Random Observation/Comment #647: I wish there was a news service that just highlighted good news. I want more wholesome representations of random acts of kindness.
Why this list?
I often read the news to extrapolate the facts and take the rest of opinion with as a skeptic. Maybe that’s why I’m always on snopes. I want to make sure that the skews and exaggerations were for clickbait headlines or if there’s actually some well-written piece describing the story. If you think an article is groundbreaking enough to change your mind, I suggest reading the discussion and trying to rebuild the story from the ground-up.
These questions might help with understanding different human instincts that tend to over react to the news.
- Is the source and writer reputable?
- If this is secondary, do you trust the person retweeting/reposting?
- Are you personally biased and invested in actively agreeing or denying the claims?
- Does the article seem like it has another motive?
- Is the funding/sponsor of the source of research bias? (e.g. Was this a puff piece written to sell something)
- What’s the data size and diversity?
- Is the evidence cherry picked for results?
- Is this correlation or causation?
- Are both sides of the argument addressed?
- Has the news just been picked up from multiple sources and diluted because it’s trending? Is this the original article?
- Do the images shown for the thumbnails mislead the article content?
- What’s exaggerated to make the story more interesting or relatable?
- How long did the piece take to write? A copy and paste or someone else’s work or truly well researched over months?
- Does the piece highlight far right or far left points of view?
- (Especially for Finance) Is the article meant to scare or pump investor views?
- Is the data being extrapolated incorrectly?
- Do the charts make sense? Have they adjusted the axes and filtered the context to prove their initial hypotheses?
- Is the article purposefully promoting fear, uncertainty, and doubts (FUD)?
- How would you summarize the story to another person on the opposite side? Can you defend the position without looking stupid?
- How do you think a layman may interpret the news? (Also important for investments – the herd opinion determines the market and not the truth.)
- Who is the intended audience and call to action?
- What is the immediate perceived impact and chain reaction practical impact?
- Can you read more about the original cited sources to draw your own conclusions?
- Can you read other articles written by the author to notice any biases?
- Is the language used purposefully evoking emotion?
- Does the article use quotes from influential people to skew your views? (“if a CEO says this, then I should likely also believe it”)
- Can you reverse engineer the one or two facts used to write a 1000-word post?
- Is it too early to make assumptions or rash decisions?
- Who can benefit from the article?
- Is this just another hype article about bitcoin or blockchain to make the number go up?
~See Lemons Read Intently