which is being covered in the entire media left and right, pertaining directly to the people and companies involved, and the documents which have been leaked from them.”

That article was not entirely doing that, but then I suspect you’re largely ignorant of how the media circus works. That you’ve banged on about peer review and quoted the Guardian is somewhat laughable there. But I digress:

I never said the big tech were not obfuscating, indeed I actually stated in my reply that they were doing this when I replied:
“the one's heavily subsidized neo-liberal style by China, Saudi Arabia, the U.S government and multiple others with steaks in the handling of information to the public”

So, er:
“Pay attention.”

See what I did there?

“What has come to light via the story you have failed to follow is that in fact the tech companies, by their own admission, have weighted public public platforms toward hate speech and controversy-seeking provocateurs.”
Nope, I have never stated that they didn’t and again please refer to my copy and pasted quote from previous reply. Unless you think that state subsidy to big tech is done out of benevolence and charity …

“I have pointed out (perhaps, again, you didn't read) that the removal of these inbuilt biases would, in and of itself constitute a major improvement.” Which I never contested. I’m contesting what Thomas wrote, which you replied to, hence my reply.

“I do not wish to speak for Thomas, but as I understand he said that posts by high profile users on social media platforms that provide links to peer-reviewed evidence and cite sources should be given higher visibility than those which do not.” Really? You’d trust big tech to do this?

“This can and should be done from a non-ideological standpoint.” Wishful thinking on your part, see the state subsidy to big tech.

“Asking for a basic standard of accountability from influential people is something that encourages a higher standard of debate and democracy.” Uh huh … Was this higher standard of debate something you were aiming for when you said;
“If you want to talk bollocks and have no-one question your ill-informed, irrational beliefs, pop down to your local dive bar, drink your usual eight pints of Old Prolapse, and surround yourself with like-minded cornichons.”

Do you think linking a peer reviewed study is the bollocks talked by a pickled vegetable? Just curious 😉

“You're confusing 'doesn't currently exist' with 'can't exist'.” Nope, never stated it can’t exist. Indeed my exact response was:
“I've perused for a bit, even asked around on here and no one has come up with any such thing so once again we have a socialist type scathingly putting down individual's arguing for a freer market because they think humanity will magically conjure up an answer despite no evidence to the contrary it even exists in beta stage.”

Not. Even. In. Beta. Stage.

There is not a single account of a tech company making an application. Thomas has suggested it, that is all. I never said it couldn’t exist, in fact I’ve asked a number of basic questions about it (which you’ve not replied to), so I’m going on the assumption (but please prove me wrong: with evidence or some line of actual reasoning that reflects reality) that you’re both simply fantasising.

“Events have made clear that the unaccountable oligarchs who run the tech companies have, in fact, been skewing public debate for their own ends –“ Yes. Well done. So far you’ve come up with nothing useful as a response …

“and in fact it might be more pertinent to ask whether a more responsible line hasn't been taken because it doesn't suit those ends.”
Which Thomas didn’t …

Anonymous said...

“Users, as Thomas has pointed out, should be demanding something better from them.
If you're asking Thomas to re-engineer the websites and post the code on his blog, you're just being a disingenuous twat, aren't you?” Nope, not done this. I’ve copied and pasted that link multiple times in conversations regarding Minimum Wage and Thomas’s own facebook page was the only place that immediately got rid of it. As I stated in my response. Lol.

At least I’ve explained how I’m not a disingenuous twat. Oh my, we can’t stay away from insults can we? I get enough of that from the pickled whelks/cucumbers of my pint of Ol Prolapse on Friday nights. Shame.

“That you have apprehended the entire thrust of the argument so poorly is quite tragi-comic.”
I’m glad I could provide some relief from the turgid drag of capitalism 😉

“In a debate where something important is at stake, deferring to evidence and data gathered and analysed by academics and specialists in a particular field is the opposite of being delusional...it's the definition of being rational. It may even change your opinion of something.”
I absolutely agree, hence pointing out the somewhat obvious that a) Thomas’s idea doesn’t exist in any form.
b) That I’ve tried to actually provide said evidence through peer reviewed studies that disprove policies he advocates for on Thomas’s own facebook wall and it gets taken down. This did not happen with the same link when I posted it on another wall.
c) Through free speech and discourse (which I have pointed out in my last reply; is waning), I have given an example of a peer reviewed study to put across the opinion on something. These peer reviewed studies changed my own political outlook from that of a staunch Corbynista to, where ever I dwell now. Thomas is certainly not looking for that. Thomas is looking for his own method of siphoning off information so he can continue talking about how great socialism is.

“As for socio-engineering, this is precisely what the tech companies have admitted to, by biasing the platforms of public debate.” Absolutely. And you want to do this to, only your methodology is imaginary.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peer_review

Oh. Dear. No. I was specifically asking to whom would peer review the articles in the app as those individuals would have to be chosen by big tech companies and they have, as evidenced AGAIN, by subsidy; bias. You’re aware that there’s divergence in the academic community? That’s a wiki article on what peer review is. Well, done.

“Freedom of speech isn't a group of unaccountable oligarchs deliberately engineering the space in which a debate takes place to have predetermined outcomes, it it?” No. Well done. I’ve never said it was. You’ve assumed, again, that’s what I think it is because you’re quiet clearly prejudice toward anyone who disagrees with you. I mean, so I’ve heard. From the pub 😉

“It's adequately clear from other posts you've made on this blog you're here to insult,”
LOL. I’ll er give that one a think over whilst I’m having a quiet drink of prolapse-lager or whatever you called it in your initial reply there dear.

“obfuscate” I posted an exact copy of what Thomas had said, specifically spoke about it and then provided an example of a peer review for a subject talked about on this blog as an example of how conversation through freedom of speech (what we’re doing right now), can educate.

“(as in your fairly transparent attempt to change the subject to minimum wage, where it is not under discussion) and troll.” Please see the above. I think its fairly obvious who’s trolling here.

“It's a bit late to act butthurt now.” I’m not. Despite your insults and the occasional banalities of your misunderstandings/own obfuscations; thank you for your reply. I do enjoy these interactions.

Scrotox said...

"That article was not entirely doing that, but then I suspect you’re largely ignorant of how the media circus works. That you’ve banged on about peer review and quoted the Guardian is somewhat laughable there."

The article had direct quotes from Facebook's own internal memos. You are being obtuse now.
Other newspapers and media sources are available.

"I never said the big tech were not obfuscating, indeed I actually stated in my reply that they were doing this when I replied"
But you have hidden behind the phrase "freedom of speech" to defend your position, as if what they are doing constitutes freedom of speech, rather than manipulation.
A patent contradiction here.

"Nope, I have never stated that they didn’t and again please refer to my copy and pasted quote from previous reply. Unless you think that state subsidy to big tech is done out of benevolence and charity …"

See above.

"'I have pointed out (perhaps, again, you didn't read) that the removal of these inbuilt biases would, in and of itself constitute a major improvement.” Which I never contested. I’m contesting what Thomas wrote, which you replied to, hence my reply.'"

I hear the sound of the gears going into reverse...

“'I do not wish to speak for Thomas, but as I understand he said that posts by high profile users on social media platforms that provide links to peer-reviewed evidence and cite sources should be given higher visibility than those which do not.” Really? You’d trust big tech to do this?"

No, not in a vacuum, but I think that openness, accountability, and transparency of the processes involved, and the democratisation of said platforms would certainly help the situation. It's a process.
Those are subjects worthy of discussion, and perhaps if you had engaged in a meaningful fashion about those things could mean instead of merely being cynical toward the author, we might be having a different kind of conversation.

"Was this higher standard of debate something you were aiming for...."
No, but trite, unhelpful, and shitty posts toward the author beget belittlement.

"Nope, never stated it can’t exist."
Your argument just imploded.
So in actual fact what we should be discussing is how users push for such a thing to be brought into existence and the nature of its implementation, and not calling it (as you did) a "complete flight of fantasy".
Given that the leaks in the media (not just The Guardian) are set to upend what is going on with these platforms, it is likely some kind of regulation will be applied, sooner or later...that could be good, or it could be bad, depending on how open and transparent the application of such regulation is.
See? Nuance.

"Oh. Dear. No. I was specifically asking to whom would peer review the articles in the app as those individuals would have to be chosen by big tech companies"
Why?
There's a myriad of ways that sources of information can be independently regulated and reviewed.

"Not. Even. In. Beta. Stage."
Things don't get better if oligarchs are left to their own devices.
Demanding better things is the way that things get better.
High visibility polemics such as the one here are part of that process.
Attacking people who demand that things improve (and you have now admitted that they should not stay as they are) is the equivalent of sitting on a stove and blaming the person trying to get you to get off the stove for your arse burning.

“In a debate where something important is at stake, deferring to evidence and data gathered and analysed by academics and specialists in a particular field is the opposite of being delusional...it's the definition of being rational. It may even change your opinion of something.”

"I absolutely agree"

Absolutely magic...I'm weeping with laughter.


Thank you too!

Anonymous said...

“The article had direct quotes from Facebook's own internal memos. You are being obtuse now.
Other newspapers and media sources are available.” I never said it didn’t. I’m saying you lack understanding of how the media works. That and it was ironic that you were banging on about peer reviewed studies and decided to use the newspaper up the F.T that’s read by the metropolitan elite.

“But you have hidden behind the phrase "freedom of speech" to defend your position, as if what they are doing constitutes freedom of speech, rather than manipulation.
A patent contradiction here.”
Nope, I simply did not agree with point of view you assumed (that facebooks current stance is freedom of speech) and you have to smear my character more to hide that; you fucked up. I’m not hiding if we’re actually utilising it. Saying I’ve manipulated the conversation is stupidity and projection on your part. Unless you’ve evidence; I’ll move on from this point.

“See above.”

I can’t help that your assumptions were wrong. You’re a very angry individual with a lot of hate. See above.

"'I have pointed out (perhaps, again, you didn't read) that the removal of these inbuilt biases would, in and of itself constitute a major improvement.” Which I never contested. I’m contesting what Thomas wrote, which you replied to, hence my reply. Also you’re naive to think they can be removed.

“I hear the sound of the gears going into reverse...”
Then please copy and paste my original gear progression. Again; your assumptions are not evidence.

“No, not in a vacuum,” We currently have a state subsidised oligarchy. Be truthful though; you’ve got a nice little mental chub on thinking what you’d do with it if it fell into your hands. Amirite? Heh. Fascist.

“but I think that openness, accountability, and transparency of the processes involved, and the democratisation of said platforms would certainly help the situation.”
Meaningless buzzwords with no substance on your part. You have no examples and no real idea of how to do this given the current paradigm not to mention your own complete lack of openness. Still waiting on some evidence for your proposals.

“It's a process.”
Gr8 m8.

“Those are subjects worthy of discussion, and perhaps if you had engaged in a meaningful fashion about those things could mean instead of merely being cynical toward the author, we might be having a different kind of conversation.” Ah, so you’re not going to actually talk of anything of substance. Well, done.

“No, but trite, unhelpful, and shitty posts toward the author beget belittlement.”
What was trite/unhelpful and shitty regarding pointing out what he was demanding; doesn’t exist? Lol.

“Your argument just imploded.”
Oof, Oh Icarus, lest you fly to close to the sun.
Lets have another look then shall we:

Anonymous said...

Thomas’s idea of getting rid of fake news is to utilise an app to peer review posts and comments on social media. Couple of basic questions I’d want to know:
-How long until this can be made? Two years? Five? Ten? Twenty?
-How capable is the AI of doing this?
-What stock of peer reviewed articles will it utilise to do its job? Y’know, the sciences being an ongoing process of exploration; date becomes outdated, some data becomes controversial.
-Does this thing even exist as an idea by a company or set of individuals capable of getting it to even the beta stage of testing (short answer; no)?
-What political leanings do these individuals have? I mean we wouldn’t want them to ignore entire wings of science now would we? I mean, heaven forfend a few climate change deniers make their coding into the algorithm eh?
-Who is supplying this?
-Is it receiving subsidy? Is so from whom?
-Is it going to utilise my information and sell it to a third party?

There are many more.

You have addressed none of these and responded with obfuscation and insults because, lets be honest; you can’t admit that it is a fantasy on your part. I don’t mean; it’ll never happen, I mean: you haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about. You are hilariously clueless and simply cannot confront that because; I’m your ideological opponent (in your eyes, in my eyes I think you’re just a bit of a div mate and yes that’s in spite of your flagrant and hateful racism and all the insults). You are compromised, ironically, by the sort of censorship we’re talking about.

“So, in actual fact what we should be discussing is how users push for such a thing to be brought into existence and the nature of its implementation, and not calling it (as you did) a "complete flight of fantasy".”
I’ve been asking you to do this. You have not. You have instead done nothing but antagonise, insult and make baseless accusations because you’re not nearly as intelligent as you think you are. It took a google search for me to establish this thing didn’t exist. Unless … you don’t think google are obfuscating it do you? Dun dun dun.

Given that the leaks in the media (not just The Guardian) are set to upend what is going on with these platforms,” No it won’t, that’s laughable.

“it is likely some kind of regulation will be applied, sooner or later...that could be good, or it could be bad, depending on how open and transparent the application of such regulation is.
See? Nuance.”
Regulation could be good or bad? Fantastic mate. Lol. What sauce. What stunning assessment of facts, figures and peer reviewed date got you to that nuanced arrival?

“Why?
There's a myriad of ways that sources of information can be independently regulated and reviewed.”
Yes mate, better start thinking of how though? Maybe working on the practicalities of this app you’re now dying on a hill for might be a good idea. Lol.

“Things don't get better if oligarchs are left to their own devices.”
WELL. DONE. They also certainly don’t get better if you make up solutions on a flight of fantasy and then deride people for pointing that out. Think how much energy we’ve wasted on this because of your prejudices and Thomas’s stupidity? Those Oligarchs; they’re laughing at you.

“Demanding better things is the way that things get better.”
What do we want? A fantasy app! When do we want it? No questions!

“High visibility polemics such as the one here are part of that process.”
This isn’t a process we’re in. It’s a mire. People are dumber for reading this because of you. May God have mercy on our souls.

Anonymous said...

“Attacking people who demand that things improve”
Oh, you’re trying to be morale again. I wasn’t the one who started bleeting about supping a pint of Ol Prolapse there. Lol.

“(and you have now admitted that they should not stay as they are)”
Get fucked. That was your assumption dickhead lol.

“is the equivalent of sitting on a stove and blaming the person trying to get you to get off the stove for your arse burning.”
What you and Thomas want doesn’t exist and you’ve told me I’m on fire for telling you that. You’re making my day 😉

“In a debate where something important is at stake, deferring to evidence and data gathered and analysed by academics and specialists in a particular field is the opposite of being delusional...it's the definition of being rational. It may even change your opinion of something.”
So please; admit that you’ve got none of the above; no peer reviewed studies, no specialists stating that this app can be made, no clue. You are bereft of anything other then hyperbole, insult and vague descriptors toward the state of ‘things being how they are.’

We are in a current situation in which the major tech companies in the West are situated in one area of the U.S and heavily subsidized by specialist interest groups. These interest groups span continents and beneath their wing falls: The military industrial complex, Global food markets, petroleum, natural energy, medical industries, aerospace, travel and clothing. That’s barely going into banking and global commerce and tariffs.

That’s a select few individuals with the capability of nudging the populace in terms of voting as well as political lobbying. They effectively share a hand in the global economy, hell, what we even learn ourselves and are further shaping policy to directly affect our bodily autonomy.

Your response, is:
“-that could be good, or it could be bad, depending on how open and transparent the application of such regulation is.”
I understand it’s a frightening world and trying to demean someone who doesn’t share your view point is a way of making yourself feel better (admit it, you’re thriving off this wee dopamine rush). But maybe you should start looking beyond silly descriptors like ‘left’ and ‘right’ and if you’re really interested; read up on what it is you’re trying to advocate for change.

But hey, who am I to tell you what to do? I’m sure it will all work out you silly, sill fascist. Those oligarchs, they’ll be like; Let that testicle/botox guy online have his opinion, he’s just the sort of free thinker we’ll allow.

“Absolutely magic...I'm weeping with laughter.”
Good. I’m happy you’re happy 😊


Anonymous said...

My nicotine withdrawal is running it's course so I'll probably be answering less and less of your comments tomorrow as they're taking up time that's not being used productively. You've been about as narcissistic an opponent as these pages usually offer, if I don't say so before I go; all the best.

Scrotox said...

Narcissistic? No.
You set the boundaties of the debate by calling what Thomas wrote a "flight of fantasy" and accusing him of attacking free speech.
You cannot, therefore, complain that the replies you have recieved here have been excessively sarcastic, especially as you have since conceded that there is a problem and it needs to be rectified.
Next time, take a more civil approach and you might get into a more civil debate.

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

"Narcissistic? No."
Yes.

"You set the boundaties of the debate by calling what Thomas wrote a "flight of fantasy" and accusing him of attacking free speech." It is a flight of fantasy and he is attacking free speech. Truth hurts. You can't take it.

"You cannot, therefore, complain that the replies you have recieved here have been excessively sarcastic, especially as you have since conceded that there is a problem and it needs to be rectified."
Never conceded, stated it from the off with the subsidy reference which ive reference repeatedly, you're projecting as per. It's perfectly feasible to debate back with studies and evidence; you replied with NOTHING but insults and so on. You have literally not provided anything approaching the level of peer review you demand. Your argument is a sham. Lol.


"Next time, take a more civil approach and you might get into a more civil debate."
Telling me it's my fault after repeatedly slurring my character and failing to provide any evidence or a coherent argument on your part is why you are trying to pin your failures on me.

Magoo was perfectly civil; you ripped the piss. You're a troll, a racist and now you're turning tail because you can't take the heat. Don't throw shade if you can't stand in it.

Pleasant dreams x x

Scrotox said...

You have just conceded that you did set the boundaries of the debate.
You also conceded that there is a problem with social media that needs to rectified (after accusing the author of attacking free speech) and subsequently pretended that this was your view all along.
This shows your original response to the blog was disingenuous trolling.
On that basis, I employed sarcasm in my replies.


....aaaand we're back to screaming "Nazi"....

Anonymous said...

@Scotox

"You have just conceded that you did set the boundaries of the debate."
Nope, I was quiet clear of my boundaries from the beginning; here's a direct quote from myself:

From Thomas's article:
"I said they should provide users with the means to provide 'peer reviews' and use that information to reward reliable accounts."

My Response:
"I would love for you to explain this or provide details of an already existing example and how it would be formulated in a social media site as at the moment; this appears to be a complete flight of fantasy on your part."

Copied and pasted for everyone to see (if they've made it this far). Thomas made a suggestion, I surmised (correctly) it was fantastical. This is the sum total of my input up until this point. There is no evidence in this paragraph to suggest that I'm happy with the current status quo; that's fantasy on your part.

"You also conceded that there is a problem with social media that needs to rectified (after accusing the author of attacking free speech)"

Nope, an assumption on your part as I've repeated many times. You have no evidence to state that I denied there was an issue with social media (feel free to copy and paste it as I've asked you to; repeatedly).

"and subsequently pretended that this was your view all along."
Nope; another assumption on your part. You've no evidence and I can't disprove a negative. You7're very clearly being disingenuous now.

"This shows your original response to the blog was disingenuous trolling."
Projection and lies. A fascist taking Goebbels line of reasoning regarding propaganda. How quaint.

"On that basis, I employed sarcasm in my replies."
That you think anyone is going to believe that your behaviour toward myself is an exception toward your usual online behaviour is laughable. Anyone can merely look at your responses to other peoples comments in the articles for evidence. You're a nasty, prejudice piece of work spud.

"....aaaand we're back to screaming "Nazi"...." *Ahem* Fascist.

Truth hurts mate x x

Scrotox said...

Let's take you at your word then.

Sigh......

According to you, from the off you accepted that there is a problem with social media, and that the boundaries of debate are skewed on the platforms by the people who run them.

During the exchange with me, you accepted that citing evidence and sources improves the quality of debate.
You also accepted that something can, and should be done about the problem.

Given that the article makes these points (which you now say you agree with) why, precisely, did you attack the author by accusing him of wanting to stifle free speech, merely for making them?

You were either trolling, or you are lying about your initial position.

Scrotox said...

I fully expect 25 paragraphs of drivel instead of a concise answer to the question I've asked....

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

"Let's take you at your word then.

Sigh......" Or you lack evidence for your accusations ...

"According to you, from the off you accepted that there is a problem with social media, and that the boundaries of debate are skewed on the platforms by the people who run them." Yup.


"During the exchange with me, you accepted that citing evidence and sources improves the quality of debate." Yup.

"You also accepted that something can, and should be done about the problem." Yup.

"Given that the article makes these points (which you now say you agree with) why, precisely, did you attack the author by accusing him of wanting to stifle free speech, merely for making them?" Congrats on managing to not insult, troll and make yourself look the arse this time. We finally got there and all it took was TWO DAYS. Lol. But I digress.

So, onto the answer:

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

Because Thomas's idea is not an exchange of ideas without the threat of persecution from the state for saying the wrong thing i.e. free speech by definition.

Thomas has made it quiet clear that he's against the basic definition of free speech in the past due to his support of current legislation.

That's reason a)
Reason b)

Regarding his fantasy: Thomas's idea is not a good faith one. He wants a subsidised oligarchy to further vet what we can or cannot say through a piece of technology that, even it it were perfect (which is impossible): Denies us our basic right of free interaction to decide things for ourselves.

That's the best case scenario. The worst is that it's simply an authoritarian device created by any one of the big tech companies to filter out anything and persucute individuals based upon it's own bias's.

As absolutely idiotic, abhorrent and historically repulsive your ideas (and his) are; I would never see you in jail or fined as a result of something you've said.

Hope this helps.

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

"Given that the article makes these points (which you now say you agree with)"
AGAIN; I never disagreed. That was pure assumption on your part. Couldn't even let go of that smear could you? Oh dear.

Scrotox said...

"Because Thomas's idea is not an exchange of ideas without the threat of persecution from the state for saying the wrong thing i.e. free speech by definition."

Making posts more visible on social media because they cite evidence and sources, and vice versa is "persecution from the state"?
Very amusing, certainly hyperbole.

"Thomas has made it quiet clear that he's against the basic definition of free speech in the past due to his support of current legislation."

An empty smear without direct quotations from the author about the subject at hand.
And also, not something it is possible to read into from your off-hand, aggressive post about attacking free speech.
So poor discourse all round.

"Thomas's idea is not a good faith one. He wants a subsidised oligarchy to further vet what we can or cannot say through a piece of technology that, even it it were perfect (which is impossible): Denies us our basic right of free interaction to decide things for ourselves.
That's the best case scenario. The worst is that it's simply an authoritarian device created by any one of the big tech companies to filter out anything and persucute individuals based upon it's own bias's."


The unfettered, unmolested free speech you have already admitted does not exist on these platforms?
But wait, Thomas was talking about "crowdsourced peer review", ie removing power from tech oligarchs and giving more power to users.
Sounds less authoritarian than unaccountable oligarchs to me.

Regardless, the author suggesting one possible solution to a problem you admit exists, whether or not it is truly practicable, or whether it needs expansion upon, does not give you license to throw accusations about his character and intentions.

And that's really the point here.


Scrotox said...

Doubtless you will still miss it though.

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

"Making posts more visible on social media because they cite evidence and sources, and vice versa is "persecution from the state"?
Very amusing, certainly hyperbole."

The fact that you think a state subsidised tech oligarchy with an already tarnished reputation ,the allegations of said reputation being the topic of not only this article; but one you attempted to wield against me in baseless accusations that I trusted them ... are going to merely use an app to 'make posts more visible' is hilarious. Dude. No. If that's where you want to put your faith, go for it. Maybe I'm just cynical but er ... Silicone valley doesn't give a fuck about you.

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

"An empty smear without direct quotations from the author about the subject at hand.
And also, not something it is possible to read into from your off-hand, aggressive post about attacking free speech."
Nah, I've just seen his twitter feed.

"The unfettered, unmolested free speech you have already admitted does not exist on these platforms?
But wait, Thomas was talking about "crowdsourced peer review", ie removing power from tech oligarchs and giving more power to users."
By having it hosted on the same tech platforms ... I can't even. Jesus dude keep up.

"Sounds less authoritarian than unaccountable oligarchs to me." It is the oligarchs. At what point are we talking about creating another platform? Y'know, the free market approach. Lol, Idiot.

Scrotox said...

Yep.
Missed it.

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

Bottom line: you trust state subsidised tech oligarchs to implement a currently imaginary app to help stop fake news.

*Clap* *Clap* *Clap*

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

"Yep.
Missed it."

Course mate. Lol.

Anonymous said...

Doubtless you'll not respond to actual criticism ... lol.

Scrotox said...

You accept that the critique of social media at the top of the page is a valid one.

You do not agree with the proposed solution, and asked some questions as to how such a system could be implemented. Fair enough.

But then, you engaged in the "argument ad hominem"...you smeared the author, merely because you do not agree with the proposed solution.
Deeply cynical.

"I've seen his twitter feed"...isn't rational argument pertaining to the subject at hand btw, it's just an oafish aside, that, backed up retrospectively by frantically copied and pasted out of context quotes, will merely prove the point that you consistently fail to express and back up your points in a timely, orderly fashion.

Ultimately, the entire thrust of your argument amounts to the idea that because a solution does not currently exist, you should attack anyone who dares propose one, instead of engaging in constructive debate about alternative solutions (you have suggested none, to date).
Also deeply cynical.

So you're here to be cynical.
Ergo, you are a disingenuous troll.

Let me save you the trouble of replying:

Something, something, minimum wage....something something I'm a fascist....

Anonymous said...

@Scrotox

"You accept that the critique of social media at the top of the page is a valid one."
Nope. Thomas and yourself are very ignorant of the problems as to why the situation is such.

"You do not agree with the proposed solution, and asked some questions as to how such a system could be implemented. Fair enough." Lol. Took you long enough dickhead.

"But then, you engaged in the "argument ad hominem"...you smeared the author,"
If I've offended you by calling his made up app a fight of fantasy; I suggest you deal with it like an adult. You absolute fantasist lol.

"merely because you do not agree with the proposed solution.
Deeply cynical."
I am deeply cynical. You're to trusting. Your insults are in a similar vein to a virginal 15 year old learning politics on 4chan for the first time.

"I've seen his twitter feed"...isn't rational argument pertaining to the subject at hand btw, it's just an oafish aside,"
Because you can't be bothered to look at the articles yourself. You lack the understanding of the definition of free speech.

"that, backed up retrospectively by frantically copied and pasted out of context quotes,"
You mean pasting exactly what I said so you couldn't lie about it? Lol. Bit panicky on your part there spud.

"will merely prove the point that you consistently fail to express and back up your points in a timely, orderly fashion."
Nope, it's evidence of your lies and my original context. Deal with it.

"Ultimately, the entire thrust of your argument amounts to the idea that because a solution does not currently exist, you should attack anyone who dares propose one, instead of engaging in constructive debate about alternative solutions (you have suggested none, to date).
Also deeply cynical."

Nope. here's what I originally replied in my specifically stated point a and b line of reasoning. You focused on a, missed out b. I suspect because it proves how ignorant you are. Here it is however for all to see:

"The fact that you think a state subsidised tech oligarchy with an already tarnished reputation ,the allegations of said reputation being the topic of not only this article; but one you attempted to wield against me in baseless accusations that I trusted them ... are going to merely use an app to 'make posts more visible' is hilarious. Dude. No. If that's where you want to put your faith, go for it. Maybe I'm just cynical but er ... Silicone valley doesn't give a fuck about you."

"So you're here to be cynical.
Ergo, you are a disingenuous troll."
Nope: you're the troll and you can't confront my point of view. Fuck you buddy, right in the ear ;)

"Let me save you the trouble of replying:"
Urgh.

"Something, something, minimum wage....something something I'm a fascist...."
You forgot racist.

Maybe try addressing my points. Imma just copy and paste them till you do. Or leave you to hang to dry as this is clearly quiet important for you x x

Anonymous said...

Just a heads up you've got a few more hours before I abandon this thread. Real life calling, etc. Make the most of it.

Scrotox said...

I'm asking you why you choose to smear the author of the piece, instead of engaging in constructive debate by suggesting alternative solutions?

Simple enough?

Is it because you dont have one, and you're just here to troll?

Anonymous said...

I have engaged. here was my point. please answer it:

"The fact that you think a state subsidised tech oligarchy with an already tarnished reputation ,the allegations of said reputation being the topic of not only this article; but one you attempted to wield against me in baseless accusations that I trusted them ... are going to merely use an app to 'make posts more visible' is hilarious. Dude. No. If that's where you want to put your faith, go for it. Maybe I'm just cynical but er ... Silicone valley doesn't give a fuck about you."

Anonymous said...

Dude, its all there. Just engage. I think his idea is bad and that free markets are the way to go. You've got all the info you need.

Unless you're just here ... to troll?

Anonymous said...

Oligarchies; don't work.

You do get that right?

Man up and engage.

Scrotox said...

Still no suggestions?
We're just left with your cynical trolling then.

Anonymous said...

Wow.

Anonymous said...

Ok. You're right. I'm a troll. I am convinced by your arguments. We should crowd fund an app that facebook can use to put forth comments and articles that are peer reviewed. It sounds really great.

You've won.

Anonymous said...

You're a great guy.

Anonymous said...

Your name is really funny mate.

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