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Snopes pulls out of its fact-checking partnership with Facebook (poynter.org)
115 points by pulisse 21 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 90 comments

If Facebook was only willing to devote $100,000 to it, it seems like they basically spent the minimum amount possible so that they could claim they were doing something. The expense doesn't remotely match up to the scale of the problem.

...or the value of the work.

That’s not really a new MO for them - remember, this is a site that uses unpaid content creators to attract other unpaid content creators and then sells access to us and knowledge about us to businesses and political interests among others.

Figuring out how to pay very little and suck out a lot of value is what their business is built on.

The mere definition of profit does not excuse Snopes' having got a bad deal.

Valuable to whom? Those false narratives gets lots of likes, shares, and comments. It almost seems that facebook is financially motivated to encourage things that are viral. These things make them more money.

Oddly, it seems that Facebook needs Snopes more than Snopes needed Facebook.

it is wild to me how many people are in this thread saying "Snopes is partisan" or "Snopes is biased" or "Snopes is not a real fact checker" and who are also entirely unable to provide any actual evidence.

A link to an article on the Federalist (laughably partisan) is not "evidence" any more than pointing out that they have fact-checked satirical sites is. https://reddit.com/r/atetheonion is a thing for a reason, and in every post about Satire Snopes goes out of their way to highlight that they are responding to Satire.

Your own biases are showing and it's kind of a bad look.

This site on ethics routinely deconstructs the problems at Snopes: https://ethicsalarms.com/?s=snopes

How surprising, a site with a banner that says "it's okay to be white" and currently has a front-page article about how black people are too stupid to talk in court makes a bunch of nitpicks of snopes' prose.

Presumably so that they can later say "snopes is always wrong and biased" when Snopes contradicts Breitbart's claims that Obama and the UN and Black Lives Matter are planning to burn down Central Park next weekend.

(actual thing a relative told me, actual breitbart story from summer 2015,for those HN users fortunate enough not to be exposed to the worst of the fake news epidemic)

Here is an example of a false Snopes article https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/gop-obamacare-repeal-elect...

Snopes claims that a meme (showing a picture of people, many of whom have red x over their faces, writing that everyone with a red x has been voted out of office) is true even though they admit

> Although memes are frequently grossly inaccurate, this one got the general idea and numbers correct (even if the persons actually pictured in the accompanying photograph are difficult or impossible to identify).

Some of the people with an x were not elected people and some did not get voted out. This meme is clearly false, yet Snopes calls it true.

Is the information on the snopes page false or incorrect? No, it isn't.

There's a reason that they write more about each topic than merely the headline.

"snopes occasionally makes editorial decisions I disagree with" is not the same as "snopes is fake and unreliable".

Sorry, I must have missed it the first time, tell me again why you continue to rely on an overtly racist blog to be your arbiter of "ethics"?

> Is the information on the snopes page false or incorrect? No, it isn't.

It is both false and incorrect. Saying that "every one with an x has since been voted out of congress" When not every one with an x has since been voted out of congress is false. I mean even the article quotes a tweet listing 10 people who were incorrectly marked. You should see what Snopes does every time a right wing person says something not 100% correct.

> "snopes occasionally makes editorial decisions I disagree with" is not the same as "snopes is fake and unreliable".

Again, the Snopes article is blatantly false.

> Sorry, I must have missed it the first time, tell me again why you continue to rely on an overtly racist blog to be your arbiter of "ethics"?

Sorry, I missed why you think that I continue to rely on a racist blog to be my arbiter of ethics.

I was going to point out a really astounding Snopes fuck-up where they took a proposed EPA rule placing heavy new restrictions on asbestos, wrongly claimed that the EPA were actually removing restrictions on asbestos usage and opening up the floodgates to new usage, and then had the gall to claim that the EPA were the dishonest ones for pointing out their screw-up. Unfortunately, explaining this would require linking to the original version of their article, and since Snopes block the Wayback Machine and Archive.is seems to be having issues right now I can't do that.

So what you're saying is snopes owned up to mistake and removed the article? Sounds ethical to me.

I'm not saying you're wrong but I'd love to hear your side of it.

Nope, what I'm saying is that after the EPA contacted them to point out that they'd got the factual basis for their fact check horribly wrong they pretended they'd never based it on that, kept the same conclusion through a new and absurd argument, and wrote a blog post insisting the EPA were the dishonest ones for claiming they ever got it wrong. That's why I need the original version of the article - to compare their original error to how they presented it afterwards.

The article is: "Is the EPA Allowing for the Approval of New Asbestos-Containing Products?" The original basis for their "Mostly True" conclusion http://archive.is/w834Y is this:

"The first, more generally, is that the EPA could have used the currently unfolding overhaul of the TSCA — which began at the end of the Obama administration and has continued along a very different path under Trump — to ban any new uses of asbestos, something that had been the case at the end of the last administration. Instead, they are explicitly allowing new uses, but with the caveat that the EPA first evaluate possible potential new uses based on “risk evaluation, select studies, and use the best available science.”

They link to this previous ban on "the use of asbestos in products that have not historically contained asbestos": https://archive.is/3F4CC which has been in place since 1989. In reality, the proposed EPA rule specifically says that this ban remains in place. The SNUR approval process replaces the free-for-all on unbanned asbestos products, not the existing ban. (The "at the end of the last administration" bit is also gratuitous politicization, the ban's three decades old.)

Now here's how they describe the original version of their fact check in the blog post at https://www.snopes.com/news/2018/09/01/epa-suggested-change-... which tries to make the EPA look like the dishonest ones: "On 11 June 2018, Snopes.com published a fact check titled “Is the EPA Allowing for the Approval of New Asbestos-Containing Products?” In that article, we rated the claim that “the Environmental Protection Agency will allow new asbestos products to enter the market” as “mostly true,” based on the fact that the EPA had proposed a new rule for asbestos that would (at first) block some currently unregulated but inactive uses of asbestos while (later) providing a framework for those unregulated uses’ formal approval should they pass a safety review."

This is a broadly accurate description of the proposed rule, but as we've seen it's not what the original article said. They then go on to make it look like the EPA is playing dirty tricks with the definition of "new uses" by "defining this term in a legal sense, based on a 1991 court ruling, as “asbestos products that were not being manufactured, processed or imported” as of 12 July 1989". In reality, the EPA were pointing out Snopes' own dishonest conflation of the narrow legal sense in which "new uses" were banned previously with the kinds of usage covered by the Significant New Use Rule. Next, they justify keeping the original conclusion based on this argument:

"Both of these objections, which we have addressed in an update to our original post, present an incomplete view of the controversy. Instead, they mask the fact that the proposed legislation allows a pathway for certain old (and inactive) uses of asbestos to return to the market with the EPA’s blessing. The EPA, via the publication of two documents, laid out a process that allows for uses of asbestos that have been effectively dead (thanks to litigation and health risks that their use carries), to be granted official approval using a safety review that does not allow scientists to consider a considerable bulk of information demonstrating asbestos’ cancer risk."

This is really tendentious. The new rule is (intentionally) terrible for anyone who wants to manufacture or import asbestos products covered by it. They have to contact the EPA 90 days in advance and essentially prove that their proposed use is safe. If the EPA drags their feet on responding or decides there's not enough evidence, they can't go ahead. The EPA have indicated that it's unlikely anything would meet this standard. Even if a company got past this they'd still get sued by private litigants. Finally, the part about excluding information from safety assessments is based on this which looks totally wrong:

"The second problem, more specifically, concerns the way in which the EPA has proposed to evaluate that risk. In May 2018, the EPA published a document known as the “Problem Formulation of the Risk Evaluation for Asbestos,” which establishes the scientific approach the EPA will take in evaluating these new uses. Significantly, their approach will not include information from existing, or “legacy” uses of asbestos, despite the significant body of work around health risks stemming from those uses"

The EPA document in question https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2018-06/documents... just says that they're only assessing the risks of asbestos uses that are currently ongoing. It says absolutely nothing about excluding evidence from historic uses of asbestos in general; they just won't publish any conclusions about their safety. It also means that this is totally irrelevant to the SNUR which is entirely about those historical uses. (Which makes trying to continue those uses an even dicier proposition. The SNUR means companies have to wait for the EPA to complete their risk assessment and hope it somehow turns out positive.)

Was the $100K mentioned in this article the total amount Facebook gave Snopes? Because that's, like, one new-grad signing bonus.

For a particularly high-demand technical engineering position maybe. For other things… well, Facebook pays folks in the Philippines something like $2/hour to get PTSD while screening posts for the worst content the worst humans are able to generate (beheadings for example). Where would you expect fact-checking to fit in?

RealClearPolitics has an interesting guide to the different fact-check providers. In particular, it calls out the difference between fact-checks and opinion-checks.


I can't believe the massive number of HN users here who are willingly throwing critical thinking under the bus just because of political bias. It's maddening that people are making the jump from "Snopes posted something possibly incorrect about soda cans" and "Snopes one time fact checked shitty satire" directly to "Snopes is untrustworthy".

Everything is imperfect, even fact checking groups. If you're going to throw them under the bus for these tiny errors, I sure hope you've already incinerated every computing device you own, because boy do you have some things to learn about them.

It never ceases to amaze me how dumb smart people can be. Without a hint of self-awareness, they get locked into the same partisan boxes as anyone else, yet swear hand-over-heart that they're rationally examining society from an impartial outside perspective.

The problem with a website like Snopes is that, if you want to claim to be an unbiased gatekeeper of the truth, you better be perfect.

Since humans are imperfect, a site like Snopes can not exist.

I don't know why this would get downvoted. Seems reasonable, whether it's Snopes or anyone.

Similar to Apple claiming "it just works", you better make sure it works. Or Google proclaiming "don't be evil". Etc.

> Similar to Apple claiming "it just works", you better make sure it works.

My Mac got a kernel panic yesterday. My response was not to swear off Apple products forever.

> My Mac got a kernel panic yesterday. My response is not to swear off Apple products forever.

Yet your response is to downvote everything you disagree with?

Not swearing off Apple products forever is your personal choice. Personally I agree with that. But I know plenty of people who DO choose to swear off Apple products when something doesn't work. That's also their choice, and I don't have a problem with that.

Did those people flee civilization to go live naked in a cave somewhere?

No? Then no, their reaction to something not working is not to immediately swear off that entire product category forever. Because, sooner or later, everything fails to work correctly in some fashion.

fact checking has always been a silly, hopeless attempt to find a technocratic solution to fundamentally political problems.

I disagree completely. That's the equivalent of saying property restitution is stupid because the real problem is why thieves steal.

no it isn't

Fact checking is a great development. Don't get hung up on fact checkers bogus claims of neutrality and objectivity. Instead realise that "fact check" articles are basically like regular news articles but with easy to track down references and sources.

but that isn't "fact checking" - it's a very limited promise (of being well-sourced). and even then it is debatable. objectively true and as-good-as-neutral is exactly the claim being made, at least implicitly, by the fact checking hype.

the ultimate effect of fact-checking will be to reinforce the power of mainstream, well-established news sources, which is all well and good unless you think they consciously choose which facts they share and how they frame them in a way that goes against your interests, which I believe is often true (and plenty of people agree with me). then it falls back to being a failed technocratic solution to a political problem very suddenly.

It's a hopeless quest until AI reaches a certain level of objective interpretation.

Regarding humans, most people who are capable of researching truth without any bias, don't have a voice. Human history is riddled with partisan extremists presenting biased information as neutral and factual. Snopes is no exception.

> partisan extremists presenting biased information as neutral and factual. Snopes is no exception.

Please cite some of these "partisan extremist" examples from Snopes.

Do you trust whoever trained or is controlling the AI?

At this point nothing is trustworthy. But I have more faith that AI is going to do a better job in future than humans ever have. We may be 100 years away from that though, or 1000 years. Who knows?

And then this AI is the sole bearer of all ultimate, unarguable truth regardless. Like a god you mean?

Is that your interpretation? Mine is the opposite: "At this point nothing is trustworthy".

Just saying that humans have an extremely poor track record at compromising information for political gain. Anything would be better at this point, you can't get any worse.

I think it could get worse but that’s just me.

I prefer an aggregate. Then I can derive what I think is the truth.

Trust is learned, anyway. Except for children— they often do as a default until a point in their lives.


When hyperbole, exaggeration, rounding and jokes are repackaged, decontextualized and repeated as sober truth, they become false / lies.

Do you have examples of Snopes going out of their way to label hyperbole, etc. as lies in a rhetorical / dishonest manner? Or do you have examples of them clarifying what's hyperbole vs reality?

I ask because people usually produce examples of the latter.

This is an example of snopes not doing their job well: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/nathan-phillips-vietnam-ve...

Snopes claimed that Phillips hadn't claimed that he was a Vietnam veteran until the 24th of January, when a Twitter post became popular with that information. Apparently these clips were found on Phillips' Facebook page. You would expect a fact-checking website to check facts. At least check their Facebook page.

This isn't a perfect example of what you're asking for examples of, but it is a very recent one, where relying on snopes would've kept you misinformed.

I just actually looked at what you cited and you're mischaracterizing it.

The video was found on the page NativeYouthAlliance, not Nathan Phillips's personal page. It's also something like a year old, and a quick skim shows that this page posts a lot of videos. I for one do not expect Snopes to watch every single video posted to the facebook page of a youth alliance on the off chance that Phillips will say something relevant in it.

I don't know what the page said originally, but it looks like this facebook video didn't even give them cause to update their "Unproven" rating or the "What's True" and "What's False" sections of this rating.

In fact, if anything it demonstrates that Snopes reacts to new information coming to light exactly as you'd expect them to: they update their article accordingly and in a timely fashion.


Examples of false or misleading fact-checks by Snopes would be far more persuasive. That article only calls into question the neutrality of the people behind Snopes, but for all I know they could still put their biases behind them when at work.

Here is an example of a false fact-check by Snopes: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mississippi-fractions/

This is intentional. Click the "More information about this page" at the bottom of the article and you will be directed here, where they explain it: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/false-authority/

In a nutshell, Snopes wants you to stop assuming things that you read online are true because of who's telling you. This includes Snopes.

This article in particular is in a section of the Snopes website that is intentionally false/misleading:


Still not a great example since it is a demonstration/joke page.

But it also says, in the very article about Mississippi fractions:

> Snopes.com has long been engaged in the battle against misinformation, an effort we could not sustain without support from our audience. Producing reliable fact-checking and thorough investigative reporting requires significant resources. We pay writers, editors, web developers, and other staff who work tirelessly to provide you with an invaluable service: evidence-based, contextualized analysis of facts. Help us keep Snopes.com strong. Make a direct contribution today. Learn More. Donate with PayPal

Seems a bit disingenuous to ask for money to fund the battle against misinformation on a page that almost entirely consists of misinformation.

Example 1: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/mass-shootings-in-2018/

Q: Were None of 154 Mass Shootings in 2018 Committed by a Black Man, Illegal Alien, or Woman?

A: Mixture.

The answer should be entirely false. If you measure by suspects, two-thirds of shooters in the 154 shootings were black men. If you measure by convictions, there were zero mass shootings in 2018. By any measure you choose, the claim is incorrect, and probably by a very wide margin.

Example 2: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/united-states-lower-death-...

Claim: Between 2009 and 2015, the United States had a lower mass shootings death rate than several European countries.

Rating: Mixture

The analysis is extremely muddled, and claims that the European shootings were "outliers" and therefore presumably should not be counted, rather than relying on the law of large numbers.

> If you measure by suspects, two-thirds of shooters in the 154 shootings were black men. If you measure by convictions, there were zero mass shootings in 2018.

But they literally say exactly this. Do you immediately stop reading after just the one word next to the graphic? Do the rest of the words mean nothing?

Yes, they do literally say this. And that's literally what I said.

Yes, it's still marked as "Mixture". This is an example of where a different slant is given than what the facts.

"According to Snopes, it's somewhat true that none of 154 mass shootings in 2018 where committed by a black man, illegal alien, or woman."

"According to Snopes, it's somewhat true that Jews and Americans did not die in the Holocaust."

I’m pretty sure the first one is “mixture” because the claim names three groups and only one of those groups is actually present. If I say that there are no yellow, purple, or blue apples, the fact that there are yellow apples shouldn’t just result in a rating of “false.” By pure logic that would be correct, but it won’t convey what it should.

> https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/antifa-nazi-flags/

How is this a left-leaning opinion check?

1. It's the federalist, so okay. Here's the link to the "misleading" Snopes story in question: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/cnn-washing-machine/

2. They said that a satire story was not true, which, of course it isn't. They said it was satire, which it is.

3. Facebook automatically took action against the fact-checked site, the very agreement that Snopes is now pulling out of.

Which of those bullet points means that Snopes is bad?

The part that says a satire article is "false."

The part labelling the following sentence a "claim":

"CNN invested in an industrial-sized washing machine to help their journalists and news anchors spin the news before publication."

The part where they instructed FB to stop allowing people to see this satire piece because it would spread misinformation.

The part where they knew their actions would go a long ways to potentially destroying the ad-based satire publication.

That's not fact checking.

This text, which comprises about 50% of the Snopes article:

> Although it should have been obvious that the Babylon Bee piece was just a spoof of the ongoing political brouhaha over alleged news media “bias” and “fake news,” some readers missed that aspect of the article and interpreted it literally. But the site’s footer gives away the Babylon Bee’s nature by describing it as “Your Trusted Source For Christian News Satire,” and the site has been responsible for a number of other (usually religious-themed) spoofs that have been mistaken for real news articles.

So, looking at your complaints again:

- The article _is_ false, it's just also satire, as Snopes points out.

- That is a claim. See above.

- Instructing FB on the truthfulness of media _was literally their job_.

- What are you talking about.

- Yes, they checked facts in this case.

I don't see how this is on Snopes at all. Facebook users (and even some news organizations) fall for The Onion articles all the time and report them as fact. Snopes debunks them - that's their job, that's what they have always done. Facebook failed to accommodate for satirical publications when they introduced their "fake news" flagging. This is entirely their fault.

Nobody was being fooled by this headline. The only reason to “fact check” something like this is to punish the satire site.

And Snopes knew exactly what the consequences were on FB based on their “fact checking” work.

So a satire site making fun of how badly the mainstream news spins things got punished for “lying” because Snopes told Facebook they were lying.

If you read the original linked article, it is clear that they had to manually go in and select the articles that they believed were false and people shouldn’t be allowed to see anymore. They could have simply put up their article, without calling down FB’s wrath on the satire site, but they didn’t.

No, the reason for fact checking something is to check whether it is true. Whether it is intended as a joke is irrelevant to its truth.

Are you saying you've never, ever seen anyone mistake an Onion piece for real news? I see it all the time, usually from uneducated people, racists, and new-age moonbats.

I can kind of see where you're attempting to go with this, but even then, it seems more like the fault is on Facebook and not Snopes. At best, maybe create a "false-by-means-of-satire" (to differentiate true or true-ish ones that are satire) flag so that if a site is going to just scrape the result ("false"), it doesn't screw with perception, but again, that's on Facebook.

> The part that says a satire article is "false."

it doesn't say that a satire article is "false", it says the "claim" is.

> The part labelling the following sentence a "claim":

> "CNN invested in an industrial-sized washing machine to help their journalists and news anchors spin the news before publication."

I'm confused here. Why is this an issue? They are going to fact check whether the claim is true or not. In this case, appears rather than prove CNN didn't, they're going with the "it's satire, people" approach. As is a vast majority of their content, it isn't about the site hosting the content so much as debunking the "claim" to include the initial purpose of debunking/confirming urban legends.

> The part where they instructed FB to stop allowing people to see this satire piece because it would spread misinformation.

They instructed Facebook? Seemed more like Snopes funnels FB data and FB does with it what it sees fit.

> The part where they knew their actions would go a long ways to potentially destroying the ad-based satire publication.

They provided data. Again, kind of on Facebook in this particular case.

> That's not fact checking.

I think they do a fine job fact checking. Where they probably overstepped was in thinking or at least agreeing to the prospect that their data was ready to be made sense of by a non-human user: I can go onto the linked article and can easily infer that CNN bought a washing machine to spin news is bogus and I can also get from it very obviously that the original post it comes from is a joke in the spirit of The Onion, Hard Times, or any other parody site.

And actually, back to the "false-by-means-of-satire": I don't think that'd work. Reason being is that I imagine it is the message "CNN buys washer to spin news" that is labeled as false. Whether someone linking to the original parody or if I created jsgosnews.cc and copied the original's content as a quote (with attribution. Actually, just kidding, because most of these "fake news" sites don't include original attribution as it'd probably expose themselves as bogus too easily) and linked to that. We know the original was stated in jest, but what if mine is claimed as if it was dead serious and that CNN really did this. How does the false, but satire work now?

Again, at least in my opinion, Snopes is doing it the right way. Maybe they need to rethink how (or even if they will ever again) be a fact checking data aggregation service, but I don't see a solution to allow it to truly be the be all, end all solution. So as such, I think they should just continue doing what they're doing.

Snopes manually reported the article to FB as fake news that shouldn’t be spread. That’s clear from the original article announcing the breakup. It wasn’t a machine problem. It was a decision to punish this site and Snopes made that decision, not FB. FB just let their algorithms run and trusted Snopes to do their job without prejudice—a trust that was obviously misplaced.

Most things that are satire are also false.

Funny! A link to a satire site (at least I hope it's satire?) to prove Snopes has issues.

Stories Snopes fact-checked from that 'Christian Satire Site': https://www.snopes.com/tag/babylon-bee/

At least half of them would be believed by those who trust the Federalist.

The Federalist is a highly partisan blog. I don't think it's fair to compare the two, the equivalent would be bringing out pieces from the YoungTurks stating that people are misrepresenting their opinions.

First of all, I don't have any idea what you're talking about when you talk about "comparing." I'm not comparing any two things.

Secondly, partisan or not, the Federalist was not the one Snopes was unfairly attacking. They simply reported on the effects of the Snopes attack on a satire site.

In what way was Snopes attacking that site? It's just a short, factual note that it's a satire article and website.

Now, what Facebook did with that was not good, and I can see why Snopes would want to get out of such a system.

Snopes manually reported the article to FB as fake news that shouldn’t be allowed to spread. FB trusted Snopes. That’s the opposite of what you imply, but it’s clearly the case if you read the original article at the top of the page.

Except that’s not why they got out, is it?

Glad you asked - https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/on-tap/ This is demonstrably bullshit. It does work. Many years ago I got a bee-in-my-bonnet over this and tried to correct them - and got told to ~"piss off". God, I'd almost manage to push this out of my mind, until your post.. Just to address the article (to you, another uncaring audience) - "However, tapping does nothing to reincorporate the carbon dioxide into the solution, the key element to preventing the dread foam-out." First part true, second part not. Foaming is caused by the CO2 bubbles expanding when pressure is released and taking liquid above them out the top of your can. Few hard taps on the bottom detach the CO2 bubbles and cause them to all go to the top (no re-absorption - that will simply take time). So few hard taps on the bottom (not the side), then opening your can, will still cause a loss of CO2 - but not the foaming. Somebody must have 2 cans near them to try this with right now. Shake both for as long as you want, few hard taps on the bottom of one (finger-tip with almost painful force) - and then just open them both and compare. It Works.

So if I do something different than what is described ("tapping the side"), I will get the desired effect? So they aren't wrong, they just decided not to exhaustively try out every method of tapping on a soda can?

Tapping-on-the-bottom-with-near-painful-force is definitely not what people mean when they colloquially claim tapping on a soda can settles it down.

Hold on. You're right. They say side, I say bottom - and it might make a difference. To the average reader it reads the same. I'd be fine if both approaches were covered and compared. Googling provides results all over the place - I was using hyperbole for the 'nearly painful tap', but just to differentiate the methodology for tapping once lightly. Also results seem to vary massively when looked at some people say it works, some people say it doesn't, some people say aspartame surface-tension is related (maybe it is, I was using Diet Coke). My annoyance was just that there was a statement out there that says "This topic is false". No way to query, qualify, anything.

It might? Your OP was very specific on the subject and you seem aware that the side is inappropriate: Few hard taps on the bottom detach the CO2 bubbles and cause them to all go to the top few hard taps on the bottom (not the side), few hard taps on the bottom of one (finger-tip with almost painful force)

The actual claim on the site: Claim: Tapping the side of a soda can will prevent its contents from foaming over when you open it.

I don't think you're as vehemently committed to rigorous fact-checking as your little anecdote would have us believe.

Well on your basis we could open an infinite number of variations. Tap on the bottom or the side. Tap on the side, whilst facing North. Tap on the side, whilst facing North, using a finger with red-nail-polish. Tap on the side, whilst facing North, using a finger with red-nail-polish, on the left hand of a woman born under the sign of The Dragon.

My point is that the specificity of the OP is down to Snopes, and I can't change that. They don't even provide these details. Maybe the side-tapper was born in the year of the pig, and that matters. My issue is mainly that they wish to be perceived as the source of all truth - and seemingly have NO interest in being corrected. Snopes never publishes any statement limiting their results, asking for further input, etc etc. Their 'thing' is just publishing absolutes. Nobody else does this.

So you're arguing that saying "tapping the side of a soda can will not prevent bubbles" is bullshit because thwacking the bottom of the can as hard as you can will?

This feels like you're being unreasonably uncharitable.

I'm getting flashbacks (and yes, I know this shouldn't be important, and I should let it go) - but I can't. That -3 rating is causing flashbacks... I did not say "as hard as you can" - my approach is similar to a finger-flick you might have inflicted on a fellow child in your youth. Speed not force.

Backing up a bit. I think most people who come across this topic want to know "I've got a shaken can - and I don't want to open it as it'll go everywhere. Is there anything I can do?"

My take is that "Yes there is" - and whilst that snopes article is out there, a lot of people think there isn't. Snopes is a little opaque and whilst there are many issues with peer-reviewed articles - their complete lack of desire to engage really annoys me. I don't expect them to be faultless - but maybe just having somewhere you could submit a comment, a video, something would be a move in the right direction.

Wait. Your issue with snopes is that they said "there is no meaningful evidence that [x] is true" and you're mad that when you said "but I have anecdata" they weren't interested?

that's not how this works...

I'm not saying Snopes is maliciously preventing "the truth" from being discovered. I love Snopes. I've sent countless "You're wrong because snopes links" to people. My humble concern is that if you find yourself disagreeing with something as trivial as "shaking a soda can" there seems to be no actual way of addressing the issue. And then if I can't address the pathetically mundane and boring... well how do they handle the complex?

That seems even less reasonable to me. You're saying that you use snopes regularly, presumably because of their dedication to accurate reporting, and are frustrated that you can't correct on "something as trivial as 'shaking a soda can'" because the only thing you were able to provide them was anecdata?

It sounds like the reasons why you happily send "you're wrong because snopes" links are the reasons why you're unable to correct them and to me this sounds like the system is working correctly.

Right. You've made me do it. Tomorrow I'm buying Coke-Zero cans, chilling them, I will shake together, toss coin tap heads on the bottom, and open simultaneously (providing I can work out how to hold my phone and two cans at the same time) and will post unedited results on a youtube link. ALL I ask is whoever downvoted me, at least checks back. F'it - I really don't care. I've been an oppressed minority for so long it doesn't even matter. :) (I can't believe how wound up I'm getting over this - but baby-steps. I will build your trust until you elect me your benevolent dictator. It'll all work out in the end)

I've upvoted rather than downvoted you because I appreciate your passion, but I'm eager to see your results. Posting here to remind me to check back tomorrow.


Could you link to some relevant examples?

Absolutely. Last time I looked they refused to update their fact check about Nathan Phillips false claims of Vietnam service.

Here's the takeaway on that page now:

"It’s difficult to determine at this point whether Phillips has deliberately misrepresented the nature of his service, whether he has been so vague and ambiguous in many of his descriptions (unintentionally or otherwise) that misinterpretations have entered his narrative, or whether he has tried to be accurate but may have just occasionally slipped up in his many, many hours of conversation and sometimes neglected to include the qualifiers about his service that he has used in many other videos and press interviews. Nonetheless, at times it has certainly sounded as though Phillips was trying to foster the impression that he had both served during the Vietnam War and had been deployed to Vietnam at some point during his service, even if he didn’t literally say so."

Which part of it is inaccurate?

Zecar 21 days ago [flagged]

> Which part of it is inaccurate?

?? I don't know, perhaps the part where the guy is literally on video claiming to be a vietnam vet? You folks are utterly baffling. But go ahead and downvote.


The issue at hand wasn't whether he ever misrepresented himself like that, but whether he did so in the context of this particular event - i.e. when he was being interviewed. I'm not aware of any video evidence of that, nor did any outlets referenced the video you linked to as their basis for the claims that he's a Vietnam vet. The reason why they did so is because he told them that he is a "Vietnam era vet", which is misleading (as Snopes rightly points out), but not outright false.

What problem do you find there? I also hope that your response to a request for support in favor of a very strong claim isn’t to vaguely reference a single example. The fact that the example seems nonexistent makes it a bit worse, but not by much.

The part where he is on video claiming to be a Vietnam vet.

What part is wrong?

The part where he is on video claiming to be a Vietnam vet.

Can you give some examples?



I think you've mistaken Snopes, a fact checker, for a news website although they have a small section for news. The reason they don't have a fact check entry on this item might just be because liberals aren't widely spinning conspiracy theories that this Antifa person is framed/innocent.

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