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The unbelievable truth

Factbot is a machine that makes up lies.
posted by unliteral on Jun 10, 2014 - 44 comments

Taking peer review to the Internet

Something that allows you to easily slice through misinformation online online could make misleading the public a lot tougher. The concept isn't new (previously & many others) but unlike those efforts, Hypothes.is is open, standards-based, and backed by some web heavy-weights.
posted by ATXile on Nov 9, 2011 - 59 comments

Setting the Record Straight

ICorrect: The universal website for corrections to lies, misinformation and misrepresentations. [more inside]
posted by bwg on Mar 19, 2011 - 48 comments

US Voters Grossly Misinformed

Misinformation and the 2010 Election - A Study of the US Electorate. The key findings of the study are:

1. Perceptions of Misleading and False Information An overwhelming majority of voters said that they encountered misleading or false information in the last election, with a majority saying that this occurred frequently and occurred more frequently than usual.

2. Evidence of Misinformation Among Voters The poll found strong evidence that voters were substantially misinformed on many of the issues prominent in the election campaign, including the stimulus legislation, the healthcare reform law, TARP, the state of the economy, climate change, campaign contributions by the US Chamber of Commerce and President Obama’s birthplace. In particular, voters had perceptions about the expert opinion of economists and other scientists that were quite different from actual expert opinion.
[more inside]
posted by caddis on Dec 19, 2010 - 53 comments

"War Made Easy" A Movie On How Government Deception and the Conservative Media (includeds NYT & NPR, national pentagon radio) has fostered War.

“War Made Easy" is a documentary with Sean Penn narrating, and is based on a book by Norman Solomon . This is an award winning expose on how the American Public has been led into a 50-year pattern of government deception and spin, dragging the United States from one war into another. Remarkably this film exhumes archival footage of official distortion and exaggeration from LBJ to George W. Bush, revealing in stunning detail how the American news media have uncritically disseminated the pro-war messages of successive presidential administrations. Brutally persuasive this film presents disturbing examples of propaganda from those we want to believe in.
posted by Rancid Badger on Sep 29, 2007 - 51 comments

HIV and AIDS

Every year, people all over the world say stridently stupid, misinformed or absurd things about HIV and AIDS Every year, people all over the world say stridently stupid, misinformed or absurd things about HIV and AIDS. Here's a list of some folks who make you wonder what, if anything, they were thinking before they opened their mouths in 2004. Their comments are best met with three little words: Just shut up.
posted by halekon on Feb 5, 2005 - 39 comments

Laugh, Cry, and Learn

"Massive misinformation" from Arab news networks such as Al-Jazeera is hampering the US effort in Iraq, Rumsfeld told the troops during his Christmas Eve visit to Mosul: "Everything we do here is harder because of television stations like Al Jazeera and Al Arabiyah." In remarks that were not quoted in the American press, the defense secretary went on to tell the troops, "We don't go out and hire journalists and propagandize and lie and put people on payroll so that they'll say what you want. We just don't do that and they do and that's happening" (which is itself meta-misinformation.) Meanwhile, the Pentagon's multimillion-dollar solution -- the CIA-funded Iraqi news network, Al-Iraqiya (featuring "Iraqi programs that make you laugh, cry, and learn") -- has become "an irrelevant mouthpiece for [coalition] propaganda" according to one of its own former correspondents, veteran news reporter Don North.
posted by digaman on Dec 30, 2004 - 21 comments

Sex Ed

Abortion makes you sterile, 50 percent of gay male teenagers are HIV-positive, mutual masturbation can get you pregnant, you can get HIV from sweat, and more fun "facts" from our federally-funded abstinence-only curricula.
posted by grrarrgh00 on Dec 2, 2004 - 58 comments

When drug companies hide data

When drug companies hide data.

"The attorney general's civil suit accuses the drug giant GlaxoSmithKline of committing fraud by concealing negative information about Paxil, a drug used to treat depression. The suit says that the company conducted five clinical trials of Paxil in adolescents and children, yet published only one study whose mixed results it deemed positive. The company sat on two major studies for up to four years, although the results of one were divulged by a whistle-blower at a medical conference in 1999 and all of the studies were submitted to the Food and Drug Administration in 2002 when the company sought approval for new uses of Paxil. At that time it became apparent that Paxil was no more effective than a placebo in treating adolescent depression and might even provoke suicidal thoughts.

My Dad was on Paxil until 26 days ago..... that's when he shot himself.
posted by Lusy P Hur on Jun 6, 2004 - 47 comments

Media Matters for America

Media Matters for America Welcome to Media Matters for America, a new Web-based, not-for-profit progressive research and information center dedicated to comprehensively monitoring, analyzing, and correcting conservative misinformation in the U.S. media. Because a healthy democracy depends on public access to accurate and reliable information, Media Matters for America is dedicated to alerting news outlets and consumers to conservative misinformation -- wherever we find it, in every news cycle -- and to spurring progressive activism based on standards and accountability in media. In the mid-1990s, as a conservative media insider, I saw firsthand (and participated in) the damage done to our democracy when conservative misinformation masquerades as journalism. In my book Blinded by the Right: The Conscience of an Ex-Conservative (2002), I revealed how this misinformation -- deliberately bought and paid for by covert political forces -- enveloped the media, poisoned public discourse, and nearly toppled a president
posted by Postroad on May 3, 2004 - 35 comments

The end-of-week summary

Bush "will reveal the truth". But what truth is that? Where he says freedom, he means curtailing press freedoms. When he talks about restoring the dignity of a great nation, he means handpicking Iraq's new government. When he mentions WMD, he could be referring to two trailers lacking any biological agent inside and show no signs that they had been used to produce biological weapons, or alternatively, a swimming pool, a drinks distillery and a factory making car license plates. Curiously enough, it's not him but his pals who find themselves in awkward positions. Then again, maybe it is them who are bringing it onto themselves.
posted by magullo on Jun 6, 2003 - 47 comments

Cooking the Books

Cooking the Books The Office of National Statistics feels that the UK population is a little too small - so they're inventing one million people to fill the gap. Why did they do a census if they were going to make it all up?
posted by tabbycat on Sep 23, 2002 - 9 comments

U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk

U.S. Stops Iraq-Al Qaeda Talk From the Washington Post. Beyond the superficial significance of administration back-tracking, in regards to intelligence there seems to be two key aspects to this story: 1) The article talks about how the CIA was unable to "validate two prominent allegations made by high-ranking administration officials," implying that Bush/Cheney/etc. have been making baseless assumptions about Iraq in their pro-war arguments, and 2) it brings into question whether we know anything at all about Iraq, anyway. What if the same can be said of Hussein's nuclear plans?
posted by risenc on Sep 10, 2002 - 27 comments

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