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1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:28 pm UTC
by stilettoblade
Image

Alt-text: "Ok, I lit the smoke bomb and rolled it under the bed. Let's see if it--" ::FWOOOSH:: "Politifact says: PANTS ON FIRE!"

I've never been here when there wasn't a new comic post already.
(PolitiFact says: True!)

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:36 pm UTC
by moody7277
I don't know which would be worst to have following you around, the Politifact lady, time ghost, or AirAware.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 2:46 pm UTC
by cellocgw
moody7277 wrote:I don't know which would be worst to have following you around, the Politifact lady, time ghost, or AirAware.


Well, Politifact lady is kinda like the Furies -- really annoying. OTOH, BHG is capable ofslicing your hand off, or destroying a space elevator, spamming your phone, or blockin an escalator , or....

Time ghost just reminds us of our age and mortality -- and insignificance. I can get that from my kids.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:29 pm UTC
by Flumble
moody7277 wrote:I don't know which would be worst to have following you around, the Politifact lady, time ghost, or AirAware.

Out of those, definitely timeghost. PolitiFact and AirAware are there to make the world a better place, whereas timeghost is just spewing (unwanted and useless) factoids (which is what factoids are).

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 3:42 pm UTC
by Keyman
Politfact is the Snopes of American politics?

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:07 pm UTC
by DanD
Keyman wrote:Politfact is the Snopes of American politics?


Them and factcheck.org. Including the claims by conservatives that they have a liberal bias.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:19 pm UTC
by trpmb6
DanD wrote:
Keyman wrote:Politfact is the Snopes of American politics?


Them and factcheck.org. Including the claims by conservatives that they have a liberal bias.


And the Washington post fact checker.. Depending on the day liberals cry Kessler is a conservative teabagger, until the next day when conservatives cry he is a libtard.

Sigh. I yearn for a day that aliens attack and unify us all once and for all.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:41 pm UTC
by MrNumbers
It's okay, Politifact, I like you.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:50 pm UTC
by Carteeg_Struve
trpmb6 wrote:Sigh. I yearn for a day that aliens attack and unify us all once and for all.


I don't know. According to isidewith.com, I'm 89% with the aliens.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 4:59 pm UTC
by Pfhorrest
And I'm pretty confident that unification against an external threat, being motivated be fear, would be unification on the conservative side of things.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:13 pm UTC
by somitomi
moody7277 wrote:I don't know which would be worst to have following you around, the Politifact lady, time ghost, or AirAware.

What about the time vulture?

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 7:54 pm UTC
by ThemePark
This reads so differently for me than for most others.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:15 pm UTC
by pogrmman
ThemePark wrote:This reads so differently for me than for most others.


Why?

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:33 pm UTC
by SBN
And the official reaction:
politifact_1712.png

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 8:58 pm UTC
by scotty2haughty
Re: politifact

Not that I have studied this scientifically, but it seems like politifact does have a few issues.

One is which statements they select to review. No idea how this is selected or if there is a bias there. Politicians make lots of statements (a statement rated mostly true by politifact), but it seems that "selective selection" could lead to nudging the outcome for candidates in a desired direction. Fore example, if I wanted to downgrade a politicians credibility, I'd listen to his or her speech and find the lines most likely to be bigger lies, meanwhile I could select innocuous statements from the politicians I do like, making them seem more credible.

Next is how they review. Again, no scientific analysis here, but I recall seeing things where I look at the evidence and support and say "oh that's mostly true," but my internal sense of rating and politifact's sense of rating rarely seem to line up. Sure, they often land in the same ballpark, but the line between partially true and mostly false can be a thin one on paper, but a big one in perception. The gut instinct of a liberal is more likely to push conservative statements into the realm of falsity, and vice versa for conservatives reviewing liberal statements.

If I had the time and funding, I'd dig into these potential issues deeper and see if my hunches have any credibility to them, but for now I just treat politifact like another source of spin and take it with a grain of salt. Sad thing is I know everyone won't do that.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:18 pm UTC
by teelo
Obligatory xkcd SW: replace all instances of "Poltifact" with "Care-o-meter".

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:38 pm UTC
by Keyman
SBN wrote:And the official reaction:
politifact_1712.png

Somebody tell them they're missing the alt text, which is often half the fun.

edit: Just visited their site. They seem to be a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Wed Jul 27, 2016 9:52 pm UTC
by Soupspoon
Keyman wrote:
SBN wrote:And the official reaction:
politifact_1712.png

Somebody tell them they're missing the alt text, which is often half the fun.

edit: Just visited their site. They seem to be a Pulitzer Prize winner.

Yeah, I have that song of theirs on continuous repeat...

;)

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 12:42 am UTC
by ps.02
trpmb6 wrote:Sigh. I yearn for a day that aliens attack and unify us all once and for all.

OTOH, a recent fear of alien threats in the UK resulted in a "Brexit" vote which may, in fact, have done the opposite of unifying them once and for all.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 1:51 am UTC
by Pfhorrest
ps.02 wrote:
trpmb6 wrote:Sigh. I yearn for a day that aliens attack and unify us all once and for all.

OTOH, a recent fear of alien threats in the UK resulted in a "Brexit" vote which may, in fact, have done the opposite of unifying them once and for all.

Pfhorrest wrote:And I'm pretty confident that unification against an external threat, being motivated be fear, would be unification on the conservative side of things.

e.g. If Britain had unified on this issue in "fear of alien threats", that would just have meant (near-)unanimous support for the conservative positions advocating Brexit.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:55 am UTC
by Jatopian
Of the things I've seen xkcd randomly take issue with, this would top the list, were it not for the one where xkcd raged against using "literally" correctly.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 8:22 am UTC
by orthogon
scotty2haughty wrote:Re: politifact

Not that I have studied this scientifically, but it seems like politifact does have a few issues. [...] If I had the time and funding, I'd dig into these potential issues deeper and see if my hunches have any credibility to them, but for now I just treat politifact like another source of spin and take it with a grain of salt. Sad thing is I know everyone won't do that.


I had a similar reaction. I hadn't heard of Politifact before, but the first page I ended up on was this one, which investigates a claim that violent crime is much higher in the UK than in the US in spite of much, much stricter gun control. Now, I'm a fully signed up pro-gun-control leftie: not only do I find the claim highly implausible on the face of it; I also deeply want it not to be true. In their analysis they investigate a number of issues and try to correct for them, yet after making all their adjustments, they still end up with a significantly higher level in the UK than the US. Finally they turn to a different source: survey data as opposed to reported crime, but even then they end up with values that are roughly similar in the two countries. (They have to cherry-pick a particular crime, sexual assault, to get higher levels in the US). To go for the full-on "false" for this seems biased to me. Most of the article is devoted to showing that the levels are only twice as high rather than four times.This still somewhat supports the substantive point of the original meme, which is that widespread availability of guns doesn't seem to produce increased levels of violent crime.

As I say, I really want this to be false and I have a lot of trouble seeing how it could be true. But who knows, maybe the fear that the other guy/girl might have a gun in their pocket makes people far more reluctant to get into fisticuffs / try to rob them.

By the way More or Less on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service does this kind of thing very well.

EDIT: added close-parenthesis. Sorry!

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:31 am UTC
by kodiac
I had never heard of PolitiFact before seeing this comic, but I'm glad I checked Wikipedia before viewing the comic's title text. It cracked me up.
Is PolitiFact Lady claiming that "I lit the smoke bomb and rolled it under the bed" is a lie, or did the smoke bomb set her pants on fire?
(Or... did the smoke make her mistakenly think that her pants were on fire?)

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 4:42 pm UTC
by trpmb6
kodiac wrote:I had never heard of PolitiFact before seeing this comic, but I'm glad I checked Wikipedia before viewing the comic's title text. It cracked me up.
Is PolitiFact Lady claiming that "I lit the smoke bomb and rolled it under the bed" is a lie, or did the smoke bomb set her pants on fire?
(Or... did the smoke make her mistakenly think that her pants were on fire?)



I believe Randall was attempting to use a play on words there. Politifact uses "pants on fire" to describe a statement that is extremely and blatantly false; something that has zero basis in fact. ie: The moon is made of cheese.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 5:09 pm UTC
by orthogon
This reminds me that, following "cablegate", BBC Radio 4's The Now Show did a good riff on what it would be like if Julian Assange was following you around and "leaking" details of your private conversations. So there'd be somebody on the phone to their mother making an excuse why she couldn't come to stay, and Julian would pop up and point out that it was a big lie based on something they'd said to their partner earlier. It was a good illustration of why total "transparency" isn't as simplistic as publishing everything: sometimes individuals and governments alike need to be able to have private conversations.

ETA: Oh, and I keep reading "Politifact" as "Pontefract".

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Thu Jul 28, 2016 11:41 pm UTC
by meerta
I like Politifact's hat.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 2:22 am UTC
by Eternal Density
Is that actually PolitiFact? Or a woman who was bitten by a radioactive PolitiFact?

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Fri Jul 29, 2016 8:28 am UTC
by PsiCubed
Well, at least she wasn't a horse

Spoiler:
On second thought, I actually liked the horse better.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 8:56 am UTC
by Ynys Cariad
orthogon wrote:
scotty2haughty wrote:Re: politifact

Not that I have studied this scientifically, but it seems like politifact does have a few issues. [...] If I had the time and funding, I'd dig into these potential issues deeper and see if my hunches have any credibility to them, but for now I just treat politifact like another source of spin and take it with a grain of salt. Sad thing is I know everyone won't do that.


I had a similar reaction. I hadn't heard of Politifact before, but the first page I ended up on was this one, which investigates a claim that violent crime is much higher in the UK than in the US in spite of much, much stricter gun control. Now, I'm a fully signed up pro-gun-control leftie: not only do I find the claim highly implausible on the face of it; I also deeply want it not to be true. In their analysis they investigate a number of issues and try to correct for them, yet after making all their adjustments, they still end up with a significantly higher level in the UK than the US. Finally they turn to a different source: survey data as opposed to reported crime, but even then they end up with values that are roughly similar in the two countries. (They have to cherry-pick a particular crime, sexual assault, to get higher levels in the US). To go for the full-on "false" for this seems biased to me. Most of the article is devoted to showing that the levels are only twice as high rather than four times.This still somewhat supports the substantive point of the original meme, which is that widespread availability of guns doesn't seem to produce increased levels of violent crime.

As I say, I really want this to be false and I have a lot of trouble seeing how it could be true. But who knows, maybe the fear that the other guy/girl might have a gun in their pocket makes people far more reluctant to get into fisticuffs / try to rob them.

By the way More or Less on BBC Radio 4 and the BBC World Service does this kind of thing very well.

EDIT: added close-parenthesis. Sorry!


Gun control legislation was brought in to the UK in response to a particular type of crime, mass shootings, after the Hungerford Massacre and later tightened after Dunblane in 1996. Since Dunblane there has only been 1 mass shooting in the UK.

It was not brought in as a response to general levels of violent crime. Violent crime is more prevalent in urban areas than rural, and the UK (and most of Western Europe) has far more urbanisation than the USA. Population density for the UK is 679 people/square mile compared to the US’s 85.
Also, not all violent crime involves guns so you would have to separate out incidents involving guns to see what effect they have on crime – eg do crimes involving guns/no guns result in death, serious injury, light injury, no injury, etc.

It is not as simple as saying gun ownership = lower violent crime rate as there are too many other factors involved, some of which may have more bearing on the rate than gun ownership.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Fri Aug 05, 2016 9:02 pm UTC
by jello34543
orthogon wrote:
scotty2haughty wrote:Re: politifact

Not that I have studied this scientifically, but it seems like politifact does have a few issues. [...] If I had the time and funding, I'd dig into these potential issues deeper and see if my hunches have any credibility to them, but for now I just treat politifact like another source of spin and take it with a grain of salt. Sad thing is I know everyone won't do that.


I had a similar reaction. I hadn't heard of Politifact before, but the first page I ended up on was this one, which investigates a claim that violent crime is much higher in the UK than in the US in spite of much, much stricter gun control. Now, I'm a fully signed up pro-gun-control leftie: not only do I find the claim highly implausible on the face of it; I also deeply want it not to be true. In their analysis they investigate a number of issues and try to correct for them, yet after making all their adjustments, they still end up with a significantly higher level in the UK than the US. Finally they turn to a different source: survey data as opposed to reported crime, but even then they end up with values that are roughly similar in the two countries. (They have to cherry-pick a particular crime, sexual assault, to get higher levels in the US). To go for the full-on "false" for this seems biased to me. Most of the article is devoted to showing that the levels are only twice as high rather than four times.This still somewhat supports the substantive point of the original meme, which is that widespread availability of guns doesn't seem to produce increased levels of violent crime.

As I say, I really want this to be false and I have a lot of trouble seeing how it could be true. But who knows, maybe the fear that the other guy/girl might have a gun in their pocket makes people far more reluctant to get into fisticuffs / try to rob them.


I think you're badly misinterpreting what they are calling false. Politifact is saying that the original claim is false because the differences in how statistics are generated in the two countries makes it impossible to justify or refute the simplistic original claim. Politifact doesn't (as far as I know) have a "the statement is impossible to justify or refute" option which is better than false.

Re: 1712: Politifact

Posted: Mon Aug 08, 2016 5:46 pm UTC
by addams
That's funny stuff.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/p01qjds4

http://www.politifact.com
ahhh!! No!!

I'll be under the bed.

edit: It's like TV Tropes.
Spoiler:
A person might fall in.
True, Almost True, Entertaining, Boring, Ramp It Up.
Never a Dull Moment.