House Lawmaker Investigates 'Truthy' Twitter Monitoring - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

House Lawmaker Investigates 'Truthy' Twitter Monitoring
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
User Rank: Ninja
11/13/2014 | 1:38:25 PM
Part of the problem is...
...that a rather high percentage of the intemperate political commentary on the airwaves, in blogs, in letters to the editor, in the political literature sold in supermarkets, and on message boards; is associated with what used to be called the New Right.  There is certainly equally intemperate commentary produced by leftists (especially the cultural left), and has been for decades (they're the biggest reason why the term "fascist" is now an almost meaningless insult), but at least in the USA, most has come from the right and that has been true since at least the mid 1990s (almost certainly associated with the rise of Rush Limbaugh and his many imitators).  And a lot of Republican politicians and activists have come to see this sort of activity as an asset for their cause, and have therefore become extremely protective of it (even though small-c conservatives have traditionally put a high premium on aristocratic civility, and abhorred discourtesy in all forms).

And Mr. Smith may well be right that this project in particular is aimed specifically at right wing propaganda efforts while ignoring those on the left, but that's hard to say without examining it in a lot more detail than we see in this article.  Given the huge amount of intemperate, malicious, and often irrelevant political speech infesting message boards, I think efforts, technological and otherwise, to keep discussions civil and on topic are completely proper, but I agree that such efforts need to be non-partisan and otherwise impartial.  If this project indeed suffers from partisan political bias, then it shouldn't have been funded with taxpayer dollars; but there is a very good chance that Mr. Smith and like minded politicians protest too much.  And in any case, any technology that can reliably be programmed to filter out right wing incivility and libel can be exended to filter out the left wing variety as well.

In any case, an insistance on civil discourse is not a restriction on free debate, but rather facilitiates it; as people are much more likely to state their true opinions and to discuss their reasons for them if they're not screamed at or defamed for doing so.

Disclaimer: My own political leanings are moderate to liberal (with conservative leanings on some subjects), so I may well be biased myself.

Lorna Garey
Lorna Garey,
User Rank: Author
11/12/2014 | 2:54:16 PM
Live by the sound bite, die by the sound bite
It's unsurprising that entities invested in feeding the political outrage machine have taken passages out of context and made leaps to connect unrelated events. However, I'm still unclear as to exactly what concrete benefit the NSF expected to gain for that $1 million in tax dollars. If it's simply to spot trends, that's something Twitter and Facebook do all on their own, for free.

What does the agency say makes Truthy worth that investment?

2020 State of DevOps Report
2020 State of DevOps Report
Download this report today to learn more about the key tools and technologies being utilized, and how organizations deal with the cultural and process changes that DevOps brings. The report also examines the barriers organizations face, as well as the rewards from DevOps including faster application delivery, higher quality products, and quicker recovery from errors in production.
The State of Chatbots: Pandemic Edition
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  9/10/2020
Deloitte on Cloud, the Edge, and Enterprise Expectations
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  9/14/2020
Data Science: How the Pandemic Has Affected 10 Popular Jobs
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  9/9/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Automation Transforms Network Management
In this special report we will examine the layers of automation and orchestration in IT operations, and how they can provide high availability and greater scale for modern applications and business demands.
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll