Signals to Boost
November 20, 2018 7:39 AM   Subscribe

Who or what do you link to rather than bothering to respond to something wrong on the internet yourself? Please recommend compelling online commentators.

Rather than do a ton of research and create beautiful arguments myself, I've gotten in the habit of just providing links to online content that is better or smarter than anything I could accomplish.

Also I'd rather let people who speak from different viewpoints than mine speak for themselves rather than come in and try to do justice to discussion about race, gender, etc... when I'm no expert with no lived experience.

To use an obvious example, if someone asked me what my problem was with Jordan Peterson, I might tell them they might enjoy a video on the topic and provide a link to a relevant Contrapoints video.

If you do this kind of thing, too, what are your top sources of good content you find yourself sharing alot? It might be about history, philosophy, religion comic books, whatever... as long as you use them to stand in for something you'd rather not explain yourself.

bonus points if the creator has a patreon or something I can use to repay them for absolving me of the need to explain the same stuff for the 1000th time.
posted by ServSci to Computers & Internet (9 answers total) 23 users marked this as a favorite
The Fat Nutritionist has a LOT of articles about why our common cultural assumptions about weight (ex: "you simply have to burn more calories than you consume") that people use to fat shame are wrong.
posted by Juliet Banana at 7:45 AM on November 20, 2018 [6 favorites]

When someone tries to get into it with me about whether the Salvation Army has mended their ways, I point to this article on HuffPo.

This is pre-2016 elections but it's a good debunking about voter fraud, which basically doesn't exist and yet is used as a "fact" to disenfranchise tons of people. (this one by WaPo is also good)

Trans-inclusive bathrooms? In the states that have them, they are a non-problem (i.e. shut up about your bathroom panic) say experts in ALL of those states.

How the plastic straw ban hurts disabled people.

Many of the examples I use are threads on twitter which are maddeningly difficult to search for, so I'll often go to Twitter's Advanced Search and type in a few words describing the issue to look for Top results and see who is frequently cited.
posted by jessamyn at 7:57 AM on November 20, 2018 [3 favorites]

If the "something wrong" is an urban legend or political lie, I often point people to Snopes. This is particularly helpful when people on the internet (particularly Facebook) post some decades-old scam warning or lost child scare. See, for example, "Flashing Headlights Gang Initiation," which I just last week needed to quash.
posted by ubiquity at 8:12 AM on November 20, 2018 [5 favorites]

When someone posts an Amber Alert or a missing person I always click the link reporting it. Over half the time the link has been updated to show that the person was found. A few minutes ago a couple of tweenaged friends in the UK had turned up on October 15, 2017, roughly a week after they had gone missing. So since October 8th, 2017 there was a chain of people sharing the link reporting them missing without ever actually clicking on it. Now I don't see this as a bad thing - It means that the people sharing did not have ghoulish curiosity impelling them to look for gory details, and did want to help.

So I always respond to the post with "FOUND" and sometimes with the date they were found and a hopefully not mean sounding suggestion to click the link before sharing.

Snopes is listed as a fake news sight by the right wing media, so I try to find a site that is not a fact checker, but a media report current to the event.

When someone posts a racist anti-immigration, or other evil sentiment citing it as Christian, I like to post the relevant scripture contradicting them. However this requires me to know some key words from the passage I want to quote. I look up the chapter and verse on Oremus.
posted by Jane the Brown at 9:40 AM on November 20, 2018 [9 favorites]

Kevin Kruse is a historian on Twitter who does a lot of debunking and what I would call "background illustration."
posted by rhizome at 11:54 AM on November 20, 2018 [2 favorites]

Current Affairs magazine is a favorite of mine, and they spend a lot of time debunking the talking points of conservative talking heads and "intellectual dark web" nitwits.
posted by zeusianfog at 1:14 PM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Along with seconding Juliet Banana's perfect resource of The Fat Nutritionist, Ragen Chastain is also a treasure when it comes to debunking the myth that shaming fat people will make them thin or healthier, or that health is a moral imperative, and all the other diet culture bullshit people believe and loooove to regurgitate. 6 Answers To Your Questions About The Fat Acceptance Movement is a good one, as is Yes, It Is Fine to Be Fat — but there's plenty more rebuttals to common fat-shaming tropes on her site.

There are actually myriad resources out there combatting weight stigma, which is fantastic but neither here nor there, but I would be remiss not to also link to Kate Harding'sBut Don't You Know Fat is Unhealthy? FAQ because it's a classic and addresses many common arguments you may encounter.
posted by the thorn bushes have roses at 2:48 PM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite]

Sheila Young spoke at TEDxAustralia in 2014, explaining why the reflex admiration of disabled people as "inspiring" is annoying at best, insulting at worst. (This is the video with the decent captions.)
posted by Jesse the K at 5:29 PM on November 20, 2018 [1 favorite] is a nice go-to for people poisoned on Snopes.
posted by DrAstroZoom at 9:27 AM on November 21, 2018

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