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User Verified Fake News Moderation System Idea


I suggest (for the tech gurus out there) developing and implementing the following open source user run fake news moderation system (as a module or addon):

Add a user verified fact check flag (not the same as the reporting option) with three states: opinion, submitted for fact check, user verified. The default state is opinion on all posts.

Any user can publicly flag a post to be fact checked but that user must also provide the fact check as a comment. (Simply flagging is insufficient since one must be a part of the solution to not be a part of the problem.)

The original post is then automatically moved to a fact check team moderator account so it is seen by all users that follow it as members of a "fact check team". (Comments are disabled when the flag is set for fact check and the original post cannot be liked, disliked, or shared while in this account being "moderated" over the course of ten business days.)

Fact check team members can like or dislike the fact check comment to "vote" in support of the fact check or not.

The original poster is... show more
This entry was edited (2 months ago)

How will the fact check be conducted? Is it enough to attach a link to the "official" source?
Which sources will be considered reliable - British, USAmerican, Russian or Vietnamese?
As i understand it, this system will allows you to check the "officiallity" of the news, but not their "fakesty".

This is a user run verification system. The person submitting a post for fact check is providing the information. I could even submit my own post to be fact checked to get user votes on it so it can be user verified. Others could do the same initially or subsequently if new information is available countering the original user verification. If my original post provides a link to factual information, it is not as likely to be flagged. Will people attempt to game the system? Sure they will. But the ability to have subsequent fact check requests puts the power back into the hands of users to counter the gaming.
This entry was edited (2 months ago)

@Shelenn Ayres i do not understand how will the fact check be conducted.
How is the "fact check team" different from ordinary experts? Why their checking could be trusted?

Example: let's say someone who is an anti-vaxxer makes a post citing pseudoscience or simply stating something that has been debunked by peer reviewed research or scientific fact. Rather than leaving it up to a single moderator or fact checker to read and moderate every post, someone who has read the post that believes the original post is fake news can submit it to be fact checked. The submission requires the person requesting the fact check provide the factual information showing why they believe it is fake news.

The "fact check team" consists of moderators who own the moderation account and all users who follow that account so they can vote on posts that have been flagged for fact check.

Second example: a user posts inaccurate information about a political candidate's record. Another user flags it to be fact checked and provides accurate information from the candidate's congressional track record. The "fact check team" reads the new information provided checking it themselves then votes.

During the moderation period, the post is not visible to the public - on... show more

@Shelenn Ayres
Example: let's say someone who is an anti-vaxxer
Sounds great. Can i ask you for an experiment to do fact-check for all the comments from this post? This is just the case.
makes a post citing pseudoscience
But what about fringe science? Is it permissible?
or simply stating something that has been debunked by peer reviewed research or scientific fact
Sorry, but it looks like neoliberal censorship method.
Please look to this article: https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2019/01/08/author-recent-academic-hoax-faces-disciplinary-action-por... show more

Clearly you misunderstand the original post. Perhaps someone else can help explain it. Your reference to neoliberal is a clue to your perspective. This idea is entirely apolitical with full transparency and fairness on all sides.

Science requires peer review and repeatable experiments to validate results. Pseudo- or fringe science (they are the same thing) is defined as science that is not valid so if that is challenged by peer reviewed science and accepted fact, the fact check team decides which is fact and which is fiction. Otherwise, expert services have to be paid for, admin salaries have to be funded because the time and labor is excessive interfering with their ability to pay bills, and users will not be able to use services for free without ads or other monetization (which is antithetical to the free social network concept).
This entry was edited (2 months ago)

I love this idea and one of my delusions of grandeur is to make an argument forum that can resolve all but intractable arguments. However, please be advised...

In all human history a cycle exists:
  • A Society or Group forms for a common good to protect itself from some greater harm to its members.
  • This group attains some modicum of power and/or influence to do good for its members.
  • Corrupt nefarious entities recognize and desire that power.
  • Said corrupt entities usurp control of the system or cause chaos within the system to redirect its effectiveness for selfish antisocial reasons.
  • goto 1
This entry was edited (2 months ago)

Yes we know human nature. The idea is to be transparent putting the power in the hands of the users. My idea is general enough to address potential gaming of the system which in turn is addressed by subsequent flagging. Something is better than nothing at this point. Currently, admins have the power to control users without public redress. Users have the power to move or create their own node. However, admins have the power to block entire nodes as well. This is a private space but most admins like myself would like it to be monitored by the community and not a single admin. Policies have to be enforced if they exist and that requires a lot of labor to read every post as a node grows (in addition to administrative labor and costs to provide the service for others to use for free). It is not feasible to expect any admin to have time to review and address every single post even on a small node. My idea is to crowdsource in a fully transparent manner that would be spelled out in the terms.

@Shelenn Ayres
Clearly you misunderstand the original post.
I ask you to clarify to me what i did not understand.
Perhaps someone else can help explain it.
Your last sentence is an invitation to discuss and clarify. I appeal to you, Shelenn.
Your reference to neoliberal is a clue to your perspective. This idea is entirely apolitical with full transparency and fairness on all sides.
If this is so, then i ask you not to be irresponsible, and directly answer the questions that i asked you in the previous message (about fringe science and Western Academies).
And i also ask you to fulfill my request - to carry out a test "check the facts" of the link - which i left to you about vaccination. Using your method.

I am fulfilling your request for "Any critiques, ideas". Please reciprocate me and fulfill my request and answer the questions. Please do not be irresponsible. Thank you in advance for this.

Asking to carry out a test makes it clear you do not understand the original post. My attempts to clarify have failed. It does seem there may be a language barrier no offense intended. Reading the posts from ivan it is clear some translation is involved.

If anyone else who better understands the original post, and speaks ivan's native language, wants to help ivan understand it would be greatly appreciated. Ivan your questions have been answered, a test is not feasible and irrelevant to the original post, and with this system, you would optionally be able like any other user to join the "fact check team" so that your vote counts. Crowd sourcing also helps the crowd learn facts and prevents the spread of fake news.

Just on the science topic we know there is a certain amount of fraud and paid for research. A lot of money and the status quo depends on it. But the thing is we can never know how much deception or poor science is really happening. It is impossible to quantify all of it. So, to depend on someone or some organization to give the ultimate yea or nay for a topic of discussion is very presumptuous. How could they know the unknowable answer despite the potential conflicts of interest that are at play. How does public know that this censoring body is itself not compromised. You can't really trust anyone a 100%.
The only chance at getting closer to the real facts is to allow people to investigate and discuss and challenge whatever the topic and come with their own conclusions. It may be inconvenient for groups that want a homogeneous message but if we really want the truth it is out there and the more people look for it the better off we are as a society.

Those are valid points but the proliferation of fake news in social media has shown us the far reaching negative impact on society - everything from discrimination to murder. This idea directly allows the "fact check team" (crowd sourcing) to settle disputes when a post is challenged as not factual yet removes it from public view while in dispute. Anyone can be involved on any side allowing direct participation and transparency.

Some companies and organizations have attempted to supply expert fact checking, flags on posts, flags on images, flags on videos, etc. Some of these experts have been shown to have bias in their determinations. Some companies are relying on more than one fact check source they pay to review content for them. But in all cases, these are private spaces where the owners of those spaces have the legal right to restrict content.

What we've learned as a society over the past few years (due to technology exploitation) is we must come up with a system that: puts the power regarding user generated content into the hands of the users rather than corpora... show more
This entry was edited (2 months ago)

I agree with Korn a bit on his (Just on the science topic) but not as a rule. The non-perfect system of peer-reviewed journals does have some disinformation slip through. It doesn't mean we toss the baby with the bath water. If our society didn't have so much "Publish or Perish" in academia, a lot less disinformation might exist in the journals. If the pride of existing experts in a field didn't blind them to new evidence refining their model, we would be far ahead of where we are today. If there were laws against industry paying for research to make them look good, disinformation from academia may not exist.

I diverge mostly on the idea of letting people investigate and come up with their own conclusions. First, we are evolutionarily modified to look for confirming evidence not disproving evidence, so if something isn't flagged as unverified beforehand the likers will run with it and never look back. Second, were mostly stretched to our limits, so don't have time to check things; typical people stop at the headline and run with that. I've shown many people that the c... show more

I agree these are valid points of concern. But I also have a little faith in the user population and let's not forget the moderators that own the account used for the fact check team are there to address concerns. The idea is not asking the fact check team to become fact checkers. It is asking the team to review both sides of an argument presented regarding whether a top post is true or not.

For example, as a team member I am going to read what is posted and compare that to what is submitted.

If what was submitted is opinion without factual sources, I would vote dislike on the submission (no) because it does not prove the original post is not true. (Sort of like innocent until proven guilty.)

If what is submitted is a direct factual debunk of the original post and I believe that source is legitimate (like a congressional record, NOAA data, etc), I am going to like (vote yes) the submission provided proof the original post was fake news.

So let's look at a science topic: I totally agree that we have far too much money influence in academia and research. B... show more
This entry was edited (2 months ago)

You made me think of a work queue with that last post. Also, are you using the word posted as the top node of the thread, and submitted as comments linked to the top node?

So a work queue of posts to check would be formed by any member of any status flagging a Post or Submission and anybody with fact-check status can put their time in on evaluating that queue. Within the queue, any member that's a potential "carrier" (human virus), i.e. a person with many followers, would have higher priority and so be worked on first.

OH that sounds like a good idea setting priority by potential views!

On the other question, I originally hadn't thought of comment posts - only top posts. But I suppose comment posts should be subject to fact check submissions as well if we are to be thorough.

How about levels of prestige for the fact-check people, like that ring of trust thing does. Members who can be contacted in real life get more weight than anonymous types. Members of the domain are higher than non-members.

This whole problem is hard because truths are at most countably infinite, but fiction is at minimum uncountably infinite. Fake stories and supporting arguments for fake claims can grow exponentially fast whereas fact checking is complicated and moves slowly and linearly.

The idea of flagging with a quote of the disputed claim is great because it makes a hard problem of mere flagging with no specifics into a solvable problem of verifying a single specific statement. Thus a fact check flag should be only permitted with accompanying of a single statement in the content that needs checking. One user would possibly place many flags on a single post. Other users would agree with the challenge, or disagree and add a mandatory link to some evidence or a post outlining why they think the original claim is defendable.

The whole challenge and counter sho... show more

"Participation Badging" is certainly viable and a proven positive approach in general for social media or games. This is a great idea!

However, rewarding submissions for fact checking would reward a user for submitting a fact check on a false post as well as someone submitting a fact check on a true post. So I am not sure about that reward.

If we reward users every time one of their original posts get a user verified status (considered NOT fake news by the fact check team), we may generate more work than the team can handle within the moderation period BUT it would lead to a lot more user verified content. So this might be a good approach and is positive reinforcement. This wouldn't necessarily need to be a badge reward but simply information on a users profile showing how many user verified top posts they have.

Regarding the challenge itself, as a rule the fact check team would presume the original post is true then consider the information provided by the user requesting the fact check. Some will be clear cut while others will be a matter of opinion and not cle... show more

@Shelenn Ayres
Asking to carry out a test makes it clear you do not understand the original post
Not this way. A request for a test is an attempt to demonstrate that you approach this issue in advance from the biased positions. ("anti-vaxx is fakenews and needed for checking, but pro-vaxx is not")
My attempts to clarify have failed.
You have not even tried. I asked you specific questions, you ignored it. I'll repeat:

How will the fact check be conducted? Is it enough to attach a link to the "official" source?
and
> makes a post citing pseudoscience
But what about fringe science? Is it permissible?


This is an important questions. The answer to which can show the motivation of your initiative. I ask you again: please do not be irresponsible, answer it. Thank you in advance.
It does seem there may be a language barrier no offense intended.
No, it is not. Please do not build th... show more

While I believe you do not intend to offend me, you are. I do not intend to offend you, but apparently I am. This is directly related to cultural differences and a language barrier that became obvious to me in your sentence structure that English is not your first language. You do very well but there are some obvious meanings getting lost in translation. I am deferring to others who may better understand the original post who speak your native language as a way to avoid further offense. I cannot provide a test of a system that does not exist. The way the system is intended to work is presented and clarified with many examples and being discussed. Quoting me out of context is not helpful.

@Shelenn Ayres you again ignored my questions, very sorry.

You invite to criticism and ideas, i fulfilled your request.

So in result i offended you with this. Sorry for that.

But this is not a constructive discussion, it is some kind of emotion.

I don't really have time for this, but Ivan, I believe initially you were asking Shelenn to perform a service with a system that does not yet exist.
Can i ask you for an experiment to do fact-check for...

And to perform the non-existent service on content that has been widely debunked for a long time now.

Your dialogue on this thread doesn't seem to have an attitude of productive collaboration. I could be wrong.

People can produce their own proof of Russell's Teapot very rapidly in this modern age of Photoshop. Unverifiable claims are fictional on their face. e.g. you can open any physics book and reproduce the experiments yourself to verify them, but claims in holy books cannot be reproduced so they are unverifiable.

I have a couple of final thoughts on this topic. It is a noble aspiration to try and vet topics and information but I just can't see any hope of this working. When you sort through lazy journalism, intent of vested interests and then lack of expertise by people in a certain topic it becomes a giant rabbit hole where most people don't want to go. Then add the hypnotising power of dogma, interpretation of events or data, media and special interest groups. The resulting consensus is not what I would find palatable at all and I would not accept it.

Appreciate your thoughts. I do think you might be overthinking it since the vast majority of posts will not be submitted for fact checking. I do think we should add another result though based your inputs. Rather than simply is it true or is it fake news. We will have to include opinion because sometimes articles are simply that - opinion and not fact. So it can be reverted to opinion if the team determines it is neither fact nore fake news. This covers the lazy journalism and people attempting to game the system.