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Fact checking the MSM

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posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:16 PM
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Okay - I'd like to put together a "fact sheet" on checking stories we see here on ATS and I'd like to know how YOU fact-check a story.

For example - on "Breaking News" they're quoting stories from CNN (Russian plane disappears), Express (a British tabloid), RT (a Russian owned news site), Fox, Infowars (which was quoting another site), etc.

At the same time I see "Lol MSM" posts going around.

So let's say a news story shows up like this one about zip ties being used for snow chains - or this story from CNN about Republicans backing out of cutting the office of Ethics after Trump calls them out and I want to fact check it.

"Lol MSM" suggests that I can't trust either of these stories, but let's say that something in the article makes me want to double check them.
- what original sources are best for fact-checking these articles (if Infowars quotes a CNN article, should I trust CNN because Infowars did?)
- are there any particular writers or editors who are more trustworthy?
- what are the best conservative news checking sites?

I think that learning what ATS considers a "good source" can help everyone. Many of us rely on mainstream media, but if it's not to be trusted we should know where to go to check their facts.




posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:39 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

There is a link to Oregon's chain law in the article you linked to or you could call the Oregon highway police if you want a direct source. Or are you thinking zip ties are possibly actual chains? In that case, google 'tire chains' for images of what they look like -- you can purchase them online.

With regard to the ethics office article, most of the sourcing is a matter of public record. How you feel about it is entirely up to you. Personally, I don't think ethics matter to Democrats or Republicans in Congress, at all, so I am no more outraged than I have ever been.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:43 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

I know of Zero source that have been credible and unbiased on wide ranges of issues.

my first rule is the language. You can read 3 sentences in a row and think it's saying the person named did some action, but if you read even more carefully that person was being acted on. If I see any deliberate sterring away from truth such as that article is done son.

So I look at loose language made to imply something..
I look at sources next. Usually the story changes when you get back to the root source, and usually that root source is a writer who sources an "unnamed source" lol..

can't be trusted, but then you can compare it to other news sites.

if I mix RT and NBC and FOX and they all say similar things I can be pretty sure the article is true.
If I see a Russian hacking story out of CNN it holds 10 times less weight than if I see a Russian hacking story out of RT.

so part of my fact checking goes like if I know your bias and you are reporting against your bias it's more likely it's a true story.

I look at patterns of news froma certain source are they following a train of stories where the first one used deliberately confusing language and sort of going from there? Then the new stories should be more heavily scrutinized.

That's basically it for me. There is not a story from anyone that I'll read and think it's correct without lots of search engine check ups. Generally 3 sources minimum for me. And if it's just one source then lots of cross referencing unrelated stories that would say if that story is likely or not to be possible. So that one is like a story about putin in a plane crash, but I know from other articles that he wasn't even in that country at the time, so that story is false.

I research for fun these days. Can't afford to get brainwashed haha..
my methods are a bit loose but they work the way I need them to.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:46 PM
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With what I have seen in the last 20 or so years since I was taking a serious interest into what the hell is going on I have simply come to the conclusion that I can only trust "some" of what I have witnessed and experienced and just take everything I read with a pinch of salt.

I honestly believe the day of a news broadcaster simply telling the facts are long gone, (Maybe it never even happened that way anyway)...

You will always have people that view things with there own agenda in mind regardless of how independent they claim to be..


RA


edit on 3-1-2017 by slider1982 because: (no reason given)

edit on 3-1-2017 by slider1982 because: added

edit on 3-1-2017 by slider1982 because: added



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:51 PM
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I don't really trust any information I read... I always do my own fact checking by reading multiple sources (both liberal and conservative bias) and then try to ask my own questions and come to my own logical conclusions about whatever the topic may be.

Far too many people just accept what they are told as truth.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:52 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

Regarding the zip tie story: According to the article the police used social media. Check said social media, contact the department and ask if they can confirm that the account is official, and that they actually have witness someone using zip ties for snow chains.

Regarding the ethics story: Go to Congress' site and check the logs of votings. Then check Trump's twitter feed to see if he actually did speak out against the decision to "gut the office of Ethics".


And in general the below steps goes a long way:

1)
Trace the sources. Often it means going back 3 or 4 links in the chain. Many papers sites other papers and other articles instead of the actual, initial source. Going back to the original source provides context and expanded information.

2)
Google the sources. What do we know about the persons making the claim? Do they have a history of being this or that? In essence, determine their credibility.

)3.1
Reach out to the sources. Several stories about hate crimes was debunked last year simply by reaching out the lokale police. In some cases all it took was tweets.

3.2)
Reach out to the journalists. They have editors. The editors have bosses. The bosses have opinions. The journalists may not be responsible for the angle, and they may be willing to privately state that, yes, the story is biased - or the opposite, that they can vouch for it. (I have done that - you would be surprised how much their integrity matters to a lot of msn journalists)

4)
If the story relies on 'findings', trace it. Find the actual report or the actual study - just reading the abstract can often tell you if a news story is cherry picking / misrepresenting the findings.

5) If possible, contact people in the area. Twitter makes that relatively simple. Do local people corroborate the story?

5)
Use common sense. Does the story fit everything else that you know to be true? If so, well, it adds to the credibility. Otherwise it subtracts.



edit on 3-1-2017 by DupontDeux because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 12:53 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

We threw around a few ideas here.....

www.abovetopsecret.com...



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:01 PM
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originally posted by: DupontDeux
a reply to: Byrd

Regarding the zip tie story: According to the article the police used social media. Check said social media, contact the department and ask if they can confirm that the account is official, and that they actually have witness someone using zip ties for snow chains.



That's the thing about the zip tie story. The social media post didn't even accuse people of using zip ties. It just said, "Don't be this guy, etc..."



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:13 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

Personally, i'd recommend forgetting the MSM altogether, deliberate lies and a token sliver of truth just to keep it from being so absolutely obvious it would be totally ridiculous...complete waste of time IMO.

People would be much better off coming to sites like ATS, members here quite often have the news released, analysed and either marked for further research needed or put to bed as fake or close to it, well before the useless MSM most of the time, days sooner sometimes.

If nothing else, most news stories gets a thorough seeing to, and put through the wringer by seasoned and perceptive members leaving the majority (not all of course, we're only Human) of fake news in the bin before it has a chance to propagate.


edit on 3 1 2017 by MysterX because: typo



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:13 PM
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originally posted by: MotherMayEye
a reply to: Byrd

There is a link to Oregon's chain law in the article you linked to or you could call the Oregon highway police if you want a direct source. Or are you thinking zip ties are possibly actual chains? In that case, google 'tire chains' for images of what they look like -- you can purchase them online.

With regard to the ethics office article, most of the sourcing is a matter of public record. How you feel about it is entirely up to you. Personally, I don't think ethics matter to Democrats or Republicans in Congress, at all, so I am no more outraged than I have ever been.


The problem with this is that, in a discussion here on ATS I really don't have the time to call the highway patrol and check (if they answered me at all.) And if I want to discuss the ethics office article, I don't want to cite something only to be told "LOL, MSM!"

So... when I'm trying to engage in a debate with someone - what sources should I use? I notice that you dismiss MSM articles a lot of times. If I was offering a counterpoint to something you were remarking on, what sites would be good to research. What sites would you trust?

Surely there's some sites where you get news and opinion and you think they're relatively trustworthy.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:15 PM
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a reply to: Reverbs

I didn't even get into my main focus. The thing I watch for the most.

Soundbites, buzz words, catchphrases, emotional trigger short cuts in the human psyche..

That Pavlovian response just kills me every time.

News was once upon a time a tool to "inform the masses"

Now it is behavior modification mixed with marketing mixed with emotional triggers.

not to mention it's a hive of repetition with no critical analysis.




posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:17 PM
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a reply to: Reverbs

Completely agree mate.

Especially about the behaviour modification, but not forgetting the obvious political bias we've all just been bombarded with.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:18 PM
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originally posted by: DupontDeux
a reply to: Byrd

Regarding the zip tie story: According to the article the police used social media. Check said social media, contact the department and ask if they can confirm that the account is official, and that they actually have witness someone using zip ties for snow chains.
...
(etc)


But if someone's discussing something here on ATS, that could be difficult to do (find the time to look up the police department, call them, check the social media, etc, etc.)

That's why I'm asking "without spending hours or days trying to verify a story, what sources are good ones that should be used to see if a story's true or garbage?"



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:19 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

If fact checking content matters to me, then I will find the time to fact check. That includes writing open records requests for information.

No source should be entirely relied on nor dismissed outright. The content the source offers should be fact checked if it matters to you.

For example, I have fact checked certain information and found it to be contrary to what Factcheck.org has offered. I believe my own factchecking over their's on this particular subject.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:21 PM
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originally posted by: MysterX
a reply to: Byrd
People would be much better off coming to sites like ATS...


But if you look at the "Breaking News" and other sections here, you will see that they are just repeating MSM sources in a lot of cases.

How is coming here and reading it from this site different than reading the same article on CNN without coming here?



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

Like i said, whatever the article or story is, 'usually', it's put through the wringer receiving very astute and close scrutiny from very experienced members, but more importantly, there is a plethora of members, all independent and acting as a filter for bias, agendas and so on...what often results is clarification of the story in hours, sometimes even minutes.

Many times over the years i've seen breaking news here, that is to be found nowhere else, even Reuters. It has been analysed and fact checked more so initially by ATS members that the so-called 'finished' broadcast article ever would be.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:25 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

It always depends on the subject matter at hand.

When it's a story about a bill being passed, I always do a search for the actual bill and read the verbiage in the bill to see if it matches with the claim in the article. Often times, the claims are over-exaggerated or downright wrong. Other times they get it correct.

With stories in the Posse Comittatus forum, I always search to see if there is a longer version of a video, or I search to see how laws govern police and civilian actions/rights in order to see if particular concerns are justified.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that I always try to seek out the original information that is used to construct the foundation of a story. If it's about Republicans jumping ship, I'll look to see if any sitting Republican representatives or senators are commenting on it, and I give a story minimal credence if they cite "anonymous sources" as being their main source of information.

But, really, the best thing to do is give the story time to develop all of the pertinent facts--passing judgment on the validity of a story in the early stages of the reporting will almost always leave you without the full facts. Hell, sometimes it takes years for all of the facts to come to light, although that's relatively uncommon.

So, for the most part, I seek out the original sources on which the foundation of the story is based, and then I try to give it time to develop all of the facts before I decide if we have the whole/valid story or not.

My two cents, anyhow.


edit on 3-1-2017 by SlapMonkey because: there's a difference between "site" and "cite"



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:35 PM
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originally posted by: Byrd

originally posted by: DupontDeux
a reply to: Byrd

Regarding the zip tie story: According to the article the police used social media. Check said social media, contact the department and ask if they can confirm that the account is official, and that they actually have witness someone using zip ties for snow chains.
...
(etc)


But if someone's discussing something here on ATS, that could be difficult to do (find the time to look up the police department, call them, check the social media, etc, etc.)

That's why I'm asking "without spending hours or days trying to verify a story, what sources are good ones that should be used to see if a story's true or garbage?"


Well, the social media page is right there in the article, and the first googlie hit on "California highway patrol" is its website. Right there on the top of the page is the concat button. Click it and there is contact information - phone number, email etc.

We are talking minutes here, not hours - and that is including writing to ask the question. It might take a couple of minutes longer, if you call them up and ask them to confirm or deny (which they likely will be happy to - they would not want someone to impersonate police officers on facebook).

Either way, it should be doable in minutes rather than hours.



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:38 PM
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a reply to: Byrd

I don't have any one site I read but am accumulating a group of authors I trust .New news has the ability to move fast in the grand scheme of things but if it has legs then others better equipped and with the connections can do the leg work . I am not in a rush so most of the stuff doesn't matter to me personally . I guess I look for the counter stories and the points trying to be made . If its a bad Russian good American piece I just toss it .I guess I have invested too much time looking into who the real bad guys are to change my format . cnn and the other msm have lost the narrative for me .Eben my beloved CBC is becoming less and less interesting with their one sided stories .

It just came to me that I had read a good piece on the subject that may help you

‘Fake News’ Mantra Begins My purpose in mentioning Pizzagate details is not to demonstrate the authenticity of the Pizzagate allegations. That others are doing with far more resources. Rather, it is to point out the time synchronicity of the explosive Pizzagate email releases by Julian Assange’s Wikileaks web blog, with the launch of a massive mainstream media and political campaign against what is now being called “Fake News.” The cited New York Times article that Wikipedia cites as “debunking” the Pizzagate allegations states, “None of it was true. While Mr. Alefantis has some prominent Democratic friends in Washington and was a supporter of Mrs. Clinton, he has never met her, does not sell or abuse children, and is not being investigated by law enforcement for any of these claims. He and his 40 employees had unwittingly become real people caught in the middle of a storm of fake news.” The article contains not one concrete proof that the allegations are false, merely quoting Alefantis as the poor victim of malicious Fake News. That New York Times story was accompanied by a series of articles such as “How Fake News Goes Viral: A Case Study.” Another headline reads, “Obama, With Angela Merkel in Berlin, Assails Spread of Fake News.” Then on November 19, strong Clinton supporter, Facebook billionaire Mark Zuckerberg is quoted in a prominent article titled, “Facebook Considering Ways to Combat Fake News, Mark Zuckerberg Says.” journal-neo.org...
William Engdahl is one of those writers I trust and you can see why if you read his stuff .
edit on 3-1-2017 by the2ofusr1 because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 3 2017 @ 01:43 PM
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a reply to: Reverbs


The hallmark channels of our media establishment have been around for many years now, and "programming" is designed to cater to their respective core audiences, as consumption of traditional cable television is waning, and the industry is dying, their writers and producers do whatever they have to do to hold onto their core audiences, and to this end they feel like they have to tell their viewers the same things that they believe and the ideas of which they hold stock.


Zombies turn on their favorite media channel so that they can hear what they want to hear. Your internet usage over time learns about your interests and provides headlines that it knows you will find interesting. People don't want cable television in the numbers that they used to and so they are desperate for ratings.


You know how important it is to cross reference.




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