Facebook Is Fact-Checking Conservative Sites into Oblivion

This is a very important story to understand because Facebook, et. al., have found a new tool to destroy alternative media: ‘fact checking.’ Facebook’s third-party fact checkers hardly know one end of truth from the other, but they make hard assertions in spite of it.  ⁃ TN Editor

Facebook announced last year that they will be using third-party fact-checkers to root out “fake news” on their platform. At the time of the announcement, conservatives sounded the alarm about how some of the fact-checkers they’re using are left-wing hacks like PolitiFact and Snopes (who recently, with straight facesfact-checked a piece of satire from The Babylon Bee).

A recent warning that accompanied an article I wrote for PJM highlights the fallibility of Facebook’s fact-checking program:

Why a Canadian outfit is fact-checking U.S. news is anyone’s guess, but they clearly flagged my article in error. [It was brought to my attention after this article was published that AFP Canada is part of France’s state-run Agence France-Presse, so let me rephrase that question: Why has Facebook chosen a state-run French news outlet to fact-check U.S. news?]

You can read the article in question here. Facebook deprioritized my article after AFP Canada reported this:

No, it is not illegal to take a shower and do laundry on the same day in California

While some media outlets did indeed report (more or less) falsely that California had made it illegal to shower and do laundry on the same day, I made no such claims. In fact, having seen other reporting making that claim (stretching the truth a bit, in my opinion) I conscientiously avoided making it. I merely laid out the facts about a typical family’s water usage and concluded that the 55-gallon-per-day water limit recently imposed on Californians “may” force them to choose between showering and doing laundry on the same day. Nevertheless, Facebook, relying on AFP’s article, apparently lumped mine in with those that stretched the truth a bit, even though the AFP article never mentioned PJ Media. They did, however, single out articles by Zero Hedge, Washington Times, and a local San Diego news station.

The article from AFP Canada made the following claims:

The new laws do set the following “standards” in future years for indoor residential water use:

  • From 2022 to Jan. 1, 2025, the standard volume is 55 gallons per capita per day
  • From Jan.1, 2025, this standard is reduced to 52.5 gallons per capita per day
  • From Jan. 1, 2030, the standard is reduced to 50 gallons per capita per day

However keyword searches of both laws, found here and here show there is no mention of laundry nor having a shower.

I quoted the bill directly in my piece so there would be no confusion as to what was included in the new standards and when they would take effect:

The bill, until January 1, 2025, would establish 55 gallons per capita dailyas the standard for indoor residential water use, beginning January 1, 2025, would establish the greater of 52.5 gallons per capita daily or a standard recommended by the department and the board as the standard for indoor residential water use, and beginning January 1, 2030, would establish the greater of 50 gallons per capita daily or a standard recommended by the department and the board as the standard for indoor residential water use. The bill would impose civil liability for a violation of an order or regulation issued pursuant to these provisions, as specified.

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‘Miracle Milly’: Dog Cloned 49 Times In Pointless Genetic Study

Scientists say they want to discover the DNA responsible for the dog’s small size, but in the process are perfecting cloning technology. This smacks of Huxley’s Brave New World (1932) where humans were cloned (doppelgängers) to fill particular classes of jobs in society; procreation outside of the laboratory was forbidden. ⁃ TN Editor

The smallest dog on the planet has been cloned a record-breaking 49 times – making her a two-time world record holder.

Scientists have created 49 genetically-identical dogs based on genes from the tiny Chihuahua, known as ‘Miracle Milly’.

The six-year-old pup was replicated by scientists hoping to unearth the genetic code behind her tiny stature.

‘Miracle Milly’ purportedly weighed less than an ounce at birth, and could curl up inside the head of a teaspoon, leading vets to speculate she would not survive.

However, the tiny dog has gone on to thrive, thanks to loving mum Vanesa Semler, 38, of Kissimmee, Florida, who fed the puppy every two hours using an eyedropper.

Since 2012, Miracle Milly was awarded the Guinness World Record for Smallest Living Dog, standing at less than 10cm (3.8in) tall and weighing just over a pound – the same as a large apple.

Her minuscule measurements led to worldwide adoration.

Researchers at the Sooam Biotech Research Foundation in Seoul, Korea approached Ms Semler to clone the dog to try and determine the genetic code behind her size.

To carry this out, scientists extracted cells from Milly and used the nucleus, which holds her genetic information, which was then transplanted to a donor egg cell.

From there, the developing embryo was placed into a surrogate mother who would give birth to the pups – in a process similar to the 1996 Dolly the sheep experiment.

In August last year, the first litter of Milly’s clones were born.

All 12 of the doggie doppelgangers now live with the Semler family, who have named the Milly clones: Molly, Mally, Melly, Molly, Mumu, Mila, Mary, Mimi, Moni, Mini, Mela and Mulan.

According to their owners, the pups have exactly the same personalities and looks, however, some are slightly bigger than Miracle Milly.

Last month, the family received the accolade for ‘Most Cloned Dog’ by The Academy Of World Records.

Mr Semler, who works as a Chihuahua breeder, said: ‘Miracle Milly is the actual World Record Holder for the Smallest Living dog from 2012-2018 and now she’s the most cloned dog with more than 49 clones.

‘The original idea was to make ten clones in total, nine for research and one for us, but they decided to clone her more times.

‘She was chosen for being the smallest dog in the world. They want to find out why she was so small and then study her genes to find out what makes her so tiny.

‘It’s amazing to be around all of her clones, they are so smart, very playful like Milly and have really similar personalities. We love them, they are all our babies. But it’s a lot of hard work having 12 clones of Milly.

‘The clones all look like her, but they aren’t her, they are slightly different in size.

‘They are sweet and loving, but Milly is unique, while they have the same eyes and markings on their coats, in my opinion you could never reproduce her.’

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Beware: Researcher Says Most Scientific Studies Are Wrong

The glaring fallacy in Technocracy is that the data are bent to justify their theories. This crept in when early Technocrats realized that their ‘Science of Social Engineering’ could not be supported with legitimate data. Today’s news plays out like the childhood game ‘Simon Says” but substituted with ‘Science Says’. ⁃ TN Editor

A few years ago, two researchers took the 50 most-used ingredients in a cook book and studied how many had been linked with a cancer risk or benefit, based on a variety of studies published in scientific journals.

The result? Forty out of 50, including salt, flour, parsley and sugar. “Is everything we eat associated with cancer?” the researchers wondered in a 2013 article based on their findings.

Their investigation touched on a known but persistent problem in the research world: too few studies have large enough samples to support generalized conclusions.

But pressure on researchers, competition between journals and the media’s insatiable appetite for new studies announcing revolutionary breakthroughs has meant such articles continue to be published.

“The majority of papers that get published, even in serious journals, are pretty sloppy,” said John Ioannidis, professor of medicine at Stanford University, who specializes in the study of scientific studies.

This sworn enemy of bad research published a widely cited article in 2005 entitled: “Why Most Published Research Findings Are False.”

Since then, he says, only limited progress has been made.

Some journals now insist that authors pre-register their research protocol and supply their raw data, which makes it harder for researchers to manipulate findings in order to reach a certain conclusion. It also allows other to verify or replicate their studies.

Because when studies are replicated, they rarely come up with the same results. Only a third of the 100 studies published in three top psychology journals could be successfully replicated in a large 2015 test.

Medicine, epidemiology, population science and nutritional studies fare no better, Ioannidis said, when attempts are made to replicate them.

“Across biomedical science and beyond, scientists do not get trained sufficiently on statistics and on methodology,” Ioannidis said.

Too many studies are based solely on a few individuals, making it difficult to draw wider conclusions because the samplings have so little hope of being representative.

“Diet is one of the most horrible areas of biomedical investigation,” professor Ioannidis added — and not just due to conflicts of interest with various food industries.

“Measuring diet is extremely difficult,” he stressed. How can we precisely quantify what people eat?

In this field, researchers often go in wild search of correlations within huge databases, without so much as a starting hypothesis.

Even when the methodology is good, with the gold standard being a study where participants are chosen at random, the execution can fall short.

A famous 2013 study on the benefits of the Mediterranean diet against heart disease had to be retracted in June by the most prestigious of medical journals, the New England Journal of Medicine, because not all participants were randomly recruited; the results have been revised downwards.

So what should we take away from the flood of studies published every day?

Ioannidis recommends asking the following questions: is this something that has been seen just once, or in multiple studies? Is it a small or a large study? Is this a randomized experiment? Who funded it? Are the researchers transparent?

These precautions are fundamental in medicine, where bad studies have contributed to the adoption of treatments that are at best ineffective, and at worst harmful.

In their book “Ending Medical Reversal,” Vinayak Prasad and Adam Cifu offer terrifying examples of practices adopted on the basis of studies that went on to be invalidated, such as opening a brain artery with stents to reduce the risk of a new stroke.

It was only after 10 years that a robust, randomized study showed that the practice actually increased the risk of stroke.

The solution lies in the collective tightening of standards by all players in the research world, not just journals but also universities, public funding agencies. But these institutions all operate in competitive environments.

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