Thursday Thoughts are a series of recent observations too short to merit their own article, but still important when analyzing today’s technological, economic and psychological trends.
Fake News Calculator for Twitter
My Fake News Calculator gadget helps with identifying YouTube channels espousing views that generally cannot withstand public scrutiny, which is correlated to the degree of illegitimacy of its content.
I don’t have an equivalent gadget programmed for Twitter, but I think there’s an easy solution to identify “fake” accounts, particularly troll accounts used to emulate popular opinion despite those opinions being wildly irrational and unproven.
If a user is following as many or more users than they have users following them, that is a very reliable sign the account espouses views that cannot withstand public scrutiny. These users are intentionally trying to create a reciprocal network where one would follow if a follow is given in return, and one would pat the other’s back for a nonsensical post in return for a like or supportive comment on one of their own nonsensical posts. Never mind whether the underlying arguments are sound, the goal here is to inflate the numbers of likes and followers to drive up a post’s persuasive value of popularity rather than factual accuracy. Of course with the backup of this ad hoc mob you eventually have a network of accounts claiming inaccuracies as facts, overwhelming and clouding reasoned rebuttals via sheer numbers of red herrings.
This is nothing surprising considering how anti-social social media really is.
Cathy Newman demonstrates why you should be very critical of mainstream media news
After Jordan Peterson’s interview on Channel 4, a postmordem in a less biased interview afterward reveals the duplicitous nature of Cathy Newman and mainstream media. As apparent as it already was in the Channel 4 interview, what happened behind the scenes further validates how news and journalism nowadays is driven more by agenda rather than objective reporting. It serves as yet another warning to be weary of news media and why it is paramount to keep dialogue open so that the truth can find its way. Consequently, it is equally important is to be weary of those claiming to be arbiters or curators of “fake news”, like Facebook, which only seek to place obstacles in the path of truth by shutting out perspectives that go against their agenda.
The whole interview is worth a watch if you’re also interested in Peterson’s philosophical studies. The Channel 4 interview postmordem occurs in the first half hour or so:
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