Journalism Professor Adds Wiki Sensibility To Crowdsourced Fact Checking: WikiFactCheck

from the that-seems-useful dept

We've talked about the public's desire for more real fact checking, as opposed to he-said/she-said style news reporting. And we've mentioned various programs that have brought crowdsourcing into the fact-checking game. And, now a USC journalism professor has put this all together to create a fact-checking wiki-based site, appropriately called WikiFactCheck.

Digging down to facts tends to be what crowdsourcing is good at. The problem, of course, is that there often are some blurry lines around what is actually a "fact" and what is not. But, given the (some would say excessive) cultural focus at Wikipedia on forcing a "neutral point of view," I could see how a similar group of people could somewhat vehemently focus in on specific facts that can be proven true or false, rather than getting too bogged down in opinion vs. facts debates.


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  1.  
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    Bort Sarsgaard, Aug 17th, 2010 @ 6:16pm

    Lightweight.

    So nowadays, anyone can throw up wiki software with about six hours of edits, and get their story in Techdirt?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Aug 17th, 2010 @ 6:26pm

    Re: Lightweight.

    If a USC Journalism is your idea of anyone - well then yes!

    How's your Wiki project coming along?

    This sounds like a great idea to solve an annoying problem, what part of this project causes you such distress?

     

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  3.  
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    Ron Rezendes (profile), Aug 17th, 2010 @ 6:27pm

    Re: Re: Lightweight.

    *USC Journalism Professor

     

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  4.  
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    Bort Sarsgaard, Aug 17th, 2010 @ 6:33pm

    Re: Re: Lightweight

    > what part of this project causes you such distress?

    Not distress, I have no qualms with the content of the site or its purpose. But the site itself seemed so insubstantial that it might blow away in a light breeze.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 17th, 2010 @ 10:53pm

    Big ol' media doesn't agree at least not Gregory Ferenstein.

    How web journalism can make people seem hateful
    http://edition.cnn.com/2010/TECH/web/08/16/internet.journalism.politics/index.html?hpt=Sbin

    He is shocked at how many different opinions exist on the internet and how they start grouping together to form opinions. He argues that investigative blogging will lead to "a long future of biased, inflammatory "evidence" -- on both sides of the political spectrum.", well it may come true, but is more likely that types like Sara Palin and Andrew Breitbart will face a wall of criticism for being crazy and dumb respectively and that is just that, if people didn't agree or didn't see something wrong there wouldn't be some many voices talking about those types in a negative manner. He argues that people are not capable of rational thinking because he thinks people will be overcome by "motivated cognition" which it is true in a individual level but it fails to materialize in groups, I think he is afraid of the mob mentality and that is a valid criticism, it does happen like in the case of child pornography but that is not something exclusive to bloggers or the internet in general it affects big ol' media too, to which he pre-empts saying that big ol' media is accountable because they have managers, which is not true a blogger has to answer to other bloggers that yeld as much power as that one do.

    He even manage to contracdit himself saying "But many bloggers are unencumbered by the integrity of balance, and the result was a viral video that led to an innocent women's firing.", first he was talking about how people were derailing Andrew Breitbart for his actions and then he uses that actions for which he(Breitbart) was being derailed as proof of no regulations mechanism in the blogosphere.

    But many bloggers are unencumbered by the integrity of balance, and the result was a viral video that led to an innocent women's firing.


    Seriously, what are those people thinking?

     

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  6.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    "But many bloggers are unencumbered by the integrity of balance, and the result was a viral video that led to an innocent women's firing.

    Seriously, what are those people thinking?"

    Big ol' media are the same idiots that fell for this in the first place. They didn't do any fact checking and ran with the story. So they are trying to lay blame else where.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Aug 18th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Wikipedia is well known for being biased and not using neutral points of views. I suspect the same thing will happen with WikiFactCheck.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
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    TJGeezer (profile), Aug 18th, 2010 @ 4:15pm

    Re: Bias

    Wikipedia is constantly criticized for being biased toward the left, for being biased toward the right-wing's approved "herd" opinion, and for being too rigidly neutral when the discussion requires coverage of opposing views. It must be hitting some kind of balance, eh? By the way, saying someone or something "is well known" for this or that is well known as a basic propaganda technique. It's often used by people who are well known even in their own circles for being idiots. Like Palin and Breitbart and occasional anonymous cowards. See how easy it is to use "is well known" to discredit someone, with or without any evidence? :-p

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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