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Questionable Sources

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posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 01:43 PM
Quite often, someone will start a thread on a story by quoting a source like PRAVDA or India Daily.

As a result, multiple posts show up saying why these sources are untrustworthy...

But should it matter?

The sources of material have been (imho) a constant sore spot over the year (and change) I've been here simply because members have differing opinions - either due to political ideologies or their science/religious inclinations and, as they take their material out of these divided media camps, they are then open to conflict solely due the source of the story.

I'm suggesting that the source of a story is a non-issue and posters should avoid pointing out what is or isn't a reliable source. After all, if we shouldn'd debate a PRAVDA story, then why would we debate something that comes out of the UFO online community? Wherever a story comes from is moot...the story sinks or swims by whatever civilized debate would naturally follow when it appears in a new thread.

Babies and bathwater come to mind.

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 01:48 PM
Good point. A story came out the other day that had Rense as it's source. It was corroberated by another member that this story was in fact, true. As with all things, take with a grain of salt but to outright dismiss something on the basis of the source is to blind.

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 01:59 PM
Yes and no.

Here's the way I see it: the source is important to the extent that there is a question of outright fabrication of facts, details, or even the entire story.

Short of that, I can hang with non-mainstream sources when it comes to non-mainstream sources. Afterall, if I has hanging out near the Marine base at 29 Palms, and saw something strange in the sky, then had Department of Homeland Security show up at my house and grill me over it, and posted the whole story here: well I know it happened, but to a lot of people, ATS isn't a reliable source! Ooops.

What concerns me about India Daily is that it that their stories tend to contain no verifiable facts, and that statements made "on the background" are not handled with proper journalistic professionalism. For instance, they will not tell you "A physicist educated at XYZ University who declined to be named said..." they'll just say "scientists say". This makes the development of the story by the reader's outside searching or knowledge impossible. I can't say for sure that they outright fabricate their sources, but the little alarm in my head does chirp a bit.

For this reason, I always like "unreliable sources" better when they sound VERY REMOTELY similiar to the sanitized news in mainstream sources, or if they seem relevant to some kind of denial campaign that I can see in action, or if they explain a verifiable event, etc etc. I need one point of contact with reality at all times- I don't think that's asking much.

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 04:29 PM
I agree that the story is more important than the source and that sometimes sources with low credibility post accurate material. In those cases, however, there is usually some corroboration in the media.

I'm responding here because I posted a cautionary note in your thread regarding the Shroud of Turin. So, to use that as a case in point, the Shroud of Turin is a very controversial subject that has been drubbed to death practically, subjected to various scientific inquiries, is the object of faith for many, and has been variously deemed authentic and a hoax by almost everyone who has ever heard of it.

So, when you have a situation like that, you need a good source, especially if it involves extraordinary claims. Pravda has earned a reputation for publishing the most outrageous material ever published and many members here have been embarrassed for having fallen for some of their stories. So, don't be offended if a member comes forward to caution you about the source for your material. They're probably just trying to help.

What chaps my behind is when certain among us discount an article just because the source is a certain outlet, like World Net Daily, which publishes AP reports just like ABC, CNN or Fox. Still, when citing a source, experience has taught me to cite ABC before WND.

[edit on 2006/3/4 by GradyPhilpott]

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 05:13 PM
Corroboration is very important. Even corroboration only in part. Not all good news comes from AP or Reuters, but often enough there will be some covered event which at least somewhat corroborates more fringe stories.

For instance:
India Daily reports that the Indian Airforce has shot down a UFO.

Reuters reports that the Indian Airforce scrambled fighters against a possible Pakistani violation of their airspace, and Pakistan denies the whole incident.

Conclusion: something happened.

World Net Daily reports that a liberal doctor tried to kill Harry Whittingon so that Cheney could be accused of Manslaughter.

The AP reports that Whittington is being moved to another hospital.

Conclusion: Something may have happened.

On the other hand, if Pravda reports that a flying purple people eater is currently in the process of eating George Bush's skull, and AP reports the Bush, skull and all, gave a speech today- nothing happened.

posted on Mar, 4 2006 @ 10:06 PM
Something should not be dismissed by its source. Although I would like to see some firsthand intel coming from members

posted on Mar, 5 2006 @ 01:48 PM
Actually, as I've already pretty well said, I WOULD use Weekly World News- IF I had corroboration of some kind.

posted on Mar, 8 2006 @ 06:52 AM
I don't think there is a better example on ATS right now of what I'm suggesting.

Should the 'high class hooker' story be ignored simply because of its origins in GLP or is every such story worth following up on because it is interesting, or has important ramifications?

posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 06:20 PM
I totally disagree.

Whats more important the story or the truth?

If you want to debate stories, tehn I am sure you would feel at home on a Sci Fiction forum (maybe with a trekie shirt on and your own communicator)

What is the crucual aspect of discerning truth from fakes?

The source.

Rense and Indiadaily are known to fabricate their own stories, to ignore their past history and just focus on the story is to waste your time and energy chasing fabrications made by people who want to promote their sites and make money. There are enough people selling books out there with the same agenda.

India Daily and Rense have lost all credability as a source, all respect as a form of reliable news. Its merely food for the gullible, a feast for the niave.

Debate it if you wish but at the same level of "Are Klingons real", not reality.

posted on Mar, 14 2006 @ 06:45 PM

Originally posted by Netchicken

Whats more important the story or the truth?

The truth... but the story is the way to the truth through research and debate. If truth were always evident, ATS would cease to exist because it depends on stories to debate. It would be nothing but ATSNN.

If you want to debate stories, tehn I am sure you would feel at home on a Sci Fiction forum (maybe with a trekie shirt on and your own communicator)

I'm sorry...I don't understand why you think that way. If there is nothing to debate, why bother having a website dedicated to debunking conspiracy theories?

What is the crucual aspect of discerning truth from fakes?

Debate and research. not "The source"... to me it's inconsequential whether I hear a story from my next door neighbour or CNN...if it's interesting enough, I'm willing to check into it.

Debate it if you wish but at the same level of "Are Klingons real", not reality.

What is this thing with Star Trek(?)...I'm no Trekkie, Netchicken.


posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 04:26 AM
Heh, I meant by my words masque that if the source is not worthy then why even credit the story as being worth debating?

The perfect example being the story on India Daily about India developing anti gravity craft.

So what would be the first thing to investigate when you read this?

1 can you build Anti gravity craft
2 can India build such craft
3 is there any evidence of such craft,
4 would you like rogan gosh or butter chicken with a garlic naan?
5 just who made this story and how much do you trust them as honest?

Unless you hit #5 first then you are wasting your time on 1, 2 and 3, and might as well order out for 4.

posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 05:29 AM
Consider The Source

Sources matter, and their credibility does make a difference.

I am highly suspicious of the so-called "mainstream media" (or "MSM"), but I am even more suspicious of other "news" outlets that have a track record of pushing fiction as fact.

Some "alternative" sources do seem to try to present facts, or at least label questionable sources honestly, but they are in the minority.

As for how that should be handled on ATS, I think the way things are now is fine.

Members are free to use whatever sources they want, and other members are free to decide for themselves if they are credible -- and support or criticize them accordingly.

Certainly, there is no shortage of threads based on dubious sources, and lately it seems like the percentage of "lies for profit" material being posted on ATS is rising, but ultimately it's up to each member to decide what's credible or not.

Caveat membor.

posted on Mar, 15 2006 @ 11:33 AM
Sources which people dismiss are not worthy are the very ones who get the stories out first. Days later you see it in credible sources such as...
whatever that might be.

Its ridiculous to throw a good story in the so called Bastard child of ATS (PTS) just because someone decides its not credible.

Give the story a chance. I admit, the stories are getting more and more bizarre, ignorant, ludicrous, but those are the times we live in.


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