BS Detector

BSWhen I was teaching informal logic, I would tell my students that the purpose of the course was to plant a BS Detector in their brains. Now more than ever it seems that we all need such a device. Social Media has made it easier than ever to spread false information.

Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University have begun tracking, in real time, cases of false news and the stories debunking them as they travel across the internet. The project will culminate in a paper due for publication in 2015.

One of the researchers involved in the study is Craig Silverman from Montreal. Want to learn about a document which allegedly recounts Jesus resuscitating a stillborn baby and handing him back to his mother?  It was reported by World News Daily Report on Oct. 4. Or, the woman who spent $20,000 to have a third breast implanted?

Check out the site Emergent. Emergent shows how false news stories typically are reposted at a higher rate than all the articles debunking them put together, as in the examples here.

NB Thanks to Tara for the BS meter!

 

6 thoughts on “BS Detector

    • Aha, good idea! Especially on Facebook. And speaking of Fb, here’s a comment from a former student (SOB): Len Peters: I took that course with you, and my BS Detector has been a finely honed instrument every since, Bob Lane!

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Pingback: On BS Detectors | Episyllogism

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