$5.00
$15.00
$20.00
Mike Stiles
United States
California
flag msg tools
Shaman
mbmbmb
So we've had a nice burst of terrible sources being bounced around again (although I guess that's a nonstop thing around here). With that in mind, I thought it would be worth talking about what makes a bad source.


A BAD SOURCE IS EXPLICITLY PARTISAN

This is pretty straightforward, Talkingpointsmemo or the Standard, even if you like them personally, are not convincing sources outside of your own bubble. In fact they're a waste of time.

How to deal with this kind of bad source

Take the time to find a non-partisan link, one that doesn't use the partisan source as it's only reference

Gotchas

"Overton Neutral Sites", ie sites that claim to be nonpartisan, but have such a severely twisted version of the center that it's a scam. Fox is probably the classic example of this.

Also to look out for are partisan claims of partisanship. NPR isn't explicitly partisan, and shouldn't be treated as such... but partisan rightwing sites consistently claim it is, which muddies perception.

A BAD SOURCE HAS NO HISTORY OR TRADITION

As unfair as it may sound, we should trust a 5 year old source less than a 50 year old source. We should be ESPECIALLY skeptical of sites nobody's heard of. At best they're fly-by-night hack sites, at worst they're the dreaded 'fake news'. A source with a history of journalism can certainly be flawed and F things up, but it's generally more credible than HotNews!.com would be.

This can be tricky because there's whole industries connected to discrediting the traditional media, but we'll get to that in a bit.

How to deal with this kind of bad source

In what is going to be such a strong pattern that I'll probably retire the section, Take the time to find a supporting link from a more respected site, one that doesn't use the junk source as it's only reference

Gotchas

This is like the laws of robotics. A 50 year old explicitly partisan source is still an explicitly partisan source.

A BAD NEWS SOURCE GOES OUT OF ITS WAY TO TRY TO DISCREDIT OTHER NEWS SOURCES

This is propaganda 101 stuff, and a good way to tell someone knows they're lying to you. If they spend a lot of time explicitly trying to discredit outside views, then there's a really good chance that they're not only giving you bad news, but that they're KNOWINGLY giving you bad news.

How to deal with this kind of bad source

Hey it's different this time. You deal with this by recognizing it. If they're constantly telling you not to look behind the curtain, and that anyone who says there's something behind the curtain is an evil liar, then you probably want to look behind the curtain.

(From tall_walt)
OPINION PAGES ARE JUST PEOPLE GIVING OPINIONS

It doesn't matter how reputable the source, an opinion piece is just the author(s) opinion, not news.

How to deal with this kind of bad source

Look at the title, look at the URL. If "opinion" appears anywhere, then it's just someone's opinion. If the author has quoted sources, go to those sources. Go to other reliable sources.

For example, "US infant mortality is very high." Just an opinion. "US infant mortality is very high compared to other countries, according to the CIA." That you can check. You could also check the Centers for Disease Control.

Gotchas

Don't rely on secondary sources. "(Someone) says the CIA says," isn't as strong as seeing what the CIA actually says. Don't trust people who don't give sources or people who are always having to walk back their positions.

Beware of faux sites. CIA is cia.gov, not cia.com--likewise CDC. Be careful about misspelling and ads. If you Google something, ignore the ads and go to the first actual result: it'll probably be what you want if you haven't misspelled.[/q]

Quote:

(OP notes:) Good point on the faux sites, that's something I meant to include but forgot Look-alike sites are essentially guaranteed to be bad.

Also, there's a trick with citations, there was a case this week where the WaPo used a garbage site as it's primary source and kept the editorial content intact. This is not a good source.

~~~

So that's my basic list, subject to editing. Does anyone have anything to add?
3 
 Thumb up
0.25
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
A good start.

Also one should look at the record of the source.

Do they have a history of publishing stories that time and again people have disputed and found mostly false? I say mostly false because good fake news has a kernel of truth even though the story has been so inflated and twisted it is no longer supported by that kernel. If there is a lot of retractions/false stories in a short space of time (maybe on one particular subject) then it is likely it is a bad source. This is one of the reasons why so many Brits shake their heads whenever Americans link to the Daily Mail (despite it selling loads of copies).
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Sam I am
United States
Portage
Michigan
flag msg tools
What did I tell you...
badge
NO PICKLE!
mbmbmbmbmb
Info Wars FTW
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
casey r lowe
United States
butte
Montana
flag msg tools
mb
a bad source promotes various conspiracy theories on its site
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Stiles
United States
California
flag msg tools
Shaman
mbmbmb
single sentences wrote:
a bad source promotes various conspiracy theories on its site


"They're all out to get you!" is a good one, you're right.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron E.
United States
Nebraska
flag msg tools
This is fine!
mbmbmbmbmb
Perhaps this is out of scope of OP's intent, but I'll argue that even some perceived "good" sources need to balanced out by reading more than one article. Here's a helpful chart from Pew (2014)



Source: http://www.journalism.org/2014/10/21/political-polarization-...

So many politcal arguments end up being "Here's a soundbite I heard from John Oliver" vs. "Here's a soundbite I heard on Fox". You might as well be arguing over which is better, peanut butter or jelly. It's important to understand an issue from multiple view points if you want to engage in debate.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Brian M
United States
Thornton
Colorado
flag msg tools
designer
mbmbmbmbmb
Credible sources should cite and refer to primary sources where possible. Bad sources often do not.

IE; a source that directly references the official police report for an incident and provides information on where to view the original report is generally a better source than one that just cites what some other news source had to say about the incident.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Andy Leighton
England
Peterborough
Unspecified
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
MrAaronSA wrote:
Perhaps this is out of scope of OP's intent, but I'll argue that even some perceived "good" sources need to balanced out by reading more than one article. Here's a helpful chart from Pew (2014)

Although I think the average respondent on that is an average American respondent. An average UK respondent is to the left of the average US respondent.

I would also note that people should be careful to distinguish between "news" and "opinion" pieces on many sources.
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
jeremy cobert
United States
cedar rapids
Iowa
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
windsagio wrote:
So that's my basic list, subject to editing. Does anyone have anything to add?


Any "news" outlet that had Hillary Clinton polls with her winning by more then 3 points cant be taken seriously.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/preside...

2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Jeff Staff
United States
flag msg tools
mbmbmbmbmb
rcbevco wrote:
Info Wars FTW

Funny how Info Wars was correct about Trump and the election.
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Walt
United States
Orange County
California
flag msg tools
In memorium. Bob Hoover died 25 Oct 2016 at 94. In WWII he was shot down in a Spitfire and stole an FW-190 to escape. He spent decades at air shows flying Ole Yeller, shown
badge
Please contact me about board gaming in Orange County.
mbmbmbmbmb
OPINION PAGES ARE JUST PEOPLE GIVING OPINIONS

It doesn't matter how reputable the source, an opinion piece is just the author(s) opinion, not news.

How to deal with this kind of bad source

Look at the title, look at the URL. If "opinion" appears anywhere, then it's just someone's opinion. If the author has quoted sources, go to those sources. Go to other reliable sources.

For example, "US infant mortality is very high." Just an opinion. "US infant mortality is very high compared to other countries, according to the CIA." That you can check. You could also check the Centers for Disease Control.

Gotchas[/]

Don't rely on secondary sources. "(Someone) says the CIA says," isn't as strong as seeing what the CIA actually says. Don't trust people who don't give sources or people who are always having to walk back their positions.

Beware of faux sites. CIA is cia.gov, not cia.com--likewise CDC. Be careful about misspelling and ads. If you Google something, ignore the ads and go to the first actual result: it'll probably be what you want if you haven't misspelled.

[What's with [/] anyway?]
2 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Stiles
United States
California
flag msg tools
Shaman
mbmbmb
Tall_Walt wrote:


[What's with [/] anyway?]


Typo, fixed in source ><

Edit: Added walts example to the OP
1 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Stiles
United States
California
flag msg tools
Shaman
mbmbmb
jeremycobert wrote:
windsagio wrote:
So that's my basic list, subject to editing. Does anyone have anything to add?


Any "news" outlet that had Hillary Clinton polls with her winning by more then 3 points cant be taken seriously.

http://www.realclearpolitics.com/epolls/latest_polls/preside...



A source having bad information doesn't make it a bad source.

how they deal with that information once it's proven wrong can be a very useful tool to judge quality.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Robert Wesley
Nepal
Aberdeen
Washington
flag msg tools
designer
mb
MrAaronSA wrote:
Perhaps this is out of scope of OP's intent...
>sauron< "Puss*GRAB*MON!"
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Mike Stiles
United States
California
flag msg tools
Shaman
mbmbmb
MrAaronSA wrote:
Perhaps this is out of scope of OP's intent, but I'll argue that even some perceived "good" sources need to balanced out by reading more than one article. Here's a helpful chart from Pew (2014)



Source: http://www.journalism.org/2014/10/21/political-polarization-...

So many politcal arguments end up being "Here's a soundbite I heard from John Oliver" vs. "Here's a soundbite I heard on Fox". You might as well be arguing over which is better, peanut butter or jelly. It's important to understand an issue from multiple view points if you want to engage in debate.


I don't think 'who listens to it' is a good check on credibility. It's a good check on tilt, but there's a huge difference between say HuffPo or NPR (who conservatives HATE), and TPM or TYT which are explicitly partisan (and I'd single out TYT as being a left source with low credibility).

As someone mentioned, Oliver is a bit difference, he's essentially doing opinion pieces that aren't marketed as such.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Aaron E.
United States
Nebraska
flag msg tools
This is fine!
mbmbmbmbmb
windsagio wrote:
MrAaronSA wrote:
Perhaps this is out of scope of OP's intent, but I'll argue that even some perceived "good" sources need to balanced out by reading more than one article.


I don't think 'who listens to it' is a good check on credibility.


I agree, except to point out that tilt must be acknowledged with credibility, which is why I brought it up. Tilt often has to do with what is not mentioned, or what is focused on too much, where fake news is just completely bogus. All of this can lead to misunderstanding.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Trey Stone
United States
Texarkana
Texas
flag msg tools
May the bikini be with you!
badge
I destroy SJWs!
mbmbmbmbmb
Would definitely say MSNBC is way, WAY to the left of NPR.
 
 Thumb up
 tip
 Hide
  • [+] Dice rolls
Front Page | Welcome | Contact | Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Advertise | Support BGG | Feeds RSS
Geekdo, BoardGameGeek, the Geekdo logo, and the BoardGameGeek logo are trademarks of BoardGameGeek, LLC.