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How Many Hoaxes Are On Wikipedia? No One Knows 186

An anonymous reader writes The Washington Post's Caitlin Dewey has written a lengthy feature covering one of Wikipedia's most intractable problems: carefully inserted hoax information that is almost impossible to detect. Dewey's investigation starts with the recent discovery of the nonexistent Australian god "Jar'Edo Wens" (which lasted almost ten years), and discusses a Wikipediocracy post about a recent experiment by critic Greg Kohs, in which 30 articles received cleverly-chosen minor falsehoods. More than half survived for more than two months. Included is also a chart showing that editing participation in Wikipedia has "atrophied" since 2007. It is quite rare to see a feature in a major media outlet as critical as this, of Wikipedia and its little-known internal problems. Especially on the heels of a very favorable CBS 60 Minutes report. As Kohs says, "I think this has proved, beyond a reasonable doubt, that it's not fair to say Wikipedia is 'self-correcting.'"

Being Overweight Reduces Dementia Risk 97

jones_supa writes Being overweight cuts the risk of dementia, according to the largest and most precise investigation into the relationship (abstract). The researchers were surprised by the findings, which run contrary to current health advice. The team at Oxon Epidemiology and the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine analyzed medical records from 2 million people aged 55 on average, for up to two decades. Their most conservative analysis showed underweight people had a 39% greater risk of dementia compared with being a normal healthy weight. But those who were overweight had an 18% reduction in dementia, and the figure was 24% reduction for the obese. Any explanation for the protective effect is distinctly lacking. There are some ideas that vitamin D and E deficiencies contribute to dementia and they may be less common in those eating more. Be it any way, let's still not forget that heart disease, stroke, diabetes, some cancers and other diseases are all linked to a bigger waistline. Maybe being slightly overweight is the optimum to strike, if the recent study is to be followed.

Comment Not really a liberal attack (Score 1) 587

From that article, it seems people were being excluded for having certain opinions (ostensibly right-leaning ones) by others who thought of themselves as "liberal". But I don't see how anyone willing to enact such a policy of judging the messenger could be considered "liberal" by any measure.

Is there a word for the illiberal who nonetheless see themselves as liberal?

Comment Re:Is wasn't before it was (Score 4, Informative) 87

The order to take the videos offline was sent to all media companies. These orders are always secret, but a worker at the office of a Shanghai media company decided to leak the document. In this document, the Public Relations Department (literally Propaganda Dept, but "propaganda" doesn't have negative connotations in Chinese) orders the video taken down and that all media organizations must cease covering the topic. It cites the upcoming Lianghui ("Meeting of Two") government conference, and a pressing need for "online harmony" to precede those governmental deliberations as the reason, saying the public debate has gotten too popular/heated. So it looks like they had a change of mind after seeing the massive response. Report also says the worker has been suspended.

Comment Re: further translation needed (Score 1) 240

8chan was basically what happened when moot (who was 4chan's admin until his retirement a few weeks ago) banned #gamergate and fucked with /pol/

No, only the /gg/ board, and later /gamergate/ board came to be as you have described. 8chan itself (or infinitechan, the 8 representing a lemniscate) started over a year ago, which was many months before gamergate, when Brennan, having seen the many other *chans sprout up over the years in the aftermath of repeated censorship on 4chan, decided to create a hybrid of Reddit and 4chan.

Comment Re:Oh God, not again (Score 3, Insightful) 740

Here's the quote with the context that was omitted by Salon and by the submitter

“We vaccinate ours, and so, you know that’s the best expression I can give you of my opinion. You know it’s much more important what you think as a parent than what you think as a public official. And that’s what we do. But I also understand that parents need to have some measure of choice in things as well, so that’s the balance that the government has to decide.”

So it seems it's not so much an issue of scientific illiteracy as it is one of political hedging and cowardice.
That the media chose to run with the former as its narrative is revealing, both of the political allegiances of those media outlets and of Christie's complete naivete.

Comment Re:The least welcome news (Score 3, Informative) 184

Actually, 4chan, to this day is still dealing with a pedo problem on its /sp/ Sports board. It's the reason why none of the *chan archival sites out there are willing to archive /sp/. The vast majority of those now on 8chan first went there when Gamergate became banned on the whole of 4chan -- even just posting the word got you banned. A few months after that, word filters were implemented on /pol/ Politically Incorrect, turning it into a playground for /b/, resulting in a second wave of migration.

4chan's "intolerance" of certain subjects/people remains selective and capricious, and in no way accurately portrayed in your post.

The road to ruin is always in good repair, and the travellers pay the expense of it. -- Josh Billings