Truthiness and Social Pollution

WaPo reports that the National Science Foundation is funding a project to analyze Twitter data to detect what the project researchers deem as “social pollution” and to study what they call “social epidemics,” memes that spread throughout pop culture. The “social pollution” targeted includes “political smears,” “astroturfing,” and other forms of “misinformation.”

Hmm. A government-funded initiative is going to “assist in the preservation of open debate” by monitoring social media for “subversive propaganda” and combating what it considers to be “the diffusion of false and misleading ideas”? The concept seems to have come straight out of a George Orwell novel.

Read the whole thing.

The feds are spending your money to monitor your political speech on Twitter. There may be a better way for you to spend your cash. Tar and Feathers are available from Amazon.

6 thoughts on “Truthiness and Social Pollution


  1. No bias at all…

    /SarcasmOff

    From the story
    “Some possible hints as to Truthy’s real motives emerge in a 2012 paper by the project’s leaders, in which they wrote ominously of a “highly-active, densely-interconnected constituency of right-leaning users using [Twitter] to further their political views.”


  2. Some of them actually think that stuff makes perfect sense. As if in their quiet moments alone they figure that every one who disagrees with them is part of this social pollution. They’re puzzled by the experience of reading things which are different from their dogma. I get the same reaction from small children, who are convinced that THEY are right, and the world is wrong.


  3. Coincidentally, I just finished reading about this before getting to Hogewash. The article addresses my personal thoughts about the difference between conservatives and liberals in this country.

    Conservatives generally believe society should determine how government operates, through voting and petitioning.

    Liberals generally believe that government can be used to fix society.

    Both of these attitudes are valid and respectable.

    The Left believes the end justifies “whatever means necessary” to achieve their goals, which means relinquishing our constitutional rights if those rights get in their way.

    True Liberals who spent the 60’s and 70’s fighting for constitutional rights need to stop automatically voting for “D” candidates, many of whom nowadays are actually the Left trying to “fix” society into their own image.

    Ironically, every president since Kennedy, both Republican and Democrat, has signed legislation that has been used to whittle away at our constitutional rights. Bush II and Obama have been the worst offenders.

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