Many people love “fact checker sites.” Now, in case you aren’t familiar with fact checker sites, they are sites that evaluate the truthfulness of statements made in articles or by people presumably so that people can know what the truth is.
Now, if you’re trying to prove a point to promote your position on an issue, then you would love to have the support of a fact checker site because it would give credibility to what you are saying and what you are promoting.
Obviously, a fact checker site should seek to evaluate information in context and without bias. But do they?
Sadly, like so many other organizations who say that they are unbiased or that they provide qualify information, fact checker sites are fallible, too, especially when it comes to statements about how U.S. gun violence compares to the rest of the world. John Lott writes,
Snopes.com recently fact-checked a post that we first put up in June 2015 and updated on January 7, 2016. This became an issue for them because a story that Fox News’ Special Report that had run a couple years ago was getting circulated on Facebook after the Florida high school shooting. They wrote: “Our conclusion is that this is accurate based on the CPRC’s definition of a mass shooting, but also extremely misleading. It uses inappropriate statistical methods to obscure the reality that mass shootings are very rare in most countries, so that when they do happen they have an outsized statistical effect.”
They made two general points: questioning our definition of mass public shootings and that we obscure how rare these attacks are in European countries.
Now, if Snopes had done the job that they say they do, then everything would be fine. Just give us the truth. The problem? It’s Snopes that was misleading, not the Crime Prevention Research Center who Snopes was supposedly fact checking.
So, what definition of “mass shootings” was Snopes saying that the CPRC was misleading about? Oh, just the FBI’s definition of that term. You know, the one that all of us think that we’re using when we talk about mass shootings. Which begs the question, “What definition of ‘mass shootings’ would Snopes prefer that we use?”
The other issue? Lott tears it apart. He writes,
Snopes.com makes it look like our analysis only compared the US to individual countries in Europe. They completely ignore that we also compared the US to the EU and Europe as a whole. For four of these seven years, the total number of deaths from mass public shootings is greater in these European countries than in the US. If one compares the yearly median for Europe to the yearly median for the US, they are virtually the same. With or without France, the median for Europe is 19. For the US, it is 18.
So, what you have from Snopes is that they say that they are being honest, but then they either dishonestly criticize the criteria used for the study (questioning the definition of “mass shootings”) or they dishonestly take the data out of a context that gives the data perspective, thus giving the illusion that the situation is not the way that it really is.
And this is the kind of data manipulation that the mainstream media and anti-gunners use to try to talk you into a corner.
The solution? Facts and perspective. Give it to them straight. Because anti-gunner arguments simply cannot stand up to facts and perspective that gives the data context. Know your stuff and never back down.
Any attempt at gun control is unconstitutional. The Constitution says plainly, “the right of the people to keep and bear arms SHALL NOT BE INFRINGED.”
Shall not be infringed? Do you live in California? We are infringed every day, and it just got worse today (7/1/19) with background checks for ammunition. That coupled with no more bulk ammo purchases via the internet is an infringement, if not indirectly, making it more difficult to excersize our 2A rights.
That is 100% correct. However, liberals are very weak-minded and brainwashed. They were never taught how to read. You obviously were taught how to read and how to comprehend what you read. All of the restrictions placed on the 2nd Amendment are unconstitutional. As such they should be removed and the BATFE put on notice “NOT TO ATTEMPT TO PLACE ANY UNCONSTITUTIONAL RESTRICTIONS. This should also be placed on the SCOTUS, Democratic Congresspersons. All that agree with this I ask you to write, call, email all of your Congresspersons and The President of the United States, and the Vice President of the United States. Asking them to indeed remove “ALL” of these unconstitutional restrictions. As for you poor people living in California and Colorado, New York City and Chicago, well you got what you wanted and now you are not liking what you got! When you elect Satan’s WEAK-MINDED helpers (Democrats, RINO). What did you expect legality and uprightness from lairs and deceivers? I ask anyone in these places to think and use your powers of comprehension then VOTE for “GOOD CHRISTIAN MEN” to fill ALL elected positions. GET RID OF ALL LIBERALS! You got it I am not politically correct and I never will be. WHY? Because political correctness is total of Satan.
Snopes consists of two fat guys living in their parents basement, “fact creating, whoops, checking” while watching Internet Porn.
Tell me, Chuck, where did you get this information? When did you get this information? Why did you get this information? For what purpose was this information obtained? How did you get this information? How did you verify the information was, 1. factual 2. truthful? What are the 2 unrelated sources that you used to prove this information? Thank you
California is quite in error when they violate the constitution. They are abd have done that for quite some time.
Snopes also says that the NRA did not help blacks with self defence They say it is false. Blacks were members of the NRA and learned how to safely defend themselves.
Unfortunately, I live in the People’s Democratic Republic of Kalifornia. I also know that Snopes lies and has their own agenda. These are sorry times for our country.
I am not surprised that Snopes is not reliable. Dishonesty in the media world is now quite common.
Snopes is a left leaning liberal organization. Always have been. They wouldn’t know a “Fact” if it smacked them in the face
Snopes is in fact a ‘fact checking’ site, set up by a husband and wife, with no particular education and absolutely no background in research. It was a unique way to make some money online …. and has been highly successful. Recently (now three or four years ago) … as marriages often do, theirs broke up, the husband got Snopes, the wife (now ex) got a good financial settlement, and it was reported that she was going to work for Snopes for a paycheck. When he finished spending as much of his hidden profit (so he could adjust his income and make the financial settlement to his exwife less) he returned with a girlfriend, who now is a co-owner of Snopes. THIS IS MEANT TO GIVE SOME BACKGROUND ON THE PEOPLE WORKING AS ‘SNOPES’ THEIR EDUCATION AND MORAL FIBER.
Snopes is an older couple living in Idaho, I believe, backed now by George Soros
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