Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Google To Be Our New Purveyor Of The Truth

No one will dispute the interwebs are stuffed full with non-sense, mis-information and propaganda from every direction. Until now it was up to us to use our common sense to decide what we believe, or choose not to believe. But Internet giant Google, who's data bases most search engines access for searches will soon be our new truth squad, keeping us safe from lies and deceit. They have devised a fix..... 

From NewScientist
Google's search engine currently uses the number of incoming links to a web page as a proxy for quality, determining where it appears in search results. So pages that many other sites link to are ranked higher. This system has brought us the search engine as we know it today, but the downside is that websites full of misinformation can rise up the rankings, if enough people link to them.
A Google research team is adapting that model to measure the trustworthiness of a page, rather than its reputation across the web. Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. "A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy," says the team (arxiv.org/abs/1502.03519v1). The score they compute for each page is its Knowledge-Based Trust score.
The software works by tapping into the Knowledge Vault, the vast store of facts that Google has pulled off the internet.
Wait...wait..do they mean the same Internet full of false and misleading information....
There are already lots of apps that try to help internet users unearth the truth. Emergent, a project from the Tow Center for Digital Journalism at Columbia University, New York, pulls in rumours from trashy sites, then verifies or rebuts them by cross-referencing to other sources.
LazyTruth developer Matt Stempeck, now the director of civic media at Microsoft New York, wants to develop software that exports the knowledge found in fact-checking services such as Snopes, PolitiFact and FactCheck.org so that everyone has easy access to them. He says tools like LazyTruth are useful online, but challenging the erroneous beliefs underpinning that information is harder. "How do you correct people's misconceptions? People get very defensive," Stempeck says. "If they're searching for the answer on Google they might be in a much more receptive state."
That should make you feel better.  You will soon have "Guardians of Truth" looking out for you.....truth merchants like Google and their  Knowledge-Base, Snopes.com, PoliticalFact and FactCheck.org. to name a few. 

I have to admit, Snopes.com is a good source for confirming if male Bigfoot do indeed have three testicles or not, or if the rat droppings in your box of Special K cereal will cause your internal organs to turn to mush and make your head explode.  But they have a known to trip over themselves to spin embarrassing statements of left leaning politicians and celebrities.   

PolitiFact is part of the Poynter Institute, a school for journalists in St. Petersburg, Fla. and known for a such a  marked ideological bias, that a website was created to fact-check the fact checkers.    The Tampa Bay Times, which produces the PolitFact Truth-o-Meter, has not endorsed a single Republican candidate this century for any of the three most important positions on the Florida election ballot.  

FactCheck.org  is Project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center. That should be all you need to know there. They are firmly in the Global Warming camp and many of the PBS media commentators of the past are entrenched in the works. A little time on their pages give no doubt which way their unbiased fact-checking leans. 

So have no fear Truth Seekers, in the future your Internet searches will be fact checked for righteousness by the 'Holders of the Truth'. And now that 'We The People' in Washington have set the Internet free from oppression, in your  more receptive state" the Giants at Google will guarantee it's truthfulness for all.

Long Live Google, and Power to the Correct People!