1. 11

This is in response to the Vice story “number theorist fears all published math is wrong”, which the quoted number theorist debunked.

The original story has been flagged as spam. It clearly is not. A blog post describing how ACME Brand Bleach makes whites whiter than Brand X Bleach is spam, whether it’s true or not. A blog post about how Windows 10 is actually just Ubuntu running a patched version of Wine would not be spam, in spite of being complete hogwash.

They’re just using the spam flag because flagging a misquoted article is the right thing to do. Allowing misinformation to spread is obviously not something that Lobsters wants to do.

The reason I’m calling it debunked instead of incorrect because debunking is a bit more narrow. To flag something as debunked, you need to be prepared to produce a reputable source showing why it’s wrong. “I just know” won’t cut it.


  2. 3

    I support “incorrect”, because unlike you, I consider it more narrow than “debunked”. In many cases you can produce reputable source arguing against something even if it is correct. Debunked and Well-Refuted explained this dynamics well.

    1. 2

      I believe “incorrect” and “off-topic” are enough to address this sort of submission.

      1. 1

        “incorrect” can’t be applied to posts, only comments. (Is that normal? This is the behavior I see on the site right now.)

        1. 1

          You’re right, I am misremembering.

      2. 1

        So… you think someone who selectively cites studies to prove that Article X is debunked doesn’t consider Article X incorrect? And would not flag it as such? The whole purpose of calling something debunked is to give a justified reason to conclude that it’s incorrect.

        I don’t actually have a problem with an incorrect flag reason. I just kind of guessed that its existence has, in the past, caused unpopular articles to get mobbed.

      3. 3

        I’ve used the spam flag here because it’s the sort of article that relies on taking the meat of other things, running them through some process to distort their original intent, and then repackaging the results as a meat-like substance that is theoretically as filling but clearly less healthy than what it started life as. You know, spam.

        Vice, like Hormel, is a brand you can trust to produce spam.

        1. 2

          Some time back, it was explained that we can and should use the “troll” downvote in a sense more broad than might be appropriate in other contexts.

          I’m trying to apply that reasoning to this proposal , but I’m not sure which of these flag options I see on posts should be applied to the example post. I guess I would pick spam? But the inaccuracy of that option basically discourages me from flagging at all. I guess I support the addition of a new flag.

          I favor “incorrect” over “debunked”.

          Side note: sorry sanxiyn, I’m not checking out your link just now. Thus still naive, I see “incorrect” as more broad than “debunked”.

          1. 2

            How do you down vote stories?

            1. 2

              Erm… “flag”. The right word is “flag”.

            2. 1

              TL;DR: add an Incorrect flag if that makes more people vote; but that won’t be enough, the scoring algorithm needs to be fixed, needs to be made more lobster like.

              Incorrect submissions are also spam. Spam is something unsolicited. Incorrect submissions are not explicitly solicited. Therefore they are also spam. That doesn’t require that you can identify a thing that is being promoted.

              You mentioned reputable sources but did not say how you define reputable and whether that is independently testable. Reputation can not replace testing an argument, but if done correctly it can help coordination to find things that are worth testing. I consider incorrect thus a more useful concept here.

              What is the goal of flagging? Some reason may be a negative score to filter <0 and/or some admin reaction. Anything else?

              Many incorrect submissions still keep a positive score, even after that is shown in the comments. A more specific flag than spam will not necessarily make them go negative. That is not a reason to not add an alias or more specific flag if that makes more humans vote at all on a story.

              It happens that incorrect information is scored high on this site. One might want to use a better reputation algorithm to make it easier to find scientifically correct submissions and not waste time with things that are incorrect. One that improves quality over time without resorting to authority or majority-rule. It needs to work on something more specific than one score/tally, like if a tag applies (or even a more expressive assertion). It would require calculating the reputation individually for a user based on who they trust to use a tag correctly. Which is a more lobster like approach, as they don’t form a shared hierarchy but each their own view of it. The trust calculation needs to be able to differentiate between trust for different tags. This trust between two humans needs to be calculated based on tags/assertions they put in this system, not directly. It needs to be able to keep by user choice some input private. It needs to take into account if people acknowledge their errors. (To answer if I make an adversarial collaboration with this person.) It needs a way to avoid Sybil attacks. Explicitly tagging things as “correct scientific argument” is needed to make the goal more obvious and to not exclude fiction, jokes, and allow any categorisation goal. It should be able to tag only a part of a submission.

              A good collaborative categorisation system makes it possible to take into account when people agree on a specific assertion without requiring agreement on other or a more general assertions. (The current one fails this by requiring agreement on a the very unspecific “up or downvote”.)

              1. 1

                Another story this might apply to: Keybase iOS Has A Backdoor

                1. 1

                  Strongly support