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This Slack discussion by Natasha, Adrian (www.voiceblasts.fm), Dane, austin, David and Linh occurred in hackernoon's official #slogging-beta channel, and has been edited for readability.
Best sites to follow for 2020 election coverage?
twitter dot com
Adrian (www.voiceblasts.fm) ELI5..? 😉
I guess it depends if you want to bury your head in the sand or be a responsible citizen. I tend to watch 538 and
here to second twitter. i follow certain reporters on there and hear stories i'd never, ever hear on say, MSNBC, or CNN, or fox for that matter.
i'm not a trumper, i'm not a fox fan, but personally i find the coverage on the main networks a little...barren. void of certain types of content, for the most part. like it's good quality for facts on big events, if you follow MSNBC (or basically any mainstream network but fox and the ones that are even crazier).
except...i don't see them reporting much on say, the use of federal unmarked "police" in portland and philly, or the proud boys's behavior pre-trump-mention, or the camps for the hispanic migrants after the separation policy reversal...
sorry, my politics are showing...but twitter is generally a good source. just gotta verify what you see, and not trust random accounts posting random shit. most of the time you'll find a local paper (bless them) or a national outlet that mentions and buries the story in question in a ton of other crap.
mind you, i don't think it's necessarily malicious. i think it's just a glut of information. we have more information than the networks know what to do with.
but i digress. on that note, anyone have any over-the-counter recommendations for high blood pressure? 😅
fuck me, i need to get on a smaller screen all my posts today are novels
Axios reports that Twitter treats these 7 as the most trusted sources for election results: ABC News, AP, CNN, CBS News, Decision Desk HQ, Fox News and NBC News
i'll most likely just end up watching ABC for main coverage and twitter for anything they might miss. hell, i generally just use apple news
oh my! you opened a can of worms as I’ve watched this like a hawk for the past…idk, year? My watch:
+1 for NPR as well. i love NPR's coverage of everything. as for twitter, i'm a bit hyperbolic myself 😂 so it fits
forget one more site:
vote save america: unapologetically partisan and none of that bothsidism bullshit that big platforms like twitter and facebook have to pander to.
+1 austin about cable news being… meh. I tried to listen in sometimes while at my in laws house (where we would watch election night coverage from i guess) and i think these people are living in separate universes than the rest of people who are mostly online.
also, another thing about twitter: only 22% of america is actually on twitter and most tweets are from top 10% of users. So, it’s not the most representative population either.
I honestly don't mind sources like CNN. It's a little bit of a give-and-take though. On one hand, you get access to information as it happens which is better than sifting through all the noise online. But on the other hand, a lot of the takes are just way too vanilla and biased as they pander to the middle-left.
So I like the info but don't necessarily pay attention to the analysis.
I think I'll mainly be watching CNN and Twitter tomorrow. I might take a few peaks at FB for pure entertainment.
I would like to have access to a news source that is absolutely fantastic at collecting and presenting data but doesn't do any analysis.
here’s something i def not watch: how our own president claims different results at various points in the night, and def not his retweets.
Dane i was literally typing the same thing. only objective facts from the AP or something like “north carolina def calls it. biden wins”.
Dane fucking eh. i want the ron swanson version. "this is a candidate. this is another. these are their opinions. vote for one. that is all"
election is won when enough electoral votes are counted. we need a graph of some kind with some kind of source where it’s from. it can be as simple as a github repo.
A great use case for an AI news anchor. You just can't expect humans to not bring emotion and bias to the table.
Linh a little late, was getting tea, but i do take twitter with a huge grain of salt fwiw 😅 but i have found stories on there that i confirmed at other more mainstream sources, and it was barely on the radar in the latter case. that's why i use it, in part
Dane an AI news anchor is a good idea, although i'm not sure i'd use a traditional ML model..whatever it's trained on will influence its "voice", the bias of its creators, right?
I think Twitter is valuable at a macro level. It can absolutely be an echo chamber based on who you follow but getting a flood of so many opinions is nice. I do think it's good to take individual tweets with a grain of salt though.
yes, like if you see some one freaks out about say Iowa going for trump, don’t like freak with them. The other day david shows me a video of some long line at trump rally in arizona and it looks alarming. BUT. you need to think statistically and not anecdotally. and looking at individual tweets don’t help with that.
oh yeah, i always double check when it comes to news stories that are just text tweets, or even dubious-looking sources. as for the opinions...depending on who it is, sometimes i laugh and sometimes i just scroll past
I'm not sure if an AI would suffer from creator bias based on a skewed training set. If you use an old school text to speech strategy where every word is flat and emotionless then that would help. It would certainly make it hard to watch though.
Linh for sure, excellent advice. gotta be careful of what you consume, absolutely
Dane i don't know if cadence is the answer here. language used matters a lot
Yeah, I was going to mention that. Even if the words are emotionless, the composition of words can carry bias.
right. so...maybe this AI is trained with an AI ‼ maybe you make an AI to detect differences in descriptions of the same news story, looking for different phrasings of the same concept
kinda of related but also not quite related here, is the rise of Sarah Cooper. Seeing trumps words coming out of the mouth of a black woman is very revealing of how much and to what extent we can tolerate nonsensical when it comes from a mouth of a powerful in stature white man.
so, it absolutely matters which words are used, who says it, and what that person looks like.
Linh that is a great point. When you have an individual tweet that stands out for an extreme idea, it makes it hard to think about it objectively and assign it the same weight as less extreme tweets which are far more common.
right. there's a reason for the so-called "dapper nazi" being on major news networks for a while there...
Dane i didn't think of it that way, but that is very true. it evokes a highly emotional response -- not exactly the most rational.
i'd like to see a browser extension, sort of like clippy from microsoft word except instead of being annoying, it tells you when you're reading something that's not representative of the wider picture.
this is also exactly the mechanism by which cable news operate. most “regular” news go by unnoticed. and the most hyperbolic ones get doubled down on coverage. all in the name of ratings.
I'd like to see automated statistics that augment tweets. So say someone says "Dinosaurs aren't real". The automation could say something like.
This tweet appears to be pro-creationist. 17% of the US population believes in this theory. <learn more>
Linh right. i was talking with my dad about this the other day, and i suggested that cable networks should be barred from benefiting from the ratings system. not sure how all that works but it shouldn't be so damn sensational
i think Instagram started doing some version of this. When something gets posted that’s either not true or partially true, they send you something along the lines of “according to our independent fact checkers, this thing is not correct. here’s why”
People would absolutely hate it when automated stats debunk their beliefs but we need some form of transparency here.
BUT. i see the bigger problem is the so called “center” in our vernacular is actually center right. so pandering to the middle hurts more than helps.
The center is complicit by allowing their bothsidesism rationalize bad behavior. They see something objectively bad in the Trump camp like blatant sexism. But then they say "Oh but Sleepy Joe...I guess they're both bad...".
what's that quote? "you can't be neutral on a moving train"? by choosing not to take a side, they're taking a side
i find it so fucking annoying when people say “oh no we don’t talk politics here. we try not to be political”. fuck yes good for you to never have to worry about your fucking life when talking politics or not.
Nice quote. It would be nice if people would invest more time objectively weighing the good and the bad in things. It could be a simple point system if you want to tally it up. It could be sort of like the Good Place.
• Says something racist -1000 points
• Says something sexist -1000 points
• Denies science -500 points
• Helps workers relying on fracking for income +100 points
• Negative side effects of promoting fracking -300 points
In the end, I think people would come up with very different numbers based on their personal assessments of how important things are. I'm just blown away that people think the President is free to do whatever the hell he wants as long as he promises to be good for the economy.
To some degree, I think people do have some sort of approximated mental tally for things like this. But they tend to latch onto a few things they like or dislike about a candidate and forget about the rest.
Maybe it would be good to spend some time writing down a list of the 20 most important issues associated with each candidate then assigning a value to each issue. Then tally up the scores and how people stack up based on your personal values.
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