Author Topic: Help me with my skeptical skills.  (Read 375 times)

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Offline Belgarath

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Help me with my skeptical skills.
« on: December 22, 2016, 07:31:53 PM »
So I was linked to this article:

http://bluelivesmatter.blue/debunking-snopes-philando-castile-article/

To show how snopes was a bad site to fact check links on Facebook.  The snopes article is here:

http://www.snopes.com/philando-castile-was-not-wanted-for-armed-robbery/

I've found at least one glaring problem with the 'blue' article.

Factual problems ONLY please, not politics and we're not trying to address the ISSUES in the article, but rather why there are problems with what the first article says.

Background:  I challenged a friend of mine to give me a single current article from Snopes that was incorrect or inaccurate.  I was given the first link.

Again, really not wanting to get into the politics of the article, but rather why it's not a good 'disproof' of snopes legitimacy.



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Offline The Latinist

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Re: Help me with my skeptical skills.
« Reply #1 on: December 22, 2016, 08:35:42 PM »
The Snopes article is not a debunking of the Blue Lives Matter article. It's not intended to be; it's a debunking of a completely different article.  The fact, therefore, that it doesn't debunk it is not really relevant to the accuracy of the Snopes article.

That said, this ultimately comes down to the question of whether a police officer claiming to have probable cause to stop a man because he has a wide nose like an armed robbery suspect makes that man an "armed robbery suspect."  Snopes concluded, accurately I think, that it does not.
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Online Sawyer

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Re: Help me with my skeptical skills.
« Reply #2 on: December 22, 2016, 08:40:35 PM »
I don't understand WTF Snopes is supposed to do about scenarios like this that seem to increasingly be the norm with call-it-like-I-see-em conservative news topics.

Blue Lives Matter posts an article of reasonable quality, it gets simultaneously hyped up and watered down (almost certainly on purpose) by other bogus news websites .  These other websites get shared more by people on facebook, because for some reason fringe right wingers seem to have rather short fuses and low social media IQs.  Snopes makes a sensible decision to go after rumors that either hit their radar first, or that appear to be the most popular source of rumors.  Because of the insane pace that this stuff spreads, Snopes is always stuck playing catch-up, and as a result they are not going to have the time or resources to trace every single rumor back to their origins.  As a commenter pointed out on the link you provided, the Snopes article doesn't even reference Blue Lives Matter.

If reliable conservative news sources (you said keep politics out of it, so I'm being extremely generous  to BLM here) don't like Snopes picking on supposed strawmen arguments, they're going to need to start pulling double duty to nip this stuff in the bud before it spreads in the first place.  They need to learn how to call out bullshit from their own allies, rather than waiting on douchey liberals to do it and then whine about how they didn't do it right.

Now that I've written this I already suspect it's completely pointless.  If your friend sees minor failure by Snopes as a more serious problem than the idiotic game of telephone that's currently popular on right wing news websites, you'll have to completely realign his priorities to change his mind.


Offline Belgarath

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Re: Help me with my skeptical skills.
« Reply #3 on: December 22, 2016, 08:48:10 PM »
So far, you both hit my main point with regard to the first article linked.  I don't understand how it addresses anything that Snopes said and Snopes was addressing a completely different website's claims.

My friend pointed to the article as 'SEE!  Snopes is full of crap on this' as proof that Snopes was reporting inaccurate information and that it was biased.

When I pointed this out to him, he immediately started talking to me about Wikileaks and John Podesta.

Seriously, this kind of thinking bothers me, especially when I said hey, just show me one article that's current where what they're posting is wrong.

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Offline Soldier of FORTRAN

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Re: Help me with my skeptical skills.
« Reply #4 on: December 23, 2016, 02:09:28 PM »
Did your buddy actually read the article?   
 
Edit:

I mean, their points are basically:
- Snopes isn't talking about us.
- Snopes is right.
- Snopes is right. 
- Snopes could be wrong.  Can't prove a negative!
- Snopes is right. 

Conclusion:
Eat it, Snopes!
« Last Edit: December 23, 2016, 02:13:27 PM by Soldier of FORTRAN »
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Offline Zytheran

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Re: Help me with my skeptical skills.
« Reply #5 on: December 23, 2016, 11:36:18 PM »
Looking at the Blue Lives Matter website it comes to me (as a non-US person) as the sort of site that would not be overly happy with Snopes a priori.
The whole wording seems pretty biased to the right. Snopes, over the years, would be perceived as an intellectual *style* site and hence perceived as left wing.
And taking a step back and looking at reality in the USA at the moment anything associated with fact is going to be a fair game target  by the right.
When you are full steam ahead with any sort of propaganda machine and about 50% of the population are OK with lies and mistruths anyting fact based is going to be seen as a target.
Especially when you think all of the (left wing) media is against you and Black Lives Matter exists primarily to target you.
Snopes has also been brought into the spotlight of the propaganda machine by its selection as a source of factual information to oppose lies and BS.
It's the sort of site the right would like to go away. (Probably the left too but who cares a fuck about them (losers! ;-) ) now?

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Help me with my skeptical skills.
« Reply #6 on: December 24, 2016, 12:17:23 PM »
Did your buddy actually read the article?   
 
Edit:

I mean, their points are basically:
- Snopes isn't talking about us.
- Snopes is right.
- Snopes is right. 
- Snopes could be wrong.  Can't prove a negative!
- Snopes is right. 

Conclusion:
Eat it, Snopes!

Best summary yet!

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Offline Billzbub

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Re: Help me with my skeptical skills.
« Reply #7 on: January 03, 2017, 03:31:01 PM »
I saw a Facebook contact of mine post something about voting machines being owned by Soros, and I looked it up on Snopes.  I posted a link to the Snopes article that shows how the voting machine thing was bull with the comment, "Do you even Snopes, bro?"  He responded that Snopes was known to often be wrong.  I wondered how accurate Snopes actually was, but not enough to actually look into it.

I'm glad to see you taking the next step to actually engage on the Snopes issue.  I am curious to see how it goes.

Offline Belgarath

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Re: Help me with my skeptical skills.
« Reply #8 on: January 03, 2017, 03:52:14 PM »
I saw a Facebook contact of mine post something about voting machines being owned by Soros, and I looked it up on Snopes.  I posted a link to the Snopes article that shows how the voting machine thing was bull with the comment, "Do you even Snopes, bro?"  He responded that Snopes was known to often be wrong.  I wondered how accurate Snopes actually was, but not enough to actually look into it.

I'm glad to see you taking the next step to actually engage on the Snopes issue.  I am curious to see how it goes.

I'm sure that Snopes gets things wrong sometimes.  But I'm also sure that they CORRECT those errors and don't leave up the erroneous information
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