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How can we prevent the Media Bias? I think it's a signifcant issue our world is facing today

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closed as off-topic by Erin Thursby, kingledion, Vincent, Monica Cellio Nov 30 '16 at 3:49

This question appears to be off-topic. The users who voted to close gave this specific reason:

  • "This question does not appear to be about worldbuilding, within the scope defined in the help center." – kingledion, Monica Cellio
If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

  • $\begingroup$ I want to preempt people who might vote to close this question. It is a broad question, yes, so I thought about voting to close. But I think it is also a good world-building question with relevance to near-term sci-fi. I think it should stay open. $\endgroup$ – SRM Nov 30 '16 at 1:57
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    $\begingroup$ It was difficult for me to choose just one reason to close this. Too Broad, Opinion-Based, and Off-Topic. $\endgroup$ – Erin Thursby Nov 30 '16 at 2:08
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    $\begingroup$ Hi, jdmtj, welcome to Worldbuilding Stack Exchange. Can you explain how your question is about worldbuilding, as opposed to the real world? $\endgroup$ – HDE 226868 Nov 30 '16 at 2:15
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    $\begingroup$ @ErinThursby I'm going with off-topic. $\endgroup$ – kingledion Nov 30 '16 at 2:26
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    $\begingroup$ It might help if you clarified what you mean by bias. Accuracy? Agenda? Favoring the other guy? $\endgroup$ – John Nov 30 '16 at 3:18
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A StackExchange style reputation system for news reports. The system of managing privileges based on points has worked very well. I've been looking at what it would take to make a news site out of the SE platform. It doesn't work cleanly as it stands, but i think something like it (with some Slashdot.org metamoderation) is the future.

For relevant example in science fiction, read David Brin's "Existence" novel.

Note that Reddit is a good start on this but personally I don't think it has the right community self-management setup.

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    $\begingroup$ Note: many systems work when everyone is volunteering their time but fail when paychecks are on the line. $\endgroup$ – Cort Ammon Nov 30 '16 at 2:36
  • $\begingroup$ True. That's one of the aspects I've been thinking about. $\endgroup$ – SRM Nov 30 '16 at 2:51
  • $\begingroup$ you also have a problem that lots of followings could swamp upvote an inaccurate but politically favorable statement. Stack Exchange is partially shielded by just not being interesting to such people. I mean modern media is often social media these days which is already based on popularity. $\endgroup$ – John Nov 30 '16 at 3:11
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Can we define Media Bias in a way which, itself, is not biased? It's a surprisingly tricky concept. If I am reading a scientific journal, I expect it to be peer reviewed to bias the articles towards those which are worth reading.

Bias, of course, implies that there is a correct version of reporting. We measure media bias by comparing against this correct version, but what is correct? One of the phrases most quoted is "just report the news," which sounds brilliant, until you realize just how much news there is. If we reported "all the news," each newspaper would be a billion pages thick. And that's not even counting the Sunday edition. We expect a filter to be applied to the news. That's one of the things we pay the media for. We want them to help us identify what is important, so that we don't have to.

So, from a world building perspective (which is the valid perspective on this question for this site), if one is building a story about media bias, its worth noting that the bias is actually desired. A story which seeks to erase media bias will have to deal with this paradoxical problem.

And remember, history goes to the victor.

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At the risk of seeming mathematically pedantic, I think that the variance in the media is a bigger problem -- the large (and IMHO widening) spreading out of what's trustable vs. what is not. Yes, there's more and more data, but much of it more noise than signal. I think Neil Stephenson termed it "the Bullshyte problem" in his novel Anathem. Mis/Dis-information isn't new, but the internet and social media give "Bullshyters" great leverage.

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  • $\begingroup$ worse popularity algorithms can actually favor disinformation, people tend to like things that support their world view not challenge it. $\endgroup$ – John Nov 30 '16 at 3:13

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