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Thu Sep 6, 2018, 09:24 PM

The problem with Facebook and truth

Facebook, as we are told, is supposed to be impartial because of algorithms. Algorithms are just fancy words for a mathematical formula that will repeat itself again, based on a set condition:

A famous example is the old song "As In was going to st Ives"

http://mathworld.wolfram.com/StIvesProblem.html

A well-known nursery rhyme states, "As I was going to St. Ives, I met a man with seven wives. Every wife had seven sacks, every sack had seven cats, every cat had seven kitts. Kitts, cats, sacks, wives, how many were going to St. Ives?"

now the page I quoted shows that there is a way to calculate all the variables..to determine just how many kittens, cats, sacks, there are.

However, the trick is: NONE of them were expressly stated to go to St Ives.

OF course, if you are thinking of Die hard, this clip shows why algorithms, without a sense of context, can be deadly when applied outside of math.



In other words, when facebook just says the algorithms make things impartial, that is a lie, because just as the villain in the clip shows, it is easy to use something that looks like a math issue to hide deception. In short, when all the political operatives (of all countries) want to use them to fool people, they make you think the answer is to count how many kittens, sacks, etc, without realizing it is a trick question. Indeed, one of the reasons why Trump wasable to use facebook to trick people is because he knows that rather than call him out for lying, we will neatly do our math, multiplying by seven while Rome Burns.

But getting back to Facebook, Zuckerberg better realize that what he has done is remove a lotof the context from his equations, which means that journalism as a whole has become a trick question. Yes, this is a symptom of the fact that under the current form of capitalism, everything is considered good if there is money made. But if he is serious, he will need to work with the magazine, journalists, professors, and yes even governments, to make sure that these algorithms are not hijacked by a bunch of people who are asking "how many afre going to st ives" knowing full well that is not the answer.

and now, I offer soomeone who stated things in a nicer way, at least nicer than die hard:

6 replies, 495 views

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Arrow 6 replies Author Time Post
Reply The problem with Facebook and truth (Original post)
DonCoquixote Sep 2018 OP
Sherman A1 Sep 2018 #1
msongs Sep 2018 #2
DonCoquixote Sep 2018 #3
Sherman A1 Sep 2018 #6
DonCoquixote Sep 2018 #4
Sherman A1 Sep 2018 #5

Response to DonCoquixote (Original post)

Thu Sep 6, 2018, 09:49 PM

1. I have no problem

with Facebook. It serves my interest in groups for 3 different hobbies very well.

I find out information posted by local museums and libraries about events.

I hear from friends and family.

I keep up with labor groups and some political types.

I fail to understand why this is a problem, but if my interest in 6mm wargaming miniatures and the posts on that group are a problem or the Author presentation at the local library is so I wish someone would explain just how it is so.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #1)

Thu Sep 6, 2018, 10:12 PM

2. how many people actually look at ads on facebook?

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 7, 2018, 04:24 AM

3. enough to fall for Russian Operatives

enough to join groups that they think are liberal, but instead are the tricks employed by tricksters, and let's not even talk about hoe third parties use it.

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Response to msongs (Reply #2)

Fri Sep 7, 2018, 05:19 AM

6. Agreed

I certainly do not do so.

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Response to Sherman A1 (Reply #1)

Fri Sep 7, 2018, 04:26 AM

4. it is not that facebook is all bad

I use it too, but it is because we want it to stay useful that Zuckerberg needs to be shaken out of his stupor, the beliefs that algorithms alone will inspire impartiality. I do not want to cover up the well that you and I both drink from, but I do not want the foreign governments pouring cyanide into it while the watchman is either asleep or clueless.

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Response to DonCoquixote (Reply #4)

Fri Sep 7, 2018, 05:18 AM

5. No, Facebook is a tool to secure information and the users as well as the operators

need to understand that it is a conduit. I find it much more useful than the 24/7 Breathless, Breaking News, Cable Infotainment Channels that purport to be News but are mostly opinionated talking heads regurgitating the same story and video clips sandwiched between endless ads for drugs we never knew we needed.

I suspect that the knowledge of the upcoming craft sale at the local preservation group, a discussion of 6mm wargaming miniatures, the author visit at the library or a link to a photography tips will be of much interest to those who wish to use it for nefarious purposes, but perhaps the will find a means of doing so. Ads I ignore just as I do most everywhere else and certainly on TV during the few times I actually do turn it on for a few minutes.

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