Sunday, 16 October 2016

The Goggle "Facts?

Without much of a public announcement.....Goggle has started up a new feature.....fact-checking the news reported.

What they say....is that this "will help readers find fact checking in large news stories".

How exactly?

Generally, all they can say is that they've got an algorithm that takes knowledge, stories, and gives them a 'number' and that will correspond to a fake story or a true story.

Bogus?

Right now, if you go and browse, there are at least a hundred fact-check sites in existence.  Some do a reasonable job but not enough that you could assume it's a 100-percent fact-checker.  Some do a very marginal job and simply cover the trail of some network or newspaper.

I think the Goggle fact-checker is fairly bogus.  To assign some algorithm and think that it'll come to a score which equals facts.....one must go back and ask how this algorithm was developed and who the guys were around it.  One might write a simple article over Thomas Jefferson and simply note that he wrote the basis of the Constitution, then as it's reported over at Goggle....it's given only a score of 92-percent fact (instead of a 100-percent fact).  You could spend hours asking Goggle but in the end, their computer can only go and perform what's it's been told to do.

Why Google had to get into fact-checking?  That would be the more interesting question to ask.

Lack of trust?  If you were looking for something to always be suspicious of.....Google-fact-check would be a forest-fire in the midst of darkness.  You would continually go and question how this story would only rate a 66-percent truth and that story would rate 88-percent truth.  It would seem like it'd be a 100-percent or nothing scale....logically-speaking.

There are typically four problems with news stories today reported (it doesn't matter if it's newsprint like Time or the Washington Post......or the CNN/Fox News crowd).

1.  A story will be reported with six key facts inserted into the 100 lines of story.  Eventually, you reach a point where you realize that there are three additional facts which fit into the story and balance the whole thing to a end-point.  Yet, the reporter refused to add those three, and he drives you to assume that's all of the story, and therefore you reach a false conclusion.   That's what I call "herd-driver" story.....all the cows need to be brought to one truth which is not really a truth.

2.  A story is told by one key reporter or journalist which fits their "agenda".  It'll be a 6-ounce T-bone steak (as small and marginal as you can imagine) but told in such a way that it's a 30-ounce T-bone in appearance.  So you bite into this story.....wasting ten minutes listening to some journalist tell the story and by the end.....you realize that no matter how great the story looked....it's still a 6-ounce marginalized steak (story).

3.  X and Y are told in such a way.....that you can only reach the assumed conclusion of the reporter, but if you dig into the history of this episode.....you realize that there are five or six angles to the story and that it just can't be that simplified or easy to grasp.  Maybe the reporter cut out the angles and just wanted a story, or maybe he just wasn't smart enough to grasp the angles.  In this case, you have half-a-story....at best.

4.  Finally, you come to stories that built strictly upon statistics or polls.  The numbers are facts, but the rest of the story is based upon 'feelings' mixed with some facts....which leads you to one single outcome.

How Goggle came to this idea might beg additional questions, and a fact-checker just over what they admit in public and what they say in private.