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Researchers Develop an Internet Truth Machine

timothy posted about a year and a half ago | from the how-to-create-better-liars dept.

The Internet 87

Hugh Pickens writes "Will Oremus writes that when something momentous is unfolding—the Arab Spring, Hurricane Sandy, Friday's horrific elementary school shooting in Connecticut—Twitter is the world's fastest, most comprehensive, and least reliable source of breaking news and in ongoing events like natural disasters, the results of Twitter misinformation can be potentially deadly. During Sandy, for instance, some tweets helped emergency responders figure out where to direct resources. Others provoked needless panic, such as one claiming that the Coney Island hospital was on fire, and a few were downright dangerous, such as the one claiming that people should stop using 911 because the lines were jammed. Now a research team at Yahoo has analyzed tweets from Chile's 2010 earthquake and looked at the potential of machine-learning algorithms to automatically assess the credibility of information tweeted during a disaster. A machine-learning classifier developed by the researchers uses 16 features to assess the credibility of newsworthy tweets and identified the features that make information more credible: credible tweets tend to be longer and include URLs; credible tweeters have higher follower counts; credible tweets are negative rather than positive in tone; and credible tweets do not include question marks, exclamation marks, or first- or third-person pronouns. Researchers at India's Institute of Information Technology also found that credible tweets are less likely to contain swear words (PDF) and significantly more likely to contain frowny emoticons than smiley faces. The bottom line is that an algorithm has the potential to work much faster than a human, and as it improves, it could evolve into an invaluable 'first opinion' for flagging news items on Twitter that might not be true writes Oremus. 'Even that wouldn't fully prevent Twitter lies from spreading or misleading people. But it might at least make their purveyors a little less comfortable and a little less smug.'"

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Cultural bias? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306737)

This is really interesting research, but it's also based on one event in one country.

Conclusions based on what may be language or cultural norms (such as "did you phrase in the positive or the negative") might not translate to other locales well (e.g. Hurricane Sandy in the US).

But, then, that's what's great about science. Testable predictions we can apply to data.

Re:Cultural bias? (0)

Jetra (2622687) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306795)

This is going to sound stupid, but with 2012 so close, will it determine the credibility of people's conspiracy theories or will it toss them in the trash? I'm not one to say "The world is going to end!" but I'm not going to say "Nothing's going to happen" or "December 22 will come after." After the events in recent years, I'm keeping an eye open on the markets and world military movements.

Re:Cultural bias? (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307347)

This is going to sound stupid,

Well, you got that part right.

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307649)

See, I am one to say, "The world is going to end." The thing is, people always get disappointed when they ask me "When?" because my answer is, "I don't know, and neither does anyone else."

Re:Cultural bias? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307073)

But, then, that's what's great about science. Testable predictions we can apply to data.

That is exactly why AGW fails. Their predictions are not coming true. There has been no warming for the past 16 years despite CO2 levels increasing. All the models are wrong.

To those that say "16 years isn't long enough to prove anything," I say "correct!" The period of warming that AGW is based on is only 16 years too, and isn't long enough to prove anything!

Re:Cultural bias? (2)

thereitis (2355426) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307121)

Where are you getting 16 years from? https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Global_Temperature_Anomaly_1880-2010_(Fig.A).gif [wikipedia.org] The trend in temperature is clearly 'up' and has been for many years.

Re:Cultural bias? (5, Insightful)

jfengel (409917) | about a year and a half ago | (#42308519)

It's a popular denier meme: 1998 was a very hot year and if you start your data series there you can show an overall decline.

Viewed on any other scale, this artifact goes away. But it doesn't matter how many times you tell deniers about that; they know what story they want to tell and will continue to cherry pick the data to tell it.

Re:Cultural bias? (0)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42308703)

Why would you expect anyone to talked what you have to say seriously when you jump straight to Goodwining the discussion?

Re:Cultural bias? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42312735)

Who is Goodwin and what did you just say?

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

steviesteveo12 (2755637) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315127)

I'm not sure we mean the same things by "Goodwining"

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42316825)

Tablet auto correct problem. It should have said "Godwin".

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

steviesteveo12 (2755637) | about a year and a half ago | (#42335467)

Even then, I didn't realise he made a Nazi reference.

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42345261)

That would be the 'Denier' label. It is a reference to Holocaust 'Deniers'.

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

steviesteveo12 (2755637) | about a year and a half ago | (#42354855)

Oh no, that's reference to climate change 'deniers', in that they deny climate change.

"It's a popular [climate change] denier meme: 1998 was a very hot year and if you start your data series there you can show an overall decline."

There certainly is such a thing as a Holocaust Denier (although even then I personally wouldn't have associated the Nazis with Holocaust *denial* as such) but they deny a separate thing.

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42357033)

It is a clear attempt to put those that question climate change into the same category as those who would deny the Holocaust.

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

steviesteveo12 (2755637) | about a year and a half ago | (#42360801)

Well, if you really think so. It seems a bit of a stretch to me. A denier is just someone who denies something. The first stage of grief is denial -- but not in the sense that they're denying the Holocaust.

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

Belial6 (794905) | about a year and a half ago | (#42362871)

No one uses the label of "Denier" for someone that is going through grief. Your argument is like the child that stands around saying "Bitch", "Ass", "Cock", and when their parents reprimand them, they claim they are just listing animals. Words have meaning that is based on context. When used as an ad hominem, as it was done in the previous post, it means is a way to discredit anything said by the person by declaring him evil. The specific language that is used is clearly an attempt to parallel climate change "Deniers" to Holocaust "Deniers". If you cannot see the fallacy that was used as well as the method of its use, then the poster was entirely successful in tricking you.

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307255)

You could use the same algorithm to derive credibility indicators for any language and region and use multiple verified events and facts to train the system.

By the way, what about no pronouns vs. 1st-person and 3rd-person? What about no emoticons?

What about links to known-unreliable sources as opposed to nominally credible sources?

Re:Cultural bias? (2)

ArsenneLupin (766289) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314683)

You could use the same algorithm to derive credibility indicators for any language and region and use multiple verified events and facts to train the system.

But what if its results leak, and bird song adapts to meet expectation, but without actually being more reliable?

Re:Cultural bias? (1)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42333789)

You could use the same algorithm to derive credibility indicators for any language and region and use multiple verified events and facts to train the system.

But what if its results leak, and bird song adapts to meet expectation, but without actually being more reliable?

Arms race.

I wonder... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306739)

How effective would this be on real media? I bet it'd put those bastards in their place! :)

Re:I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306851)

You are already seeing it. But more interesting the question, "whose truth would it be?", Truth is supposed to be one way, such as "there are WMD's in Iraq" but is that the truth or just part of the truth. A better explanation would have been, "there are WMD's in Iraq, because one of our companies sold it to them in the 1950's."
but is that the whole truth of the topic, or a propagandized version of the truth.
Now real time filtering, then no need for twitter, or im services. Such is Freedom. You see the interception of the message, you do not know the message, next you recieve the message, are you sure you got the "right" message. Never heard of the man in the middle attack. The best one to use for propaganda. Thank you Sister Mary Rose. Best damn communications class I ever had.

Re:I wonder... (4, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307317)

I correctly judged the credibility of the "Iraq has WMDs" based mostly on the tone of original news reports.

We had information from UN weapons inspectors stating they were able to go wherever they wanted and examine whatever they wanted and so far had not found any evidence of a currently-active program or any stockpiles of usable weapons. The tone of these reports was direct and devoid of pleas to emotion.

The White House labeled these reports "not helpful" and directed the public's attention to historic atrocities and put forward innuendo regarding alleged Iraqi support for terrorists. It certainly looked like fearmongering. The very fact that the WH was labeling actual current information from Iraq as "not helpful" was to me the most damaging to their case. If they were interested in the truth, I reasoned, current information from international inspectors could only be helpful.

Re:I wonder... (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307229)

You've used a question mark, an exclamation mark and a positive smiley. Thus you lost any credibility, according to the cited criteria.

Cool! (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306743)

A guide for how to make my bullshit disaster tweets more believable. Thanks, Yahoo!

credible (-1, Troll)

alphatel (1450715) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306749)

Apple's latest gadget sucks, it is easy to tell based on the number of buttons. bit.ly/spam

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306751)

They published a checklist of how to make your trollish tweets sound legit, and created a service to assign said tweets a high truthiness rating? Sounds helpful.

Rating individual tweets, accurate? (5, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306759)

So it provides a first opinion on first posts, sort of. Neat, but I do wonder how accurate this is going to be to vet individual tweets. Twitter trolls may get wise to this and game the system to get their stuff past this filter. A bit like phishers learning how to spell. In the end, the best check is still independent verification, for example by other people tweeting the same thing (not just retweeting of course). If this system could automatically group and cross-verify tweets from multiple sources on the same subject, that would be a step in the right direction.

Re:Rating individual tweets, accurate? (1)

Hentes (2461350) | about a year and a half ago | (#42309019)

The best check is the site of an actual seismologist. Tweets shouldn't be trusted in emergency scenarios.

OBAMA PROCLAIMS POTHEADS TO BE SET FREE !! (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306767)

As in ... beer ??

Researchers Develop an Internet Truth Machine (2)

omar.sahal (687649) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306771)

Couldn't some enterprising douche programmer use simular programs to write better misleading tweets.

Re:Researchers Develop an Internet Truth Machine (1)

craigminah (1885846) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306801)

I'm sure that's next. Invariably, someone always comes out to exploit something potentially good for society.

Re:Researchers Develop an Internet Truth Machine (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307623)

Aliens just probed my rectum http://alienrectalprobe.com/ [alienrectalprobe.com] I feel horrible :(:(:(:(:(:(

Re:Researchers Develop an Internet Truth Machine (1, Insightful)

artor3 (1344997) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307879)

Sure, but most people tweeting false info in a disaster are just stupid kids (or man-children) who think its funny. They're probably not going to put lots of effort into it, because then it wouldn't be fun.

Re:Researchers Develop an Internet Truth Machine (1)

SeaFox (739806) | about a year and a half ago | (#42310789)

Of course. We have SEO programmers.
Coming up next, TTO -- Twitter Trustworthiness Optimizers.

We start with lots of sock-puppet follower accounts, add a pessimistic spin and frowny faces. Also use links that will probably lead to astroturfing sources, and finally give the tweet a healthy copy-edit before it's posted to made it in a first or second-person perspective and make it a declarative, expletive-free message.

Chile's Earthquake (5, Interesting)

thejynxed (831517) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306773)

It's interesting to note, that a seismology student at a university in Chile finally had enough nonsense from false information over Twitter, etc about earthquakes, that he directly wired a big batch of seismographs to directly post their results via Twitter. The last I knew, they had over 1 million followers, and this particular student has been getting big thank yous from residents of the country.

Reliable (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306781)

Twitter is the world's fastest, most comprehensive, and least reliable source of breaking news

Twitter has dethroned Fox News?!?

Re:Reliable (1)

Attila Dimedici (1036002) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306797)

It went beyond that. It is even less reliable than MSNBC.

Re:Reliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307443)

Right. It's like MSNBC gets 1 in 100 things right and FOX gets 2 in 100 so Fox is like twice as good.

Re:Reliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42308665)

It's embarassing watching the two of you (I refuse to see you as individuals when you respond as a collective mass) providing free advertising for each other's overlords. Try a little independent thought and you'll find the media for both 'sides' are a bunch of manipulative liars. I mean, fine, be a shill if that's what you want, but at least make that your job and get some cash for selling your dignity, freedom, and ability to think.

Re:Reliable (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307209)

With Fox News, you can reliably conclude that the opposite of what they say is true.

Re:Reliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307357)

Yup. Consistently spouting falsehoods is its own type of reliability. Seems counter-intuitive, but it's possible to be less reliable by being right more often.

Re:Reliable (1)

RudyHartmann (1032120) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307231)

No political bias there. Uh huh.

Re:Reliable (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307333)

I don't understand comments like this, especially after the last few months.

NBC didn't run a single story on Fast and Furious for 18 months until the day Holder was found in contempt of Congress. Their viewers didn't know guns were transported, Mexicans were killed by the hundreds, or a border patrol agent had been killed by the operation and they had to try and cover all that in a single day.

ABC's Jake Tapper came on CNN and said the reason ABC didn't cover the lies Rice told them was that Obama's administration was spinning that AlQuadia was on the run and they didn't want to disrupt what they thought was successful spin.

NBC is now being sued by Zimmerman for doctoring tapes to make Zimmerman look like a bigot. They admitted they were wrong and fired people after they got called out on it.

CNN's debate moderator lied during the Romney Obama debate in order to shield Obama from uncomfortable questions, and then she was celebrated for doing such a great job by CNN. The next day she admitted that she lied as well after the damage had been done.

Not sure why people are thinking Fox News lies and everyone else tells the truth. As far as I can tell Fox is the only TV news that hasn't admitted to outright lieing or covering up something to help Obama in the last year.

Re:Reliable (2)

Artifakt (700173) | about a year and a half ago | (#42308399)

Fox news is the only TV news that actually went into court petitioning for a verdict that it was OK for them to lie, that they didn't lose the first amendment derived right to keep sources confidential just because they were using those sources to deliberately lie. They got that verdict. As part of that case, Fox news is the only TV news that has admitted for the record, in a court of law that they out and out lied. Maybe that's why more people think Fox lies. You are technically correct because you used the clause "in the last year", and this has all been a matter of record for several years now - but you'ld be equally correct if you said "Charles Manson didn't actually kill anyone at the Tate or LaBianca residences". Fox didn't admit to lieing last year, but they are still admitted liars - and Manson didn't physically weild any weapons against anyone on the night of August 9th, 1969, but he is still a murderer.

Dubious Reasearch (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306813)

This is the most dubious research that Slashdot has presented in the past week.

How about something that is of actual value or is at least mentally stimulating? Here's a helping hint; it won;t involve Facebook or Twitter in any way whatsoever.

Truth? Whose? (0, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306837)

1. Reality is relative, as Einstein showed us. And 2. Nearly all stuff we think we "know" is based on somebody else telling us. Somebody we *trusted*. Or who of you has confirmed the Higgs himself. Or just something as simple as that text you're currently reading actually coming Slashdot.

Yes, of course there's math and all that stuff. But still: Have you verified it yourself? No. Most probably not even remotely. So no, you do not actually know if it is true. You only *trust* that it is true.

And that is why there is no absolute reality nor an absolute truth in practice. There is only your sensory input and your trust. And that's usually OK.

When it becomes a problem, is when you start thinking it's the "absolute truth" and that theories would be "facts". It's a theory. And that's okay. Because it turned out to be very useful for you, or you wouldn't use it.

So no, don't trust anything posing as "the truth" or "the facts". That's when the biggest bullshit that you ever saw hides right behind it.

Re:Truth? Whose? (2)

cheekyjohnson (1873388) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306843)

I trust you, Anonymous Coward.

Re:Truth? Whose? (4, Insightful)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306913)

Reality is the stuff that doesn't go away when you stop believing it.

Don't be a pedantic asshole. We can't determine the absolute truth, but we can get a close enough approximation.

Re:Truth? Whose? (2)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307247)

1. Reality is relative, as Einstein showed us.

Wrong. Einstein's theory of relativity doesn't say that reality is relative. Indeed it is very absolute in that theory. What is relative is the way we slice it into space and time.

this is pretty stupid (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306849)

let me FTFY:

"... the results of Twitter misinformation can be potentially deadly... team at Yahoo has analyzed tweets... to automatically assess the credibility of information... A machine-learning classifier developed by the researchers uses 16 features to assess the credibility... : credible tweets tend to be longer and include URLs; credible tweeters have higher follower counts; credible tweets are negative rather than positive in tone; and credible tweets do not include question marks, exclamation marks, or first- or third-person pronouns... less likely to contain swear words... significantly more likely to contain frowny emoticons than smiley faces... it could evolve into an invaluable 'first opinion' for flagging news items..."

this of course, is all based on current human behavior. now the misinformers know how the next generation information sanitization works, and they can adjust accordingly.

let me fix that further...

"dear terrorists, theives, misinformation puppets, propagandists, and counter propagandists. please follow this list of 16 ways to type out your garbage and continue the madness. it will not only work better, but it will circumvent next generation information warfare detection technology. thanks for your cooperation. yours with love, the good guys."

This is crap (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306859)

One of the criteria in their algorithm seems to be that credible tweets were

... significantly more likely to contain frowny emoticons than smiley faces.

They were evaluating tweets about a disaster; not a lot of smiley faces there.

The algorithm seems to have a bias toward bad news. So, if my buddy tweets that a rare Belgian beer will be available at the local liquor store, the algorithm will decide that it isn't credible because of the smiley face.

We just had the above case. Beer that you usually have to cross the Atlantic to get became available for about 30 minutes locally. Some of us lined up starting at 3:00 AM. I would have been really ticked off if some algorithm had made me miss the news.

[:~P (1)

wrencherd (865833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306867)

Who stops to type emoticons in the middle of a natural disaster (including switching to the alternate keyboard to get those characters)?

Re:[:~P (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307057)

Presumably the same dilholes that use twitter in the first place? Or maybe even broader - all users of MyTwitFace?

Re:[:~P (1)

froth-bite (2777385) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307225)

Who stops to type emoticons in the middle of a natural disaster (including switching to the alternate keyboard to get those characters)?

the same people who sing in the rain?

Re:[:~P (1)

Ol Biscuitbarrel (1859702) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307411)

Corpses everywhere. xD The stench of death pervades my very being. :)

Re:[:~P (2)

grcumb (781340) | about a year and a half ago | (#42309119)

Who stops to type emoticons in the middle of a natural disaster (including switching to the alternate keyboard to get those characters)?

It happens. When the Rabaul Queen [wikipedia.org] capsized[*] in heavy seas, killing an estimated 321 people, there were dozens of tweets and facebook posts from people on board. They used emoticons because it's a lot easier to write :-( than it is to write 'I'm really frightened right now.' Let me tell you, when I was assigned to write about the disaster, it was very, very difficult to read those posts and remain unmoved.

Moral: Don't make assumptions about people's state of mind unless you have some insight into what they're experiencing.

---------
[*] Of course, you've never heard of it, because nobody important was killed, just a bunch of dark people from nowhere important. Not a First World Problem....

Re:[:~P (1)

wrencherd (865833) | about a year and a half ago | (#42330865)

So you're saying that you believe that people who are facing their last moments on Earth, if given wifi/cell access during that time would/should NOT call their loved ones to say good-bye/"I love you", but should/would post on twitter instead, and include emoticons?

ps -- Thanks for your de rigueur introduction of victimhood into the discussion. :-O

2 Separate Issues: Evidence vs. Headlines (2)

retroworks (652802) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306869)

There's two topics here, one is use of potentially valuable information by, say, emergency responders (leads, evidence, etc.). The program could be useful. The second (e.g. "don't use 911") is "a headline", i.e. it is aimed at spreading news (or troll farts) as media to the social public. These are definitely two completely separate problems to solve. The second problem is best solved by evolution, as people who get their "news" off of social media become even stupider than they were to begin with and die off.

Re:2 Separate Issues: Evidence vs. Headlines (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307889)

The second (e.g. "don't use 911") is "a headline", i.e. it is aimed at spreading news (or troll farts) as media to the social public

Yes but this worked so well in re-electing a president...

Human Nature condensed to an algorithm (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42306901)

I don't need a Truth Detector®. What has been stated is that information that has less filtering by statists is by definition less reliable.

Human nature is such that bad news is more believable than good news, except when the goal is to sieze liberty from individuals.

Twits (2, Funny)

blagooly (897225) | about a year and a half ago | (#42306975)

It is Twitter, not Tweeter. Therefore Twits. Not Tweets. Twits.

Gaming Reliability/Credibility Assessment (5, Interesting)

girlinatrainingbra (2738457) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307009)

Of course, in just the same way that spammers can game Bayesian spam filters or rule-matching pattern filters by knowing what the rules are, given a known set of rules that attempt to assess credibility of tweet allows someone to tweak their tweets in order to be assessed as having high credibility:
1 -- max out your tweet length
2 -- include an URL [doesn't say whether to use a link shrtnr ;>(]
3 -- use a Twitter account with a high number of followers
4 -- use a negative tone
5 -- no question marks or exclamation points
6 -- use 2nd person (same as don't use 1st or 3rd person)
7 -- don't use swear words
8 -- use a sad emoticon
.
Example to maximize this:
a - break into / hack a high follower account (e.g. justinbieber) and tweet: cat > finaltweet
You should know Mayan Calendar sez: world ending this week. Confirmed@ http://netcraft.calendar.mayan/ [netcraft.calendar.mayan] you go hug loved 1s now. :>( beebs
wc finaltweet
1 20 139 finaltweet

First iteration was:
gia@sodium$ cat > count2
You should know that Mayan Calendar says : world ending within week. Confirmed by http://netcraft.calendar.mayan/ [netcraft.calendar.mayan] , you should hug loved ones now. :>( -- beebs
gia@sodium$ wc count2
1 25 159 count2

Please note that the "[netcraft.calendar.mayan]" was inserted by /.'s /-code and is not part of the wc wordcount :>(

Re:Gaming Reliability/Credibility Assessment (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307301)

Or what about this:

The world is going to end. :-( It will be eaten by a black hole approaching Earth, reaching us on Dec 21. See http://gaotse.cx for details.

(Link intentionally misspelled)

Looking for disaster, just look at car commercials (3, Insightful)

DarthVaderDave (978825) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307161)

If you weren't aware that Hurricane Sandy, Irene or whatever occurred, just tune into the local television and watch the car commercials. If I see one more Maxon, Salerno Dwayne, Rutherford Ford or Honda Hurricane Sandy stimulus event, I'm going to throw up. THAT is how you know something bad has happened.

Trust Skynet? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307165)

This is Skynet for 10 kilowatts I can post your tweet.

Credible Tweets Are Male? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307195)

credible tweets tend to be longer and include URLs; credible tweeters have higher follower counts; credible tweets are negative rather than positive in tone; and credible tweets do not include question marks, exclamation marks, or first- or third-person pronouns.

According to a previous story ( http://tech.slashdot.org/story/11/07/28/2244236/ [slashdot.org] ), URLs on Twitter are overwhelmingly posted by males. So, what's we've got here is a correlation being male and posting credible information on Twitter.

Re:Credible Tweets Are Male? (1)

Samantha Wright (1324923) | about a year and a half ago | (#42308573)

Woah; check your latent variables before you wreck your latent variables. Correlation is not causation. How do you know that maleness and natural disasters aren't both caused by URLs on Twitter?

There's a basic problem here. (2, Insightful)

Shavano (2541114) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307221)

The basic problem with any such approach is that tweets are individual opinions and you cannot arrive at the truth or falsehood of objective facts by analyzing a collection of he-saids and she-saids.

The hospital is either on fire or it is not on fire, regardless of what anybody says.

Sweet! 8-( (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307293)

Researchers...also found that credible tweets are less likely to contain swear words (PDF) and significantly more likely to contain frowny emoticons than smiley faces

.

Hey, that's pretty cool! :)

I mean, that's pretty cool! :(

Re:Sweet! 8-( (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307391)

I think for the first one you wanted to write: "Hey, that's fucking cool! :)"

And for the second one, you don't want the exclamation mark. That was also claimed to be a sign of non-credibility.

Remember this when you ask for help. (1)

maxwell demon (590494) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307395)

credible tweets do not include question marks, exclamation marks, or first- or third-person pronouns

Don't write "Help!" (exclamation mark" or "please help me" (first person pronoun).

Leads me to believe I hit the bull in the eye. (1)

3seas (184403) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307479)

How to know they are real valuable is when they are censored

My tweets were censored because they had URLs, even to Twitlonger.
So I resorted to these tweets instead @ ~140 characters limits (how long a tweet can be):

#taxes 1) The Declaration of independence recognized the peoples rights & duty to ... remove budgeting & accounting failed tasks from Gov't.
#taxes 2) for proper representation, given all the budgeting & accounting fails, &more, the people must direct where their taxes R 2 B used.
#taxes 3) For the people 2 voice where their taxes R 2 B used, forms R required to be created and made available by all Gov't tax collectors
#taxes 4) each taxpayers direction of where their taxes R 2 B used is with the constraint of generating teamwork benefits they can share in.
#taxes 5) for those who trust gov't, there is option of letting the government decide where their taxes, or some portion, R 2 B used.
#taxes 6) Address political/election faild promises R replaced w/taxpayer direction. Elected R hired to sum & implement taxpayer direction.
#taxes 7) For amount of taxes the taxpayers "trust" the government with, #voters not only help hire the elected but help direct these funds
#taxes 8) For people 2 know where their taxes are needed, Gov't must become transparent 2 inform the people of funding needs. People decide.
#taxes 9) Clarity, I decide on where the taxes I pay are used, you on yours, etc.. This is a republic where all voices are accounted for.
#taxes 10) We have plenty proof this tax directing change works. Open Source Software, Iceland's recovery, & many crowd sourced projects.
#taxes 11) either you trust the people 2 do the right thing, or you rig #elections 2 have some perceived unfair advantage over the people
#taxes 12) We shall NOT vote on this right & duty of the people to direct where their taxes are to be used. It has already been established
#taxes 13) The tax processor jobs are in position to allocate a taxpayer taxes according to that taxpayer's direction. And provide receipt.
#taxes 14) Should Gov't fail this job, the people can set it up through Credit unions & provide receipts/proof to tax processors of tax paid
#taxes 15) In event of going through Credit Unions, funding access will require proof of proper spending in accord with taxpayer directions.
#taxes 16) #1 priority directing taxes is 4 creation & availability of required forms giving taxpayers voice, allowing proper representation

But its kinda hard to post a PDF such as :
Facebook deleted this so I reposted to see how long it'll take before they do it again... Hmmm wonder why as I am American.

The easy way to direct where your taxes are to be used. Its on your check, its legal (don't use it offensively). You can use this idea to create your own. Scan a blank check to a jpeg file and use this as a background to create your text on. I used Autocad, but I'm sure there are many ways to accomplish this. See "enlarged" for more info.

Income Tax payment check Overlays:

http://3seas.org/Fed-Tax-check-overlay.pdf [3seas.org]

http://3seas.org/web-federal-overlay.pdf [3seas.org]
http://3seas.org/web-enlarged-fed.pdf [3seas.org] (so you can read it here)

http://3seas.org/web-state-overlay.pdf [3seas.org]
http://3seas.org/web-enlarged-state.pdf [3seas.org] (so you can read it here)

Remember Assange at the Embassy? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307491)

Wanna know why the Brits stepped over the border that early morning, just far enough to determine Assange was still there?

I had suggested Assange had left the building weeks before?

The authorities were watching the comments....

Yeah they invited an internet truth machine.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42307593)

it's called snopes.

Trying to be funny? (1)

drainbramage (588291) | about a year and a half ago | (#42307721)

If you weren't AC I would moderate you 'Woosh'.
Snopes != truth

Truth Takes Time (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42308083)

In case you've not noticed, the closer to the event, the less reliable the story.

Snopes for Twitter, then (1)

macraig (621737) | about a year and a half ago | (#42308211)

Snopes needs to borrow this algorithm and create a subsection devoted to Twitter. It will highlight the unreliable posts and list which criteria made them fail the sniff test. Then, if there's time and resources, a human being might follow up the most significant ones and flesh out the stories.

Censorship (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42308513)

Typical over zealous faith in technology to define "truth". And exactly from whose perspective are we using for reality. Oh internet god can you please think for me and guide me along the righteous path.

Best way to avoid inaccurate info.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42308651)

Just ignore Twitter. Works for me.

Community Moderation (1)

MrHim (703476) | about a year and a half ago | (#42309005)

How combining learning algorithms with community moderation?

Negative in tone? (1)

chrismcb (983081) | about a year and a half ago | (#42309087)

Credible tweets are negative? How is "Coney Island hospital is on fire" or "don't use 911, the lines are maxed out" positive in tone?

Reminds me of... (1)

beberly37 (1236914) | about a year and a half ago | (#42314717)

This reminds me of the anecdote about a DOD learning "AI" program to identify tanks in images that worked perfectly in the lab. We they took it into the field it didn't. They taught it by showing it pictures of landscapes with and without tanks. As it turns out, all of the tank pictures also had clouds and all of the no tank pictures didn't have clouds. So the AI was working, doing exactly what it was taught, identifying clouds.

headline fix (1)

AdamWill (604569) | about a year and a half ago | (#42315549)

Headline should read "Researchers Develop Tool For Twitter Trolls To Improve Plausibility Of Their Tweets"

Credible Post (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year and a half ago | (#42316267)

This Post IZ Fucking Credible!!!

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