Drew Bixby

This conversation is closed.

TED Conversations should incorporate fact checking

TED Conversations is great in many ways. One valuable addition would be a tool to allow people to cite facts and substantiate facts of others (or show them as incorrect). It would be something along the lines of what Wikipedia does. As with Wikipedia, people are willing to do this.

Granted, people can add a comment right now with facts, but this would be an in-line citation to see and check while you are reading any one point of view.

It would limit the spreading of bad data. It would encourage people to get their facts straight and would lend even more value to reading through discussions. It would take TED Conversations to a new level to incorporate fact checking.

Closing Statement from Drew Bixby

Fact checking is not a perfect science. The concept can be "fuzzy", but that does not mean we disregard it all together. Citations on facts empower readers to determine for themselves the good/bad quality of the data and the source.

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    Feb 20 2011: A little hard to do that. The 'fact' concept is fuzzy and I don't think it is feasible to have a fact-checker in a discussion.

    Also, in a debate there is no such thing as 'bad-data'. Every person has the freedom of opinion and the one who is viewing has to decide the validity of his statement based on the arguments brought forth. Even Wikipedia gets its facts wrong.
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      Feb 20 2011: Fact checking is not a perfect science. Agreed on that, but that does not mean we disregard it all together.

      Also, re: bad data. I have to disagree. Look on any number of websites and you will find bad data - intentional or not. Granted data can be interpreted in many ways, but certain data points can be wrong. Also, its helpful for people to see when and where specific data points are substantiated.
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        Feb 23 2011: Hard to distinguish bad data from good data. That's my point.
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          Feb 24 2011: Understood. To take your point one step further, what you consider valid, reliable data may not be for me and vice versa.

          This is why, as part of the "fact checking", you put citations on items to direct them to the source of your data. You then empower readers to determine for themselves the good/bad quality of the data and the source.

          (Thanks for the discussion.)