Bias, or just fact?

General philosophy discussions. If you are not sure where to place your thread, please post it here. Share favorite quotes, discuss philosophers, and other topics.

Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 9th, 2020, 11:31 am 

Then, too, there is the question of what kind of bias in what context and whether it's appropriate in that context.
Just off the top:
Emotional bias in personal valuation.
You may think that your own wife is more attractive than your neighbour's wife - even if this is not the case as defined by objective beauty metrics. I think it's perfectly appropriate to stand by this conviction.
However, if you are on the judging committee of a beauty contest, and you are inclined to vote for the contestant who most resembles your wife, it's appropriate to pause, question your motives, try to gauge how much that bias contributes to your judgement, re-evaluate the contestants, using the impersonal metric, and adjust your verdict accordingly.

Interest bias in representation.
If you're an advertising executive in charge of selling a new pharmaceutical product, it's appropriate to believe in its benefits. You would be expected to show its targeted buyers the very best version of what it can potentially do for their quality of life. You would also be legally bound to disclose its potential harm, but you'd tack that onto the end of a happy little movie, as a monotone voice-over.
However, if you're reporting on the same product in a medical journal, you would be expected to give doctors as full an account as possible of the nature, mechanism, indications, contra-indications, benefits and hazards of the new drug. In this case, you must set aside whatever you may hope or fear, assemble the available facts, write it up and keep your emotions out of the finished article.

I'm sure there are more examples, but why complicate this?
When accusing someone of bias, it's important - beyond judging what was actually said, rather than some inaccurate representation of what was said - to categorize 1. type of bias 2. context 3. appropriateness of bias in that context 4. standard by which bias is measured and 5. factual content of the statement under consideration.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 9th, 2020, 11:58 am 

Are we talking about everyday bias, like preferring blue to green, or bias as in prejudice?

Because I don't see much wrong with bias. So you like opera and I like folk music. Or you like sweet things and I don't. So what?

But prejudice is something else entirely.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 9th, 2020, 12:29 pm 

That's why the wise ancestors invented different words for those different concepts.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Forest_Dump on November 9th, 2020, 12:31 pm 

Since this started on a Trump topic.....

My own bias includes outright astonishment at the US election. For example, I am aware of the suspicion over vote problems and do echo the "right" in wanting a closer look at the counts. However, given the mess of the last four years up to and including the Supreme Court appointment in the face of what was said four years ago, I am stunned the Republicans did so well in the Senate races, etc. And that more people voted against Biden than against Clinton. I would definitely want a closer look at that. If those results do hold up then I think the US has far greater problems than we had thought and predictions for four years from now are sobering.
User avatar
Forest_Dump
Resident Member
 
Posts: 8786
Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Location: Great Lakes Region
BadgerJelly liked this post


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 9th, 2020, 1:06 pm 

Serpent » November 9th, 2020, 5:29 pm wrote:That's why the wise ancestors invented different words for those different concepts.


So you're only talking about me liking one thing and you liking another? In that case there's no issue.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 9th, 2020, 1:09 pm 

Forest_Dump » November 9th, 2020, 5:31 pm wrote:Since this started on a Trump topic.....

My own bias includes outright astonishment at the US election. For example, I am aware of the suspicion over vote problems and do echo the "right" in wanting a closer look at the counts. However, given the mess of the last four years up to and including the Supreme Court appointment in the face of what was said four years ago, I am stunned the Republicans did so well in the Senate races, etc. And that more people voted against Biden than against Clinton. I would definitely want a closer look at that. If those results do hold up then I think the US has far greater problems than we had thought and predictions for four years from now are sobering.


That's not bias. At this rate every sound common sense view can be condemned as bias. I thought so, here we go talking nonsense again after only a few posts.

I'm sure Vat had more intelligent things in mind when he started the thread.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 9th, 2020, 1:27 pm 

charon » November 9th, 2020, 12:06 pm wrote:
Serpent » November 9th, 2020, 5:29 pm wrote:That's why the wise ancestors invented different words for those different concepts.


So you're only talking about me liking one thing and you liking another? In that case there's no issue.


Not at all. Preference is not bias; it's preference. Prejudice, likewise, has its own word, which is not the same as bigotry or partisanship or loyalty or conviction or persuasion or inclination or subjectivity - they all have their own words, each of which means something specific and definable. Stretching one slightly flexible word over a vast array of related meanings renders that word impossible to define and all the others more ambiguous.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby TheVat on November 9th, 2020, 2:52 pm 

I was really hoping to look at bias in the sense of presenting information in a way that impedes an objective assessment of reality. This can be selection bias - which is probably the big one in a lot of journalism. Reporting an isolated fact, call it X, when in fact 99.9 percent of times the case is Y. Sometimes called "cherry-picking."

As a journalist once pointed out, accurate reporting lies not in getting ALL the facts (which may be impossibly numerous, like all the stars in the universe), but in determining which facts are the important and revealing ones and transmitting those to the public. Or taking a cross-section of all the facts to get a slice that best represents the reality of the whole universe of facts.

You can apply this kind of bias-detection to reporting on polls. All indications are that 99.9 percent of polling stations were operating in a professional and competent manner, with observers from both parties attending their procedures. So, if one unverified report from a few observers says "we couldn't get close enough to the counters," in a handful of polling stations out of tens of thousands of them, then that requires the context of a larger cross-section, as well as verification of what actual obstructive intent there was from any election commissioners, what actual errors are documented (or even possible) and so on. As several members of both parties pointed out, the number of ballots where there is ambiguity as to the markings tends to be far lower than the number that would actually change an electoral outcome. That's called "context" - also very important in unbiased reporting, right?
User avatar
TheVat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 7814
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills
charon liked this post


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 9th, 2020, 4:08 pm 

I did mention context.
What is the appropriate standard of objectivity in the reporting of news?
Given that all the facts are not available all the time, it is nevertheless incumbent upon any journalist to collect as much information as possible within the time constraint, check the accuracy of data, compare as many witness statements and ascertain as many sources as possible. Only then decide which to include and which to leave out, ranking by PTF (probability of truth factor).

But context also includes the scope of the platform. If you're emailing your impressions to a friend, colleague or even your editor, personal bias is understood and expected. If you're reporting in the Hometown Bugle, you know what your readers' interests and priorities are: it's appropriate to lead with the imminent sale of their grain elevator, even if you have not been able to learn the details of the transaction, relegate all your rock solid background information on the potential buyer to a half column on page 7, and not even get around to three grain elevators in another county that the same buyer is considering. Cherry-picking has its place - but it should always be acknowledged, as should incomplete information and uncorroborated quotes.
If you're reporting on a national platform, the audience's interest in a story is unfocused, unknown. You have to be as inclusive as your information allows. There is the factor, however, of tiny time-frames: a 30 second spot is not conducive to analysis and rarely allows for detail or background. There is pressure to compete for audience attention, which skews away from the [boring] factual toward the [entertaining] extreme.

In fairness to the reports of election results that i watched: while they did dwell at length on the various allegations of fraud and only mentioned in passing the many instances of smooth procedure, they also did append "no evidence" to each reiteration.

(edited belatedly for two typos and three omissions.)
Last edited by Serpent on November 9th, 2020, 5:51 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 9th, 2020, 4:11 pm 

Serpent » November 9th, 2020, 6:27 pm wrote:
charon » November 9th, 2020, 12:06 pm wrote:
Serpent » November 9th, 2020, 5:29 pm wrote:That's why the wise ancestors invented different words for those different concepts.


So you're only talking about me liking one thing and you liking another? In that case there's no issue.


Not at all. Preference is not bias; it's preference. Prejudice, likewise, has its own word, which is not the same as bigotry or partisanship or loyalty or conviction or persuasion or inclination or subjectivity - they all have their own words, each of which means something specific and definable. Stretching one slightly flexible word over a vast array of related meanings renders that word impossible to define and all the others more ambiguous.



Anybody spot what's missing here? Correct, what bias is.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 9th, 2020, 4:13 pm 

What is the appropriate standard of objectivity in the reporting of news?


Yes, that's a good use of bias. Reporting should be factual unless it's put forward as opinion or comment.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 9th, 2020, 4:34 pm 

charon » November 9th, 2020, 3:11 pm wrote:
Anybody spot what's missing here? Correct, what bias is.


https://www.lexico.com/definition/bias

1. Inclination or prejudice for or against one person or group, especially in a way considered to be unfair.

1.1A concentration on or interest in one particular area or subject.

1.2A systematic distortion of a statistical result due to a factor not allowed for in its derivation.


[2A direction diagonal to the weave of a fabric.


3(in bowls) the irregular shape given to one side of a bowl.]


In sewing, it means the direction in which a fabric will tear and stretch, every time, regardless of any other factor. In lawn bowling, it means the direction in which the ball will roll, even on a perfectly level field.

Nothing to do with what music you like. But your taste in music might come into play as bias if you were on the America Has Talent panel, and promoted a mediocre country singer over an accomplished classical guitarist. Bias manifests not in the preference itself but in the effect of the preference on a judgment that is expected to be impartial.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Forest_Dump on November 9th, 2020, 7:13 pm 

I think there has been plenty of bias exhibited in the press and certainly here as well. Looking at the vote totals, and as noted above, I am astounded still. In terms of the count it seems clear to me that Trump will stand as the second most popular presidential candidate of all time, second only to Biden. I fully expect Harris will be running as the sitting incumbent in four years, who I hope to be able to endorse, but given what happened this time, I think she has a very steep hill to climb between now and then. Of course the questions remain of how much of that counts as facts and how much is more easily dismissed as bias if you choose not to accept some of what I think are facts, explicit or otherwise.
User avatar
Forest_Dump
Resident Member
 
Posts: 8786
Joined: 31 Mar 2005
Location: Great Lakes Region
BadgerJelly liked this post


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby TheVat on November 9th, 2020, 8:01 pm 

To remove bias from terms, we have to define them stringently. To use Forest's example, what does popular mean? If it's based on polls that ask a respondent's approval of a sitting president, then Trump would be at an historic low of popularity, his numbers hanging in the low 40s and never rising to even half during his entire term. If it's number of people who turn out to cast a vote for you (usually 40-60% of US voting age citizens), then both Trump and Biden drew a turnout rate the highest since 1900. In that different sense, one could say each had a strong base they were popular with. Or one could at least say, from numbers I've seen, that partisan loyalty is at a peak. If you break down popularity into categories of, say, liking the person versus liking their job performance, there can be disparity. Many who disapproved of Trump's character and moral conduct, did approve of his policies and voted for him. It's interesting what people will trade off to get a policy goal they desire.

So, it seems to ascertain facts about a politician's standing, one needs to separate out attributes that may all be under one broad umbrella term. That way we don't throw in bias by using a term that has one meaning for us and another for someone else.
User avatar
TheVat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 7814
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills
Serpent liked this post


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 9th, 2020, 8:16 pm 

I'm not sure what we're all saying but I think it's fairly obvious that data about anything serious should be scrupulously checked for fairness. Either by machines or impartial people.

Remembering that nothing's 100% safe, of course.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 9th, 2020, 10:49 pm 

Vat -

I’m having a hard time trying to grasp what you wish to talk about here. Facts are relevant in some areas more than others. Bias is about misapplication of facts and/or having a belief based upon a limited dataset. The issue we cannot directly address is how ‘limited’ our dataset is!

The only sensible approach I can see is to assume I’m wrong in some way and hold my opinions in constant check rather than look for ways to solidify them.

As always we’re kind of not too comfortable being ‘wrong’ most of the time. Knowing our own stubborn nature is not to belittle or demean ourselves, but to be honest with our limitations and stand in the face of uncertainty with a sense of adventure rather than with a self of self deprecation.

Biases and prejudices are a fact of our human nature. Bias exists in those that view themselves as above such natural tendencies - they fear themselves and so ignore what is most destructive (which I don’t see as being a good or bad thing, it may be necessary for some to do this as the burden of responsibility is too much for some). We’re different, and biases are a part of our differences. That’s okay at worst as far as I can tell.

Put simply, you CANNOT remove biases from terms because the biases don’t exist within the terms themselves, they exist within each individuals personal perspectives based on their current state of mind/situation.

Popular means many things. It can be a derogatory term in some forms and something that expresses approval in another. You know this. Which leads me to ask again, what are you interested in here? At some point in discourse we just have to admit that a ‘gist’ is better than atomising a thought into some lifeless form that has little to no impact - rhetorically speech requires us to understand that what we say can, and will, be taken in the wrong way by others. We can only guard so much against this, and we can also guard too much against this causing confusion, confounding and gilding of the lily.

Kant said it best when he said ‘in trying to say so much sometimes we should say so little’ (paraphrasing, as he came at this from the opposite direction talking about how attempts at precise articulation often end in reams of text that people just aren’t willing/able to hold in their minds).

Note: I assume I’m wrong somewhere here because I don’t see anything particularly ‘scientific’ here - its political/philosophical.
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5739
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby BadgerJelly on November 9th, 2020, 10:56 pm 

To clarify ...

That way we don't throw in bias by using a term that has one meaning for us and another for someone else.


We can strive for this, but we can NEVER achieve it (only delude ourselves that we can). This doesn’t mean that we should try ... just that we have to know we’re limited in terms of knowing our own perspective let alone another’s!

We will all hear what we hear and see what we see. What is ‘true’ is nowhere to be found in public discourse - that is the eternal problem of the political sphere.

I do think there may be use in going into detail regarding definitions of the Public Sphere - as I mentioned previously. Also, the term ‘bullshitting’ is of use here from what you’ve been saying - we certainly ‘bullshit’ ourselves just as much as others (cannot remember if Frankfurt explicitly defined ‘bullshit’ as something done to others rather than ourselves though tbh?).
User avatar
BadgerJelly
Resident Member
 
Posts: 5739
Joined: 14 Mar 2012


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 10th, 2020, 12:19 am 

A journalist reporting news, a scientists recording experimental data or a government official making an announcement are held to a different standard of both veracity and objectivity than the average citizen expressing an opinion. To be able to reach that standard, such public commentators need to be acutely aware of the requirement; they must be conscientious in their efforts to meet the requirement and should be trained in critical thinking, fact-checking and separating their emotions from their work. They also need an editor, peer review or a team of expert advisors to hold them to that standard.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 10th, 2020, 8:38 am 

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfr ... its-honest

'It should be obvious that there can’t be such a thing as a neutral journalist. We all have moral instincts and points of view. Those points of view will color our interpretations of the facts. The best course of action is to acknowledge where we’re coming from. If we show an awareness of our own political leanings, it actually makes us more trustworthy than if we’re in denial about them.'
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 10th, 2020, 11:00 am 

On a separate but related note:
Is it always wrong to be biased in favour of a principle?
Might there not be some general understanding of a point of view shared by reporter and audience? Say, a legal, moral or cultural tenet that can be taken for granted as a basis for judging persons and events? Would it, for instance, be all right for a journalist to use condemnatory language when reporting on a mass murderer? Is it okay to side with the ethical norms of the nation to whom they're reporting?

BTW - The latest reports I'm hearing about Trump activity are couched in terms that sound neutral to my biased ears but would sound inflammatory to a staunch Trump supporter: "Demanding investigation into baseless allegations of voter fraud."
How far should they back away from the truth in order to look impartial?
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 10th, 2020, 12:43 pm 

Is it always wrong to be biased in favour of a principle?


I wouldn't have thought it applied. Let's say the principle was 'don't steal' or 'don't exploit', does bias come into it? There's something wrong with the idea behind that. Is one 'biased' when it comes to sticking up for what is right?
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 10th, 2020, 1:10 pm 

charon » November 10th, 2020, 11:43 am wrote:I wouldn't have thought it applied.

How can the question of right and wrong not apply to bias? There is an unstated underlying principle in the assumption that bias itself is wrong in some way - and it's not even stated in what way it's wrong, or in what situations and what kind of bias is wrong. Maybe that principle needs to be stated.

Let's say the principle was 'don't steal' or 'don't exploit', does bias come into it?

Ceratinly. You lean one way or the other on each issue. If everybody involved leans the same way, they can't see the bias, since they're all parallel to one another.

Is one 'biased' when it comes to sticking up for what is right?

That was my question, in a nutshell.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 10th, 2020, 3:06 pm 

And the answer to it is that not everything is a matter of opinion.

Where I am now it's Tuesday and just after 7pm. That's not a 'biased' statement and it would be completely ridiculous to suggest it was.

The whole point of talking about bias is to see that it cannot refer to facts, only to personal preferences. As you yourself pointed out.

Vat's point was that a biased result is obtained when data isn't correctly correlated or interpreted. That's a different issue.

The whole point of the Guardian article is to show there's nothing wrong with personal preferences as long as they're made openly and not used to subvert technical material or official figures.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 10th, 2020, 3:18 pm 

And I'm still not sure what all the fuss is about. Probably what matters is to spot biased material when it appears. Which many people wouldn't be able to do.

At which point the 'experts' appear and start contradicting each other :-)

Moral: As far as possible be sure of your facts and keep a clear head.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 10th, 2020, 3:24 pm 

Personally, when two camps start pronouncing different things, usually at the top of their voice, I tend to ignore both of them and do my own research in sensible places.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 10th, 2020, 3:35 pm 

charon » November 10th, 2020, 2:06 pm wrote:And the answer to it is that not everything is a matter of opinion.

Agreed. Not everything is subject to the question of bias.

Where I am now it's Tuesday and just after 7pm. That's not a 'biased' statement and it would be completely ridiculous to suggest it was.

Nor would any listener take exception to the news announcer saying so. But then he or she would have to proceed on to the news, which is where the controversy begins.

The whole point of talking about bias is to see that it cannot refer to facts, only to personal preferences. As you yourself pointed out.

I pointed out the exact opposite of that. Personal preference in itself is not bias. The degree to which personal preference affects the presentation, ranking or suppression of facts is the measure of bias.

Vat's point was that a biased result is obtained when data isn't correctly correlated or interpreted. That's a different issue.

And here I thought this was the issue under consideration.

The whole point of the Guardian article is to show there's nothing wrong with personal preferences as long as they're made openly and not used to subvert technical material or official figures.

That would be the editorial. The article should have filtered out the personal commentary altogether.

What I most recently was why is bias bad? What is the assumed and unstated principle that makes it bad? Is it always bad - or only when it leans at a different angle or direction from the shared bias of the audience?

Edited to add:

And I'm still not sure what all the fuss is about.

Which "fuss"? Discussing the nature and place of bias in news reportage and other public communication?

Probably what matters is to spot biased material when it appears. Which many people wouldn't be able to do.

As regards announcements by government officials, the spokesmen of public health and educational institutions, pharmaceutical laboratories and national news broadcasters, I can perceive that as a problem worth considering.

At which point the 'experts' appear and start contradicting each other.

Yes, that, too, can become a problem.

Moral: As far as possible be sure of your facts and keep a clear head.

I have every confidence in your ability to do so.
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 10th, 2020, 4:15 pm 

The whole point of talking about bias is to see that it cannot refer to facts, only to personal preferences. As you yourself pointed out.



I pointed out the exact opposite of that.


But if it doesn't refer to facts, what does it refer to?

The degree to which personal preference affects the presentation, ranking or suppression of facts is the measure of bias.


So personal preference is bias.

And here I thought this was the issue under consideration.


No, inaccurate correlation of facts is error, not bias. I'm assuming the inaccurate correlation is not performed with malice aforethought.

What I most recently (asked) was why is bias bad?


Personal opinion is just opinion. Whether it's good or bad depends. If my personal opinion was that all paedophiles should be publicly tortured that would probably be bad.

Which "fuss"? Discussing the nature and place of bias in news reportage and other public communication?


No, the whole apparent mystery about bias. It exists, that's all. Newspapers are privately owned so if they want to veer in their opinions one way or the other it's up to them. The BBC, for example, shouldn't be biased in their news presentation but certain other programs can express preferences as long as they're clearly stated.

As regards announcements by government officials, the spokesmen of public health and educational institutions, pharmaceutical laboratories and national news broadcasters, I can perceive that as a problem worth considering.


Quite.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby Serpent on November 10th, 2020, 5:29 pm 

charon » November 10th, 2020, 3:15 pm wrote: The whole point of talking about bias is to see that it cannot refer to facts, only to personal preferences. As you yourself pointed out.
[I pointed out the exact opposite of that.]

But if it doesn't refer to facts, what does it refer to?

The unfairly slanted presentation of facts.

So personal preference is bias.

Personal preference is personal preference. None of your business. The extent to which personal preference affects one's world-view is bias. Still none of your business, if I'm a private citizen. The degree to which the reporter's world-view affects the presentation of facts to other people is the measure of bias in the reporting. It becomes your business if you are receiving incomplete, slanted or misrepresented news.

No, inaccurate correlation of facts is error, not bias. I'm assuming the inaccurate correlation is not performed with malice aforethought.

Bias doesn't require any form of malice or forethought. In data recording, there can be an unintended and undetected systemic bias. For example, a program may contain an instruction to the computer to round every quantity to two decimal digits. If it rounds to the [i]nearest digit, the result of + and - 1/1000's will average out be within an acceptable % tolerance of error. If it rounds upward in every instance, the cumulative figure it shows may be far more than the actual total. If it rounds down every time, the final sum may be significantly less.
Similarly, with no intention to lie or mislead, a news announcer reads the content of the feed he's given. If the medium in which he works consistently over-reports some types of event and under-reports other types, or follows the activiries of certain public figures while ignoring others, the spokesman has no option but to present a biased version of the news.


[As regards announcements by government officials, the spokesmen of public health and educational institutions, pharmaceutical laboratories and national news broadcasters, I can perceive that as a problem worth considering.]

Quite.

Bingo! That's what the fuss is about!
Serpent
Resident Member
 
Posts: 4320
Joined: 24 Dec 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby charon on November 10th, 2020, 7:58 pm 

The unfairly slanted presentation of facts.


Which, if orchestrated by a person, is the implication of their preference, which appears as bias in the presentation.

Personal preference is personal preference. None of your business. The extent to which personal preference affects one's world-view is bias. Still none of your business, if I'm a private citizen. The degree to which the reporter's world-view affects the presentation of facts to other people is the measure of bias in the reporting. It becomes your business if you are receiving incomplete, slanted or misrepresented news.


Exactly. You're only repeating what I've been saying.
charon
Resident Member
 
Posts: 2511
Joined: 02 Mar 2011


Re: Bias, or just fact?

Postby TheVat on November 10th, 2020, 9:25 pm 

Another aspect of bias is found in lack of follow-up. A story is printed that highlights charges of an outrageous nature, leaving the reader with the impression that something truly sordid and/or perfidious will eventually be found... then, when the charges prove false, perhaps never were credible, a biased media outlet will fail to cover that. Imagine if the Washington Post hadn't followed up on the story of the postal worker in Pennsylvania who claimed that ballots were tampered with and mis-dated. But they did...

https://www.washingtonpost.com/investig ... story.html


November 10, 2020 at 6:08 p.m. MST

A Pennsylvania postal worker whose claims have been cited by top Republicans as potential evidence of widespread voting irregularities admitted to U.S. Postal Service investigators that he fabricated the allegations, according to three officials briefed on the investigation and a statement from a House congressional committee.

Richard Hopkins’s claim that a postmaster in Erie, Pa., instructed postal workers to backdate ballots mailed after Election Day was cited by Sen. Lindsey O. Graham (R-S.C.) in a letter to the Justice Department calling for a federal investigation. Attorney General William P. Barr subsequently authorized federal prosecutors to open probes into credible allegations of voting irregularities and fraud, a reversal of long-standing Justice Department policy.

But on Monday, Hopkins, 32, told investigators from the U.S. Postal Service’s Office of Inspector General that the allegations were not true, and he signed an affidavit recanting his claims, according to officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe an ongoing investigation. Democrats on the House Oversight Committee tweeted late Tuesday that the “whistleblower completely RECANTED.”


This is also, I hope, an answer to Badger as to what I was talking about specifically. Specifically, bias can arise in its most pernicious form when information flows in a selective way. Clickbait gets top billing, but does a correcting follow-up get equal play when it pours cold water on something? Will the first set of facts, "postal worker charges ballot fraud" be countered with the second set of facts?
User avatar
TheVat
Forum Administrator
 
Posts: 7814
Joined: 21 Jan 2014
Location: Black Hills


PreviousNext

Return to Anything Philosophy

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 18 guests