Re: Is Alice, or her post, credible? (A really rough use case for credibility signals.)

I don’t think I have the solution, but I offered my comment to help better define what would be a reasonable solution. Another way to think about it is that the signal should not be game-able. As for what you refer to as “elites” and “hierarchies”,  I have no problem with harnessing expertise to fight misinformation. Turning up the volume does not improve the signal/noise ratio.

> On Aug 17, 2021, at 2:44 PM, Bob Wyman <> wrote:
> On Tue, Aug 17, 2021 at 4:37 PM Annette Greiner < <>> wrote:
> I don’t think this is a wise approach at all.
> Can you propose an alternative that does not simply formalize the status of existing elites and thus strengthen hierarchies in public discourse? For instance, the existing Credibility Signals <> (date-first-archived, awards-won, ..) would seem to provide useful information about only a tiny portion of the many speakers on the Web. By focusing on the output of awards-granting organizations, while not providing signals usable by others, they empower that one group of speakers (those who grant awards) over the rest of us. Can you propose a mechanism that allows my voice, or yours, to have some influence in establishing credibility?
> We are seeing now that fraudsters and misinformation dealers are able to gain traction because there is so little barrier to their reaching high numbers of readers.
> Today, the "bad" folk are able to speak without fear of rebuttal. Neither the fact-checking organizations nor the platforms for speech seem to have either the resources needed, or the motivation required, to usefully remark on the credibility of more than an infinitesimal portion of public speech. How can we possibly counterbalance the bad-speakers without enabling others to rebut their statements?
> In any case, the methods I sketched concerning Alice's statements would empower formal fact checkers as well as individuals, For instance, a "climate fact-checking" organization would be able to do a Google search for "hydrogen 'only water-vapor <>'," and then, after minimal checking, annotate each of the hundreds of such statements with a common, well formed rebuttal that would be easily accessed by readers. Organizations could also set up prospective searches, such as a Google Alert, that would notify them of new instances of false claims and enable rapid response to their proliferation. I think this would be useful. Do you disagree?
> Any real solution must not make it just as easy to spread misinformation as good information.
> I have rarely seen a method for preventing bad things that doesn't also prevent some good. The reality is that the most useful response to bad speech is more speech. Given more speech, we can discover methods to assist in the process of separating the good from the bad. But, if we don't provide the means to make alternative claims, there is little we can do with the resulting silence. False claims will stand if not rebutted.
> It must yield a signal with much much less noise than the currently available signals.
> What "currently available signals?" Other than platform provided moderation and censorship, what is there?
> Increasing the level of he-said/she-said doesn’t help determine what is reliable information. Adding to the massive amounts of junk is not the answer.
> -Annette
>> On Aug 16, 2021, at 11:52 AM, Bob Wyman < <>> wrote:
>> The thrust of my post is that we should dramatically enlarge the universe of those who make such claims to include all users of the Internet. The result of enabling every user of the Web to produce and discover credibility signals will be massive amounts of junk, but also a great many signals that you'll be able to use to filter, analyze, and reason about claims and the subjects of claims.

Received on Wednesday, 18 August 2021 00:47:36 UTC