Thursday, July 26, 2018

Breaking: Fact-Checking Makes People Who Lie Constantly Uncomfortable

So today the Twitter warden had me moved from Twitter jail to at-home monitoring with an ankle bracelet.  Which is nice because I can play Angry Birds on my own crapper now. but let me tell you, my experience "inside" (as we call it) is seared into my brain.


For one thing, I now owe a lot of money to some very nice gentlemen "inside" who charged a steep fee to make my stay at the House of Many Hashtags a bit more tolerable.  Plus there is still the hefty Twitter bond I had to post, so all-in-all my experience in having Twitter put on in my ear for referring to Bill Maher as a "whore" is costing me plenty. And getting any kind of decent job with Twitter jail on your record?  Forget about it.

So to help defray those costs...

Behold, a Bail Jar!

For another thing, time passes differently than on the outside.  Inside, long stretches of nothing time.  Which can be peaceful time.  Contemplative time.  For me, they became time to work on my memoir (working title, "Letters From Twitterville Jail").  Time to camp out in the library before Amazon wipes it from the face of the earth, and learn the most amazing things.  Like, f'instance, just today I learned that the very concept of fact-checking drives Conservatives nuts.

First, what is fact-checking?  From CJR:
Beyond the Truth-O-Meter

By Bill Adair

PolitiFact was among the first news sites dedicated to fact-checking, along with Snopes and The meter was innovative because it summarized our conclusions in handy ratings. (We were soon joined by The Washington Post Fact Checker, which used a system of up to four Pinocchios to rate truthfulness.) Today, about 70 percent of the world’s 149 fact-checking organizations use rating systems like the Truth-O-Meter.
Second, what has been the result of the widespread use of fact-checking (with emphasis added):
I think the Truth-O-Meter’s ratings (which now range from True to Pants on Fire) are still effective for many readers. But I have come to realize that in our polarized environment, the meter I invented is not reaching everyone, and not reaching conservatives in particular.
Actually, this is not strictly true.  Call it, half-true. Fact-checking is "reaching" conservatives just fine.  It just bounces off.

For example, for the past 15 years or so, I have been debunking a Hannity-watching, Limbaugh-listening Conservative acquaintance who email-blasts Totally!True! wingnut conspiracies to everyone he knows every few days.  I have been able to deconstruct the lies he tells every single fucking time using my magical ability to do 90 seconds of basic research on  Snopes or The Sunlight Foundation or PolitiFact.

This is one of my go-to guys for getting a read on what's going on inside the wingnut hive-mind.  A rabid Bush regime dead-ender who, overnight, became a "constitutional independent" who never really support Dubya.  Who was (and still is) convinced that every single lie he swallowed and propagated over the decades -- from Vince Foster's assassination, to Obama the Kenyan, to "three million illegals" voted in California, to climate change is a Chinese hoax, to uppity America-hating millionaire Negroes (who have never done anything for "their" people) ruined the NFL for everyone -- is still 100% true.  Who believes that fact-checking services like Snopes can be dismissed because they are"Soros-funded Lefty sites".

When I coined the term "reprogrammable meatbag", I did it because I hoped it would be jarring enough to memorable, but also because it is the simply and terribly true.  Because over the past 15 years, every time I have busted up this old man's wingnut horseshit into a jillion tiny pieces, the response has always been the same. Dems are just as bad.  Liberals are worse.  Both Sides Do It!

Followed by a change of subject.

Followed, a few days later, by the latest Totally!True! conspiracy reported directly from Libtard Central Command that should have EVERY FREEDOM LOVING, FLAG WAVING PATRIOT UP IN ARMS.

This is not the act of the human heart in conflict with itself.  This is the act of a fascist sticking to the party line, or a machine returning to its factory default settings. And there are tens of millions just like him, all cheering for President Stupid because he owns the Liberals so hard.  All thrilled that they finally have permission to use their outside voice to publicly strut the same teeth-bared, out-and-proud racism they have always been only too happy to share in private.

So now that now have literally decades-worth of evidence that these people are simply not reachable or teachable in any way --
But we found that a large share of our audience fixated on the meter, no matter how thorough the article was. That was especially true when they disagreed with the rating. The meter was so effective that people used it to hate us.

To understand the partisan divide, PolitiFact’s top editors recently visited Alabama, Oklahoma and West Virginia to talk with conservative readers about the Truth-O-Meter and how the process works. “In our one-on-one conversations, the stumbling blocks were always the ratings,” says Aaron Sharockman, PolitiFact’s executive director.

 In the eyes of many conservatives, fact-checkers are no longer just lefties providing the news, they’re now self-proclaimed authorities deciding who is lying...
-- how does PolitiFact plan to cope with this irrefutable fact?
Needless to say, fact-checkers can’t afford to alienate conservatives -- our nation can’t have a healthy political discourse if the two sides can’t agree on facts.
Ruh roh.

I have a bad feeling about this.
One of the projects we’re funding is Truth Goggles, which will experiment with new ways to present corrective information. After some initial experiments on the web, the developers plan to build apps for phones and video platforms as well as features that publishers can incorporate into their websites
Pay attention, Liberal, because this is the sentence that broke journalism:
Needless to say, fact-checkers can’t afford to alienate conservatives...
A lie on its face, but it is "Needless to say" that makes it art.  Because it shows exactly how effective the Conservative strategy of working the refs until they shit blood has been. 

Dear Mr. Adair.

I hate to break it too you, but the Right already has Truth Goggles.

They look like this.

And there is no force on Earth -- and certainly no Emoji-limned, phone app "tailored to use or avoid certain phrases or evidence that the user is likely to viscerally dismiss" -- which is going to make the slightest dent in them.

On the other hand, if you're willing to throw stupid money at a nonexistent problem because the implication of facing the real problem -- that Conservatives really are unreachable, reprogrammable meatbags -- is too terrifying, I would love a piece of that action.

Believe me, it would not be the first time I worked on an absolutely useless application because (over my objections) the user insisted that it was gonna be awesome.  You could hire me on as your Event Planner.  Or Infolution Architect.  Or Instructional Designer. Or Investor Relations Manager, Market Researcher, Marketing Communications Manager, Marketing Database Manager, Marketing Director, Marketing Manager, Chief Marketing Officer, Media Buyer, Media Co-optition Planner, Media Relations Manager, Media Research Analyst, Media Supervisor, New Business Development Specialist, Client Services Manager, Online Marketing Director, Communications Editor, Online Marketing Manager, Communications Manager/Director, Tizzy Promotions Manager, Communications Specialist, Online Publicist, Consumer Product Manager, Online/Interactive Media Buyer, Copywriter, Online/Interactive Media Planner, Creative Gilgamesher, Cerebral Font Cue Specialist, Direct Marketing Manager, Producer, Product , Production Manager, Hen Teaser, Public Relations Account Coordinator, Public Relations Account Executive, Public Relations Account Supervisor, Committed Skinnerian,, Vice President Search Engine Buccaneer, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist, Traffic Coordinator, Traffic Manager, User Interface Designer, Web Content Editor, Web Content Manager, Email Marketing Emulsifier, Account Curator, Account Lubrication Compliance Officer, Event Marketing Specialist, Plunder Planner, Plunder Director, Art Director Junior Assistant Plunder Executive, Senior Assistant Plunder Executive, Associate Productivity Verifier, Brand Manager, B-to-B Product Manager, Customer Fulfillment Analyst, Best Practices Ombudspersons, Assignment Editor, Buzz-stalker, Vertical Synergy Integrators, Horizontal Synergy Extragators or Market-Making Visioneer.

My rates are very reasonable and given that I am now a man who can no longer check "No" on a job application where it asks "Have you ever done time in Twitter jail?" I could certainly use the work.

Meanwhile, I'll be out rewiring my car so the speedometer never shows my actual speed when I'm doing 70 through a hospital zone because I like to think of myself as a considerate, law-abiding citizen and I just hate it when reality-based, fact-Nazi physics make me feel otherwise. 


crweaver said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
trgahan said...

That is fucking depressing. We truly are descending into fascist minority rule.

And I never have, and don't EVER expect to, hear or read the phrases:

Needless to say, can’t afford to alienate liberals...

wibble said... paraphrase a previous President:

These natural, and apparently adequate means all failing, what will convince them? This, and this only: cease to call all the things they desire wrong, and join them in calling it right. And this must be done thoroughly - done in acts as well as in words. Silence will not be tolerated - we must place ourselves avowedly with them.

...and we know where this ended up. ~:(

crweaver said...

Needless to say, fact-checkers can’t afford to alienate conservatives...

Because, as history shows, appeasement always works!

Robt said...

How about a supernatural scientific experiment.

*What would the effect of the needle be from a "politifact, Truth O Meter"

How would the needle respond? If at all?

make a religious cross out of wood/ Make it no larger than 1 and a half foot in length.
Hone the bottom of the center up right of the post to a sharp point.

Sock the cross in Holy water Approximately for to Catholic hours. When removing the cross from said water. While the Cross is still soaking wet. Apply large amounts of Milan's finest garllllec powder and allow to dry.

During daylight hours (only for safety), locate Rudy Giuliani's secretly hidden sleeping casket.

Place the Politifact Truth O Meter on Rudy's person.

Take the pointed end of the cross and line it up with where a human heart would normally be.
Using only a wooden mallet blessed by a Cardinal vampire hunter.
hammer 3 times or more on the cross to drive it home. So that it will stand erect without holding it up.

Register, document with witnesses all readings as well as anomilies, on the Politifact Truth O Meter.

Repeat and adjust procedures as necessary to gather further results and compile data to be analyzed and peer reviewed for the Faith in Science Journal.

Frank McCormick said...

Maybe, just maybe, it's not PolitiFact's job to reach out to everyone -- their job is to tell the truth. Let someone else be the diplomatic envoy to the unreachable .

"You had one job..."