12
   

Internet disinformation overload

 
 
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 08:03 am
Will the proliferation of propaganda and disinformation and simple erroneous data eventually fill the internet to such a degree that it becomes impossible to use it as an effective resource for knowledge and research?

Are we at that point already?
 
George
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 08:12 am
@rosborne979,
I'd compare it to going to a library or bookstore. You can get information
or disinformation depending on which book you read.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 08:16 am
@rosborne979,
Could be. Ive had some of my students take Wikipedia crap apart in a position paper about a "pet" theory that some researcher in genetics had spread all over several years ago. Wiki and several others dont really have resources to make sure that what they put out there is actually defensible. SO they rely on volunteer peers. many of whom are either retired or are students.

If you are commenting on how several news sources (like CNN) make available space to outsiders to publish stuff as news or truth, they take a risk . Like bewildered s crap about the 300 MYa skulls, of humans. This stuff was given the dust off by real scientists almost 10 years ago when it was semi hot.
The Creationists jumped on the bandwagon cause here was some evidence they sought.
Then the paleontology community did an expetnsive excavation at the "fossil" location and found a PLUMB brand mining pick embedded along with the fossil bones and the skull. It was a miner form the 1800's who got incorporated into the coal measures and was chemically altered by the acidic conditions.
The Creationists disappeared as quickly as they showed up.

I poften see some dubious stuff in blogs and other sources. There are no standards on the internet (perhaps there should be but whos gonna pay for it?)
thack45
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 08:36 am
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

There are no standards on the internet (perhaps there should be but whos gonna pay for it?)

I could see some wank politician looking for a pet cause making a stink about the lack of standards on the web...

Something about our "rights"...
Something about "the children"...
Yada yada, bla bla bla...
And bam! New laws and an agency or commission are born.
And we're all gonna pay for it.
wandeljw
 
  4  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 08:45 am
The best protection against disinformation is to NEVER rely on a single source. Read what a variety of sources say on the same subject. That way you can get a fuller picture. This method applies to both the internet and to traditional media (books, newspapers, journals).
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 09:39 am
@thack45,
well, most technical associations rely a lot on volunteers and ed boards, which are usually supported by he institutions and companies that employ the volunteers. Many companies and ed institutions have a responsiblility impressed on their people to do pro bono work on behalf of their tech specialty.

These people are supported by the associations in expenses and that money ios spread out among the members as a cost for membership (along with the reultant journals we get).

I dont think some govt agency needs to get involved unlkess it really gets outta hand and nobody can truct the open internet. In that case though, the techy societies would already be set up for dissemination of their stuff and they would have all kinds of disclaimers that , unless its from the "official Journal of weed Whacking" , anything you read that purports to be associated with the weed whackers of AMerica is unsupported by the WWAoA.
0 Replies
 
djjd62
 
  2  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 09:51 am
i'll take disinformation any day
thack45
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 10:29 am
@djjd62,
Absolutely. With wandel's comments in mind.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 01:35 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:
If you are commenting on how several news sources (like CNN) make available space to outsiders to publish stuff as news or truth, they take a risk . Like bewildered s crap about the 300 MYa skulls, of humans. This stuff was given the dust off by real scientists almost 10 years ago when it was semi hot.

I was actually expanding on that without limiting to that item in particular.

Before the Internet, it took money to make your ideas visible to a lot of people, so economic considerations created a natural filter that kept most wanton speculators out of the information pool. But now that anyone can spam the Web with claims of all sorts, it obscures the data that we would otherwise find most useful.

I've often wondered at what point the volume of "junk info" would begin to overwhelm the system to effectively obscure the value of such a large source of information (as the Internet is).

On the other hand, humanity has always been saddled with an excess of "bad knowledge" and a modern technological civilization still came to pass, so maybe this is an age-old problem that is just larger in scope, but with the same proportional distribution of Junk-Info to Good-Info.
farmerman
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 03:45 pm
@rosborne979,
we shall always hve "snake oil" salesmen among us. Its the same crap , its just a different basket.
ossobuco
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 03:48 pm
@rosborne979,
Good post.
0 Replies
 
rosborne979
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 07:04 pm
@farmerman,
farmerman wrote:

we shall always hve "snake oil" salesmen among us. Its the same crap , its just a different basket.

I agree with that. I'm just wondering if the relative proportions have changed and if it's going to make a difference at all. (also I wanted to start a discussion that didn't center around people telling Spendi he is an idiot) Wink
0 Replies
 
msolga
 
  1  
Reply Thu 18 Aug, 2011 07:11 pm
@George,
Quote:
I'd compare it to going to a library or bookstore. You can get information
or disinformation depending on which book you read.

Yes.
It also helps to be a bit sceptical about obscure sources of online information & to research widely.
And of course, a reasonable level of education is definitely a huge help!
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 02:01 am
Misinformation or disinformation will always trump genuine information. The quality of one's sources will always be the key to reliable information, but it won't ever upset the apple cart of "old wives tales" (not a politically correct term, one now says "urban legend," even if it was promulgated by rubes) and histoical and biographical myth. Two good examples: an example of triumphant disinformation is the claim that Abraham Lincoln started the American civil war, despite the abundant evidence that this is not the case--it is an essential component of the "lost cause" myth, and even well-meaning people who should know better perpetrate it. An example of persistent misinformation is Horatio Nelson's eye. During a siege of a city on Corsica in the war of the first coalition (1795? 1796?) he was hit in the head by a shell fragment or a rock chip, near his right eye. He didn't lose the eye, nor did he even fully lose his vision in that eye. He went to his grave with both eyes. However, the myth that he lost an eye (as well as his right arm--which was no myth) is so entrenched that even well-educated people still repeat it. It didn't help that he perpetuated the belief that he was at least blind in his right eye, either. At Copenhagen in 1801, the commander, Admiral Hyde Parker, flew the signal to disengage. Nelson put his telescope to his "blind eye" and commented to the effect that he was entitled sometimes to turn a blind eye. But he did not lose his right eye, nor was he blind in his right eye. The myth persists. When people "know" something, those who dispute it are not only ignored, they are often disdained.
roger
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 02:34 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

Misinformation or disinformation will always trump genuine information.


Greshams law says that bad money drives good money out. I had an economics professor restate it to match the above.
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 03:38 am
@roger,
I'd never heard of that one--but then, my biggest failing as a student of history was that economics bored me. I can see the point about "bad money" and "good money," though. There's plenty of evidence for that.
0 Replies
 
izzythepush
 
  2  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 07:22 am
@Setanta,
Setanta wrote:

An example of persistent misinformation is Horatio Nelson's eye. During a siege of a city on Corsica in the war of the first coalition (1795? 1796?) he was hit in the head by a shell fragment or a rock chip, near his right eye. He didn't lose the eye, nor did he even fully lose his vision in that eye. He went to his grave with both eyes. However, the myth that he lost an eye (as well as his right arm--which was no myth) is so entrenched that even well-educated people still repeat it.


He did lose an eye, but he still had two because he was born with three. That's where the term eye eye captain comes from. It used to be eye eye eye captain in deference to his three eyes.
0 Replies
 
Setanta
 
  1  
Reply Fri 19 Aug, 2011 07:28 am
Third Eye Blind, "Blinded"

0 Replies
 
TimeTravel
 
  -1  
Reply Tue 28 Aug, 2012 08:52 pm
@rosborne979,
NO is my answer. When you Google something, already you are immediately going to see the mean, median, and mode. Depending on your own intelligence you will then be able to screen for credible sites. For credible information, you should avoid forums, instead seeking peer reviewed scholarly journals and publications. But if you are just having fun, or seeking a quick response to a question, forums may help. You will find just as much propaganda on television or at a news stand, and nearly every publication or magazine on Earth has some political bias. For example CNN and NBC only give the leftist liberal take on everything. Newspapers are also propaganda, and intellectual prostitutes. Most colleges and high schools already teach us how to screen for credible data on the internet.
0 Replies
 
cicerone imposter
 
  1  
Reply Fri 30 Jan, 2015 05:40 pm
@wandeljw,
I like your response.
0 Replies
 
 

Related Topics

So I just joined Facebook.... - Discussion by DrewDad
YouTube Is Doomed - Discussion by Shapeless
Participatory Democracy Online - Discussion by wandeljw
OpenDNS and net neutrality - Question by Butrflynet
Internet Explorer 8? - Question by Pitter
 
  1. Forums
  2. » Internet disinformation overload
Copyright © 2018 MadLab, LLC :: Terms of Service :: Privacy Policy :: Page generated in 0.03 seconds on 12/13/2018 at 09:55:45