Research 2023: Is There a Methodology of Control via Mendacious Analysis

August 8, 2023

Vea4_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_thumb_tNote: This essay is the work of a real and still-alive dinobaby. No smart software involved, just a dumb humanoid.

I read “How Facebook Does (and Doesn’t) Shape Our Political Views.” I am not sure what to conclude from the analysis of four studies about Facebook (is it Zuckbook?) presumably completed with some cooperation from the social media giant itself. The message I carried away from the write up is that tainted research may be the principal result of these supervised studies.

8 4 just make up the data

The up and coming leader says to a research assistant, “I am telling you. Manipulate or make up the data. I want the results I wrote about supported by your analysis. If you don’t do what I say, there will be consequences.” MidJourney does know how to make a totally fake leader appear intense.

Consider the state of research in 2023. I have mentioned the problem with Stanford University’s president and his making up data. I want to link the Stanford president’s approach to research with Facebook (Meta). The university has had some effect on companies in the Silicon Valley region. And Facebook (Meta) employs a number of Stanford graduates. For me, then, it is logical to consider the approach of the university to objective research and the behavior of a company with some Stanford DNA to share certain characteristics.

“How Facebook Does (and Doesn’t) Shape Our Political Views” offers this observation based on “research”:

“… the findings are consistent with the idea that Facebook represents only one facet of the broader media ecosystem…”

The summary of the Facebook-chaperoned research cites an expert who correctly in my my identifies two challenges presented by the “research”:

  1. Researchers don’t know what questions to ask. I think this is part of the “don’t know what they don’t know.” I accept this idea because I have witnessed it. (Example: A reporter asking me about sources of third party data used to spy on Americans. I ignored the request for information and disconnected from the reporter’s call.)
  2. The research was done on Facebook’s “terms”. Yes, powerful people need control; otherwise, the risk of losing power is created. In this case, Facebook (Meta) wants to deflect criticism and try to make clear that the company’s hand was not on the control panel.

Are there parallels between what the fabricating president of Stanford did with data and what Facebook (Meta) has done with its research initiative? Shaping the truth is common to both examples.

In Stanford’s Ideal Destiny, William James said this about about Stanford:

It is the quality of its men that makes the quality of a university.

What links the actions of Stanford’s soon-to-be-former president and Facebook (Meta)? My answer would be, “Creating a false version of objective data is the name of the game.” Professor James, I surmise, would not be impressed.

Stephen E Arnold, August 8, 2023


Comments are closed.

  • Archives

  • Recent Posts

  • Meta