The Role Of Confirmation Bias In Spreading Misinformation

from the it's-everywhere dept

We recently wrote about the need to start thinking differently about mis- and disinformation, as the discussions on it cover a bunch of different -- often unrelated -- concepts. And lumping them together creates problems (as it did with the term "fake news.") Last week (and over the weekend) a good example showed how this plays out in practice.

Rolling Stone put up a story with the extremely provocative title Gunshot Victims Left Waiting as Horse Dewormer Overdoses Overwhelm Oklahoma Hospitals, Doctor Says. As people discovered later, that "Doctor Says" hidden at the end of the headline ended up being the load bearing pillar on which the rest of the story stood. And that pillar turned out to be made of fluff and nonsense, as the hospital is now running a massive popup on the front page of its website saying the story is bullshit:

If you're unable to see the image, it says:

Message from the administration of Northeastern Health System - Sequoyah:

Although Dr. Jason McElyea is not an employee of NHS Sequoyah, he is affiliated with a medical staffing group that provides coverage for our emergency room.

With that said, Dr. McElyea has not worked at our Sallisaw location in over 2 months.

NHS Sequoyah has not treated any patients due to complications related to taking ivermectin. This includes not treating any patients for ivermectin overdose.

All patients who have visited our emergency room have received medical attention as appropriate. Our hospital has not had to turn away any patients seeking emergency care.

We want to reassure our community that our staff is working hard to provide quality healthcare to all patients. We appreciate the opportunity to clarify this issue and as always, we value our community’s support.

The Rolling Stone report was based on an earlier report from local TV station KFOR making these claims. But it seems that no one at Rolling Stone called the hospital to check. And then the story got picked up, almost verbatim, a ton of other places. The Guardian had a story. The BBC. So did the Hill (that that one has since been deleted).

The story seemed especially popular in foreign media as a chance to laugh at the US.

And, of course, the fact that so many publications ran with this story contributed to the standard narrative from those who dislike and distrust the mainstream media to argue that they are regular perpetrators of "fake news" or "disinformation." Of course, as Eva Galperin correctly notes, absolutely everyone is susceptible to believing and amplifying stories that confirm our biases.

The real question, of course, is how these kinds of things are dealt with -- and what sort of corrective process there is. This is something that was discussed in the excellent book Network Propaganda, which tries to distinguish how misleading information flows through society -- and whether organizations are willing to correct mistakes and admit to errors. Or, if they continue to stand by them. That's the difference between an honest mistake -- which absolutely everyone is susceptible to falling for -- and those who specialize in bad faith presentation of misleading propaganda.

However, as we've discussed before, when you conflate a mistake with the deliberate bad faith pushing of false information, then that only serves to give more ammunition to those who wish to not just discredit all content from certain publications, but to then look to minimize complaints against "news" organizations that specialize and focus on bad faith propaganda, by simply claiming it's no different than what the mainstream media does in presenting "disinformation."

But there is a major difference. A mistake is bad, and everyone who fell for this story looks silly for doing so. But without a clear pattern of deliberately pushing misleading or out of context information, it suggests a mere error, as opposed to deliberate bad faith activity. The same cannot be said for all "news" organizations.

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Filed Under: confirmation bias, covid, disinformation, hospitals, ivermectin, misinformation
Companies: rolling stone


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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2021 @ 10:13am

    This is something I find myself having to repeat over and over again to people who should know better.

    The difference between a good faith actor and a bad faith actor is whether they admit their mistakes and use the same channels to issue corrections that were used to issue the mistaken statements.

    Good Faith politicians are therefore few and far between -- issuing corrections is seen in some circles as a position of weakness, and bad faith actors will do all they can to convince people that those who correct misinformation are the same as those who intentionally distribute disinformation.

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

  2. icon
    Javier (profile), 8 Sep 2021 @ 10:27am

    How many corrections does your news source issue per month?

    One of my go to indicators for a news source's trustworthiness is how often they publish corrections and retractions. If a news source never makes mistakes - then they are full of it. It is not humanly possible. only corrects itself when there is a threat (or successful) lawsuit, they are equally full of it. If they frequently make corrections, that is a sign that they do actual research and are interested in facts. Go check your favorite news source, and if you cannot find any corrections, or if you find a few but can also see that they were sued on the subjects they correct, then maybe you should consider a better researched source.

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

  3. icon
    Hulser (profile), 8 Sep 2021 @ 10:35am

    Nuance

    There's some nuance between an honest mistake and intentional misinformation. For example, when a single bad actor at a media organization otherwise known for honest reporting intentionally provides false information. The responsible organization will acknowledge and correct the instance. More subtly, there is an example where an organization otherwise known for honest reporting just doesn't do its due diligence to confirm the truth in pursuit of breaking the story.

    So, maybe Rolling Stone didn't intentionally publish false information, but were negligent in their duty to call the hospital to verify the story. I wouldn't call that an honest mistake though. "Oops, I didn't perform one of the basic steps in journalism. My bad." While it's not in the same league misinformation, the distinction is worth noting.

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

  4. icon
    Ceyarrecks (profile), 8 Sep 2021 @ 10:40am

    How does that phrase go again?

    But it seems that no one at Rolling Stone called the hospital to check.

    In their RUSH (me!, Me! ME FIRST!) to publication, eh?

    How does that phrase go again:
    "Zeal WITHOUT knowledge is not good,..."

    huh,... go figure,...

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

  5. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 8 Sep 2021 @ 10:50am

    Re: How many corrections does your news source issue per month?

    That method of treating shoddy, unpopular sources as the most reputable is why one pathologically lying troll pretrnds Breitbart is more reliable than WaPo.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2021 @ 11:07am

    When you assume, you make an ass of...

    So many sources assumed that Rolling Stone had done their due diligence.

    Primary sources, men. Primary sources. Don't have a primary source? Don't publish.

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

  7. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2021 @ 11:13am

    Drew Holden shares shit from asshole Glenn Greenwald and has a pinned tweet that stokes paranoia about COVID-19 coming from a lab. Holden’s tweet thread about the Rolling Stone article is mainly him digging into left-wingers and Democrats that he hates to throw red meat to his followers. You could’ve just shared the Stone’s correction instead of putting some turd like Holden front and center.

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

  8. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Koby (profile), 8 Sep 2021 @ 11:30am

    I Can See The Pattern

    But without a clear pattern of deliberately pushing misleading or out of context information

    I recall Rolling Stones having to retract a UVA article that made major headlines.

    and whether organizations are willing to correct mistakes and admit to errors.

    Currently, they haven't retracted the ivermectin story. Instead, they appended an "update", with the hospital press release, as if maybe the article could still be true. They're clearly trying to push a narrative, which is why they are Fake News.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous, 8 Sep 2021 @ 11:36am

    Mike Masnick himself is guilty of confirmation BIAS

    Yes, Mike Masnick has no credibility or room to talk about confirmation BIAS, when he himself has created an echo-chamber opinion blog that has thrown its credibility out the window.

    False tatements asserting January 6th protesters are all Trumpers who were at the capitol staging an insurrection. Ignoring the fact, Joe Biden twice had run for office before having to end his run for president due to him lying. Several independent forensic election investigators testified finding widespread votes were flipped from Bident to trump. Election laws were changed for mail-in voting without proof of ID. That contesting states wanted an investigation to be allowed before Biden's inauguration. That the people protesting wanted their voices heard and were allowed inside the capitol by capitol police.

    Ignoring the facts that the capitol police murdered an unarmed protester and have since been hiding the details, while Techdirt still pushed the idea of protesters being Trumpers/Insurrectionist.

    To date, nobody has been charged with insurrection of the capital. Few have been charged with trespassing, assuming these were the protesters that were actually in the chambers of the capitol building. Just take a look in Techdirts history on Jan6th related articles. You'll find plenty of BIAS.

    I have yet to read a Techdirt article about Jan 6th that wasn't BIAS and false.

    And then you have Techdirt articles written with BIAS opening statements that are obviously obnoxious, absurd, and complete bullshit, exposing their ignorance. Such as statements that Russia is an authoritarian country when the author of the article making such a BIAS statement has never been to Russia, doesn't speak Russian, and most likely knows little to nothing about Russian culture/history, etc. Who would make such a BIAS statment like that? Oh, I know, Mike Masnick.

    My point has been made.

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

  10. icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), 8 Sep 2021 @ 12:13pm

    Re: I Can See The Pattern

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

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2021 @ 1:00pm

    Re: I Can See The Pattern

    Currently, they haven't retracted the ivermectin story. Instead, they appended an "update", with the hospital press release

    What more do you want? They even went so far as to change the headline of the article:

    One Hospital Denies Oklahoma Doctor’s Story of Ivermectin Overdoses Causing ER Delays for Gunshot Victims

    Why shouldn't they keep the original article there with the hospital's PR such that readers can realize that the original article has been shown to be inaccurate.

    They're clearly trying to push a narrative

    Do you have any facts to prove this statement, or are you just making shit up to push your narrative? You have 24 hours to provide some proof otherwise we can all consider you to be arguing in bad faith and you are just simply full of shit and should be ignored.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2021 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: I Can See The Pattern

    This one neither corrects errors, nor admits mistakes.

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

  13. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2021 @ 2:28pm

    Re: How many corrections does your news source issue per month?

    Yes. I would also add that quietly deleting the mistake and hoping nobody notices is not a retraction.

    And that adding an update to the bottom of the article admitting it turned out to be false but leaving the clickbait headline intact to mislead people who don't read the whole text, is not a very good retraction either.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Sep 2021 @ 3:00pm

    We are all susceptible to confirmation bias, but just publishing "doctor says" without even attempting to verify the facts is rather unprofessional if you ask me. It's their job to find the truth. Blindly repeating anything they thought sounded good isn't journalism, it's Twitter.

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

  15. icon
    PaulT (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 5:13am

    Re: How many corrections does your news source issue per month?

    The problem isn't whether or not they make corrections or retractions, it's how they do it. Publishing the lie in front page headlines then publishing the retraction on page 26 in small print 2 weeks later had been a commonly known tactic for the British gutter press for decades. Don't just look for corrections, look to see if they're indicated at the top of the corrected story or mentioned as an afterthought. Corrupt actors in the press will issue the headline knowing full well that it's false, because they know that even if people read the retraction the damage will already have been done by the first publication.

    Also, if you're evaluating the corrections, consider the context for which they are made. If they spelled someone's name wrong or made another minor error, that's usually fine. But, if they make a habit of, say, "accidentally" identifying Republicans as Democrat when they get negative press (a famously used tactic by Fox), or have to correct articles when they "accidentally" identify the wrong immigration status or religious affiliation of suspected criminals, that should be suspicious.

    If you take the corrections at face value, you're potentially only getting part of the story.

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

  16. icon
    PaulT (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 5:17am

    Re: I Can See The Pattern

    So, you're saying that you think that deleting a story from history is preferable to admitting fault and correcting mistakes? Weird, that's almost the exact opposite of your usual bullshit here where you demand that people be forced to host stories against their will and any attempt to remove or fact check the disinformation is illegal censorship.

    Why, it's almost as if you have no actual morality, only self-interest in helping liars and bigots.

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

  17. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 9:46am

    Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    I remember seeing some of the headlines about this and instantly dismissing them because they labeled ivermectin a horse dewormer. It is used on animals but it also used and approved in human dosages, the only reason to refer to it as "horse dewormer" is to talk down to people. The fact that people took it seriously enough to get to confirmation bias being a problem is a problem in itself.

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

  18. icon
    dbrower (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 9:54am

    Works for me!

    I saw one yesterday that claimed 85% of men who take ivermectin become sterile.

    True or not, I'd like that to go wildly viral.

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

  19. identicon
    Pseudonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    if they don't want to get made fun of for taking horse dewormer, they should stop taking medicine with a horse on the package that's explicitly labeled as "for oral use in horses only".

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

  20. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Sep 2021 @ 7:34pm

    Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    As noted in this very article, the reports of people overdosing on invermectin by taking oversize animal doses was entirely false. Do you have some other reporting, actual valid and fact checked reporting, that shows there is an actual wave of people taking medicine labeled as "for oral use in horses only" or are you proving my point and that of the article here itself?

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

  21. icon
    sumgai (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 8:49pm

    Re: Mike Masnick himself is guilty of confirmation BIAS

    To paraphrase:

    No one ever got fired for being biased in favor of the truth.

    Or as I like to put it: "I'm not biased, I'm just extremely allergic to willfully ignorant assholes."

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

  22. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 10:14pm

    Re: Mike Masnick himself is guilty of confirmation BIAS

    [Hallucinates facts not in evidence]

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

  23. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 9 Sep 2021 @ 10:15pm

    Re: Re: How many corrections does your news source issue per mon

    Also note that Techdirt proves that being sued is not an indicator of being unreliable.

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

  24. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Sep 2021 @ 1:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    As noted in this very article, the reports of people overdosing on invermectin by taking oversize animal doses was entirely false.

    That's not what the article actually says though. It points to one specific example where nobody bothered to verify what "a doctor said" was was actually happening.

    Do you have some other reporting, actual valid and fact checked reporting, that shows there is an actual wave of people taking medicine labeled as "for oral use in horses only" or are you proving my point and that of the article here itself?

    People are overdosing on Ivermectin that's formulated for animals: https://www.npr.org/sections/coronavirus-live-updates/2021/09/04/1034217306/ivermectin-overdose-expo sure-cases-poison-control-centers

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

  25. icon
    PaulT (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 1:47am

    Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    "the only reason to refer to it as "horse dewormer" is to talk down to people"

    The people who are going to feed stores and buying horse paste to chow down on, yes. They deserve all the mockery they get, especially since they're doing this to avoid the actual vaccines.

    The people who got it prescribed for its intended anti-parasitic usage, no. They're not being mocked.

    Are you capable of understanding the difference?

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

  26. icon
    PaulT (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 1:52am

    Re: Works for me!

    It's not true, sadly. I believe the original claim came from a study in Africa (I think?), where they counted any case of lower sperm count as sterility and I believe didn't distinguish between temporary and permanent effects.

    But, honestly? I'd almost rather the fact didn't get broadcast even if it did. Eating horse paste because you saw stories on your tracking device about chips in the vaccine doesn't indicate that you're making great decisions elsewhere in your life and I'd rather those people don't breed.

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

  27. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2021 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    So a rise of some 200 cases across a population of over 300 million is enough of a statistical bump to give credibility to the article (and others like it), such that the use of the term "horse dewormer" isn't immediately recognizable as a biased and poorly reported hit piece?

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

  28. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2021 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    Considering the journalistic integrity of this piece completely fell apart and I could recognize a problem based on the headline alone, I'd confident that I'm capable of understanding the difference and people who hold that up as a defense of this practice aren't.

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

  29. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Sep 2021 @ 9:09am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    You do realize that the statistics from NPDS are about those smart enough to self-report? And those 200 cases, that's for 1 month only and when you more than double a statistic in that a short period it's certainly a "bump".

    Instead of actually acknowledging that you where wrong about the use of Ivermectin you try to dismiss the facts as inconsequential.

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

  30. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Sep 2021 @ 9:13am

    Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    Please enlighten us how you recognized a problem based on the headline alone since it doesn't mention what the confirmation bias pertained to.

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

  31. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2021 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    Did you completely forget my original post? The use of the term "horse dewormer" instead of something like the actual name of the drug was clearly an indication that the substance of the article was more inclined to political attack and biased reporting instead of an attempt to describe and document an issue.

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

  32. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Sep 2021 @ 10:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    200 incidents over a month is inconsequential, when spread over the entire population and area of the US. Even for a single month change. Especially when you consider there were instances beforehand, a slight uptick due to crazy people seeing some online post about is nothing of note.

    If that constitutes a "wave" of anything, then you should be far more upset at the lack of monthly notices of changes in stuff like crime or immigration which have far wider swings, or even the change in ivermectic overdoses cases before this became news, than this current "wave".

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

  33. icon
    PaulT (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 12:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    "So a rise of some 200 cases across a population of over 300 million i"

    300 million people are taking Ivermectin?

    "the use of the term "horse dewormer" isn't immediately recognizable as a biased and poorly reported hit piece"

    Nobody's using the data from people who were prescribed the drug from a doctor, let alone for its actual intended use, to mock people. The mockery is reserved purely for the people who refused vaccines from their physicians who didn't write a prescription and decided that horse paste with "not for human consumption" printed next to pictures of horses was better.

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

  34. icon
    PaulT (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 12:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    "200 incidents over a month is inconsequential, when spread over the entire population and area of the US"

    So was 9/11, that doesn't mean that people shouldn't be addressing the issues that led to it.

    "a slight uptick due to crazy people seeing some online post about is nothing of note"

    So, how many bodies need to be recorded before you consider it worthy of dealing with? So people would rather deal with it before they have to bury them.

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

  35. icon
    PaulT (profile), 10 Sep 2021 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    "I could recognize a problem based on the headline alone"

    "The use of the term "horse dewormer""

    Weird, that term didn't appear in the headline.

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

  36. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Sep 2021 @ 2:25pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    200 incidents over a month is inconsequential, when spread over the entire population and area of the US. Even for a single month change. Especially when you consider there were instances beforehand, a slight uptick due to crazy people seeing some online post about is nothing of note.

    It's not inconsequential because you don't spread the numbers out over the whole population, you compare it to what's considered statistically normal and if the numbers suddenly jump to double the normal is not a slight uptick. Just to make sure you understand, the number of dead (~3000) due to 9/11 can be considered inconsequential when the number is spread over the entire population but I haven't heard anyone calling it that.

    If that constitutes a "wave" of anything, then you should be far more upset at the lack of monthly notices of changes in stuff like crime or immigration which have far wider swings, or even the change in ivermectic overdoses cases before this became news, than this current "wave".

    Which has zero relevance to gullible idiots actually self-medicating using a drug formulated for animal use which is the topic at hand. I'm fully capable of getting upset about other things, but I'm also aware that conflating different things makes for a dishonest argument that has no merit.

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

  37. identicon
    Rocky, 10 Sep 2021 @ 2:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    Which was what I was getting at. It's so easy to come up with a criticism in hindsight, isn't it...

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

  38. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2021 @ 8:01am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    Wow, this is some next level shit. Not only is the term "horse dewormer" actually in the Rolling Stone headline when first printed before they issued their correction, that headline is reprinted in the techdirt article so by saying that you're claiming I'm wrong and Techdirt/Masnik are wrong.

    You can even pull up the archived version of the Rolling Stone article to see the original title, but you don't even have to go that far. You can just look at the url, which is based on the original title.

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/gunshot-victims-horse-dewormer-ivermectin -oklahoma-hospitals-covid-1220608/

    I'm sure you and PaulT are both wondering how someone like me can so be so insanely out of touch with reality. I hope this allows you to understand how the other side feels occasionally.

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

  39. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2021 @ 8:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    Bodies? The number given was reported cases to poison control of overdoses. It isn't deaths. Some may have died, but definitely not all.

    And 9/11 is an interesting comparison. 9/11 wasn't a regular occurence of people using a prescribed drug with reported overdose cases month by month for the entire year. It was also a significant deviation from the norm in specific locations and instances.

    Someone in another thread of this conversation implied I couldn't tell the difference between mocking people who've overdosed on animal grade medication and a legitimate story. I don't believe that is the case but that sort of argument holds here, there is an obvious difference between 9/11 and ivermectin overdoses and it's interesting that your argument is that difference doesn't exist.

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

  40. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 11 Sep 2021 @ 8:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    I originally made a reply to Rocky below you but it got flagged for review, presumably because I used a four letter word. Just to be sure I thought I'd try a completely straight version. The Rolling Stone article that made national news by repreating the local story did use the term "horse dewormer" in the article. You don't have to believe me, it's literally right there in the Techdirt article, the entire headline reprinted with "horse dewormer" and all. It is the very first sentence in the second paragraph.

    The actual headline if you click on it is difference because Rolling Stone changed it when they updated the story with the details of how wrong it was. However you can still see the original headline if you pull up and archived version of the article. But wait, you don't have to go that far, you just have to look at the link to the article which includes the original headline:

    https://www.rollingstone.com/politics/politics-news/gunshot-victims-horse-dewormer-ivermec tin-oklahoma-hospitals-covid-1220608/

    Either I have an imagine capable of altering reality on the Rolling Stone and Techdirt servers, or "horse dewormer" does actually appear in the original story.

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

  41. identicon
    NoLongerBreathedIn, 11 Sep 2021 @ 8:48am

    It isn’t that simple — but Rolling Stone are trash

    According to Scott Alexander, assuming of course he isn’t spinning things, the doctor said (paraphrased)

    a) “We're having to turn away patients who've been shot.”
    b) “Don't take ivermectin. I've seen some overdose cases.”

    Both of these are true (I assume). Then that hospital jumped in with “We haven't had any ivermectin overdoses here!” which I assume is true but doesn't imply the doctor was wrong (he also works at other hospitals). They weren't mentioned in the original article, either.

    Rolling Stone was lying; nobody else was.

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

  42. identicon
    Rocky, 11 Sep 2021 @ 2:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    When someone use the words "this piece" when commenting on a TD article it's assumed one refers to that. If you meant the Rolling Stones article you should have made it clear you referred to that. If you don't set the correct context, expect pushback when the arguments doesn't make sense.

    Regardless, one of the primary uses of Ivermectin formulated for animals is for deworming and when someone talks about that formulation it's not inaccurate to refer to it as a "horse dewormer". That the Rolling Stones article was built upon hearsay doesn't change that, and it doesn't either change the fact that there are people who self-medicate with the version formulated for animals and I have no compunctions at talking down to those idiots.

    That Rolling Stones was caught with their pants down also deserves scorn, it shows a distinct lack of journalistic integrity. One of the basic tenets in journalism is that you verify if a story is true before publishing it.

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

  43. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 12 Sep 2021 @ 3:24am

    Re: Re: Re: Horse Dewormer wasn't a clue?

    [Hallucinates facts not in evidence]

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

  44. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Sep 2021 @ 9:50am

    ZOMBIE pops out in DULL Maz piece after NINE YEAR dirt nap:

    Hulser: 810 (66 avg highly misleading!), NINE YEAR GAP to '21! 27 May 2009 https://www.techdirt.com/user/hulser

    IF any new readers: may be difficult to believe, but THIS IS TYPICAL TECHDIRT. I have a list of dozens with LONG gaps. Old "accounts" appear (usually just ONCE) without explanation, without mention were gone and gee the site has dwindled, nor mention of all passwords reset of 2017, NOTHING, just comment as if fully current and to return after NINE years isn't remarkable at all!

    There's only ONE explanation: ASTRO-TURFING BY TECHDIRT WITH FULL KNOWLEDGE OF RE-WRITERS AND THE MAZ. Probably they're doing it, because who else would invest the time?

    This is NOT a normal site, but the most orthodox "tech" site you can find: only the corporatist / globalist viewpoint is allowed. Techdirt has an agenda to push. It's now visibly totally biased. Astro-turfing is an obvious method to push agenda -- and a corporatist by definition has no moral objections to merely tricking readers.

    It's so obviously astro-turfing that is never even denied by the most ardent of fanboys, let alone has Techdirt / Maz ever commented on this phenomenon, it's ignored or at most diverted from. Techdirt has long since intentionally run off all reasonable people so now NEEDS comments to look at all active.

    Zombies have been popping up since early 2017. Long gaps showed up after Techdirt was obviously declining (the motive). By no coincidence Techdirt then did a total password reset based on "hacking", consistent with a warning system and excuse just in case some real person did complain after account was taken over. -- Of course we don't know that those accounts were EVER real.

    YOUR QUESTION: why does Techdirt continue astro-turfing when SO obvious and long exposed? -- Maz is arrogant beyond all, and a legalist too (exactly like Bill Clinton), so thinks that if not admitted, it's not known true, so he's in the clear! -- Maz can't grasp that only works in a court setting: in real life, thousands of readers, hundreds of actual accounts, have decided to SHUN him.

    Regardless of all else, "Hulser" gives you TWO UNDENIABLE FACTS: 1) hasn'tcommented since the first Obama admin! 2) No one else will even admit it's ODD. Read this site for a while and you too will conclude is astro-turfing.

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

  45. icon
    Hulser (profile), 30 Sep 2021 @ 12:01pm

    Re: ZOMBIE pops out in DULL Maz piece after NINE YEAR dirt nap:

    You know another possible reason someone might have a really long gap in posts? People's interests change over time. You've never participated in an online community, dropped out of it, and came back later? Merely because I don't read TechDirt as much as I used to or felt a need to reply to an article in a long time, doesn't prove that TechDirt is posting fake articles. I saw an article and felt like I had a comment to contribute. Simple as that.

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

  46. icon
    PaulT (profile), 2 Oct 2021 @ 4:29am

    Re: ZOMBIE pops out in DULL Maz piece after NINE YEAR dirt nap:

    "2) No one else will even admit it's ODD."

    Because it's not. The only odd thing is the obsessive lunatic who goes on random rants on weeks-old threads because the posting habits of other users reflect they have a life elsewhere.

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


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