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Old 15th September 2019, 06:46 PM   #1
Brainster
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Snopes Beclowns Itself

I've never been impressed by Snopes; they seem to cherry pick what needs to be investigoogled and what doesn't deserve scrutiny.

In this article, they examine the claim that Colonel Sanders of KFC fame stole his recipe from a black woman named Miss Childress, who is shown in a picture.

Now, despite the fact that Snopes managed to track down the picture (which appears to have been painted for a 1921 advertisement), and despite the fact that they cannot find any mention of Miss Childress or the notion the Colonel Sanders stole his recipe from a black woman, they rule the claim "unproven" although in the subhead that accompanies the article they say "alludes to a deeper truth."

What is that deeper truth, you ask?

Other black women have had their recipes stolen by whites:

Quote:
However, Williams-Forson emphasized that a history does exist of white entrepreneurs and chefs taking recipes from African American women and men, without giving them proper credit. She pointed to the example of Idella Parker, who was a long-time maid to the white cookbook author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings, and later an author in her own right.
Basically, although there is zero evidence for it in this case and lots of evidence the other way (which Snopes does cite), gosh it's unproven and if you don't read past the headline you'd think there was some truth to the claim instead of just "truth."
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Old 15th September 2019, 07:06 PM   #2
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"Unproven" is what Snopes calls any claim that can't be verified. There's nothing wrong with this claim being ruled "unproven".

And no, nobody would see "unproven" and think "there must be some truth to this".
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Old 15th September 2019, 07:09 PM   #3
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In the articles I've read it seems that their standard is to list a claim as unproven if there isn't evidence proving or disproving it, reserving false for claims with clear evidence against them or clear evidence of fabrication.

Seems like a reasonable standard. Why should you expect them to call this particular claim false?
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Old 15th September 2019, 07:15 PM   #4
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I think Brainster seems to take exception to the article pointing out that, historically, white entrepreneurs have been known to take credit for recipes or other fruits of labor or ingenuity by people of color, and would have preferred if Snopes omitted that context altogether and simply declared that the lack of corroborating evidence for this specific claim makes it "false".
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Old 15th September 2019, 07:32 PM   #5
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How about simply saying that they have no evidence it is true and much evidence it is false?
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Old 15th September 2019, 07:35 PM   #6
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It's not so much the recipe as the technique. The Col figured out that franchises of pressure fryers would work. Pressure fryers cook chicken parts in 15 minutes, so diners had the time to wait. Open fryers took 30-40.

Cooks without the Col's franchise called it "Broasting".

And anybody who has ever cooked anything knows the value of technique. Was Childress Broasting?

But yeah, Snopes has a liberal/SJW bent. They have admitted it.

I wonder if anybody has ever run the Col's genes? Any black % would have been hidden back in those days.
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Old 15th September 2019, 07:45 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
How about simply saying that they have no evidence it is true and much evidence it is false?
Because for nearly all modern falsities that it addresses, Snopes tries not just to determine a rumor's objective factuality, but also tries to investigate the origins and foundations of the rumor. In this case, it's worth noting that the reason this particular rumor has legs is because, again, white entrepreneurs "stealing" credit for minorities' work is a historical thing. The context helps explain why the rumor exists.

Anyone who has read Snopes since the early days is familiar with how it adds context to rumors like this; it's not a "new" thing.
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Old 15th September 2019, 08:40 PM   #8
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
It's not so much the recipe as the technique. The Col figured out that franchises of pressure fryers would work. Pressure fryers cook chicken parts in 15 minutes, so diners had the time to wait. Open fryers took 30-40.

Cooks without the Col's franchise called it "Broasting"....


^^^^^THIS^^^^^

Now go watch the appropriate Good Eats Episode.
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Old 15th September 2019, 09:13 PM   #9
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
How about simply saying that they have no evidence it is true and much evidence it is false?
What is the much evidence it is false, rather than absence of evidence that it is true?

Further, "Snopes beclowns itself"? Based on the label of not proven (the conservatively correct conclusion) vs false? Silly exaggeration not based on the facts.

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Old 15th September 2019, 09:46 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
How about simply saying that they have no evidence it is true and much evidence it is false?
In other words, "Unproven"*

Evidence doesn't work the way you think it does. A claim of "False" requires exculpatory evidence, i.e. a smoking gun that show the claim to be definitely untrue.


* That said, I would like to see them reach a conclusion of "Unlikely" in this sort of situation.
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Old 16th September 2019, 02:35 AM   #11
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I actually have seen snopes get things wrong before.

This is not one of those cases.

Anything where they can't prove it was fabricated gets the "unproven" verdict. It's always been that way.
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Old 16th September 2019, 03:29 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by kellyb View Post
I actually have seen snopes get things wrong before.

This is not one of those cases.

Anything where they can't prove it was fabricated gets the "unproven" verdict. It's always been that way.
Agreed

For Brainster's further education
"Unproven
This rating indicates that insufficient evidence exists to establish the given claim as true, but the claim cannot be definitively proved false. This rating typically involves claims for which there is little or no affirmative evidence, but for which declaring them to be false would require the difficult (if not impossible) task of our being able to prove a negative or accurately discern someone else’s thoughts and motivations.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check-ratings/

Those of us who like check facts understand how evidence works. (and in any case, why would a Trump supporter even be interested in facts?)
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Old 16th September 2019, 09:21 AM   #13
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Snopes does that a lot. It's not held as evidence of anything, just precedent. It's not a simple fact-check site you see a lot now in CNN and elsewhere, never has been.
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Old 16th September 2019, 11:41 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
"Unproven
This rating indicates that insufficient evidence exists to establish the given claim as true, but the claim cannot be definitively proved false. This rating typically involves claims for which there is little or no affirmative evidence, but for which declaring them to be false would require the difficult (if not impossible) task of our being able to prove a negative or accurately discern someone else’s thoughts and motivations.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check-ratings/

Those of us who like check facts understand how evidence works.
Good job finding that; I had briefly looked earlier if such a list of explanations existed, but ran out of free time and subsequently forgot about it. It definitely shows that Snopes' designation in this case is both consistent with its own practice and with the generally accepted "rules" of handling claims and evidence.

Perhaps this thread would've been better titled "ISF Poster Beclowns Myself".
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Old 16th September 2019, 11:49 AM   #15
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"Beclown" apparently means "didn't say what I wanted them to say based on my biases."
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Old 16th September 2019, 11:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Trebuchet View Post
"Beclown" apparently means "didn't say what I wanted them to say based on my biases."
What a pity! Inspired by the "trash TV" thread I was imagining a new show where random people get makeovers into clowns, like it or not, with prizes for the most successful beclowning team.
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Old 16th September 2019, 12:42 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by TragicMonkey View Post
What a pity! Inspired by the "trash TV" thread I was imagining a new show where random people get makeovers into clowns, like it or not, with prizes for the most successful beclowning team.
Every week’s winer: a trump supporter given a book and asked about its content.
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Old 16th September 2019, 01:28 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I've never been impressed by Snopes; they seem to cherry pick what needs to be investigoogled and what doesn't deserve scrutiny.
That seems to be a common complaint about fact-checkers. Why can't they have infinite resources to check all-the-things? It's almost like they have to prioritize which claims they check based on some criteria that doesn't necessarily match critics' priorities.

FYI, they published their "cherry picking" process on their website under About Us > Transparency
Quote:
Topic Selection
Unlike many other sites in the online fact-checking world, at Snopes.com we do not exclusively focus on politics (although political fact-checking makes up a large portion of our work). We have long observed the principle that we write about whatever items the greatest number of readers are asking about or searching for at any given time, without any partisan considerations.

We don’t choose or exclude items for coverage based on whether they deal with Republican/Democratic, conservative/liberal, or religious/secular issues. We also don’t impose our own judgments about whether a given item’s perceived importance, controversiality, obviousness, or superficiality (or lack thereof) merit our addressing it.

We are, of course, limited in how much we can cover by our available resources and staffing.

[snip]
Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
Basically, although there is zero evidence for it in this case and lots of evidence the other way (which Snopes does cite), gosh it's unproven and if you don't read past the headline you'd think there was some truth to the claim instead of just "truth."
Others have pointed out that this is a ridiculous thing to argue. I would just like to add my voice to theirs.
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Old 16th September 2019, 01:29 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by casebro View Post
It's not so much the recipe as the technique. The Col figured out that franchises of pressure fryers would work. Pressure fryers cook chicken parts in 15 minutes, so diners had the time to wait. Open fryers took 30-40.

Cooks without the Col's franchise called it "Broasting".

And anybody who has ever cooked anything knows the value of technique. Was Childress Broasting?

But yeah, Snopes has a liberal/SJW bent. They have admitted it.

I wonder if anybody has ever run the Col's genes? Any black % would have been hidden back in those days.
Link?
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Old 16th September 2019, 01:40 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Link?
Note to speak for casebro, but I happened to be on the site from last post.

https://www.snopes.com/eye-of-the-beholder/
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Old 16th September 2019, 03:01 PM   #21
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I use Snopes often to find out if the current meme I'm asked to believe on Facebook is meaningful. Unfortunately if I post a link to Snopes instead of a link they used, then more often than not I'm told Snopes is biased. I'm sure they are to an extent.

But when ever I ask to see an example of Snopes bias from a complainer on Facebook, they have nothing. One guy came close when he linked to an article about Snopes bias, but the article was general in nature and did not link to any certain Snopes article.

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Old 16th September 2019, 03:06 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Agreed

For Brainster's further education
"Unproven
This rating indicates that insufficient evidence exists to establish the given claim as true, but the claim cannot be definitively proved false. This rating typically involves claims for which there is little or no affirmative evidence, but for which declaring them to be false would require the difficult (if not impossible) task of our being able to prove a negative or accurately discern someone else’s thoughts and motivations.
https://www.snopes.com/fact-check-ratings/

Those of us who like check facts understand how evidence works. (and in any case, why would a Trump supporter even be interested in facts?)
I like Snopes and I thought it was a good article myself, although I might quibble with the rating. I suspect that some claims there rated "False" in the past haven't been more disproven than this one.

Since they found that the actual picture of "Mrs. Childress" was from a magazine advertisement, does that not prove, at least, that the person making the claim is a liar? I think we can be fairly certain that Colonel Sanders didn't steal the recipe from the woman in the photograph. It's hard to prove a negative, but when you find that the actual photograph is from an advertisement, I think that's enough to rule it out.
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Old 16th September 2019, 03:11 PM   #23
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Surely the photograph provably not being of "Mrs Childress" can't be called evidence that Colonel Sanders didn't steal the recipe from a woman named Mrs Childress.
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Old 16th September 2019, 03:38 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
Surely the photograph provably not being of "Mrs Childress" can't be called evidence that Colonel Sanders didn't steal the recipe from a woman named Mrs Childress.
They don't even know her full name or whether she's a "Mrs." or a "Miss".

Think about it.
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Old 16th September 2019, 03:45 PM   #25
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Originally Posted by Checkmite View Post
I think Brainster seems to take exception to the article pointing out that, historically, white entrepreneurs have been known to take credit for recipes or other fruits of labor or ingenuity by people of color, and would have preferred if Snopes omitted that context altogether and simply declared that the lack of corroborating evidence for this specific claim makes it "false".
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Old 16th September 2019, 04:31 PM   #26
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Note to speak for casebro, but I happened to be on the site from last post.

https://www.snopes.com/eye-of-the-beholder/
Clearly they piss both sides off, but they never really directly answer the question, do they?
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Old 16th September 2019, 04:36 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Note to speak for casebro, but I happened to be on the site from last post.

https://www.snopes.com/eye-of-the-beholder/
Originally Posted by Mike! View Post
Clearly they piss both sides off, but they never really directly answer the question, do they?
Yes, they do, and in a hilarious way, by addressing complaints of bias by publishing the accusations of bias against them.


Its a sort of "I'll just leave this here for you" statement.
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Old 16th September 2019, 04:42 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
Yes, they do, and in a hilarious way, by addressing complaints of bias by publishing the accusations of bias against them.
It's like the diametric opposite of "I've received a lot of support in IMs".
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Old 16th September 2019, 06:35 PM   #29
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Originally Posted by Darat View Post
Link?
I believe the appropriate colloquialism in this instance would be [citation needed]
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Old 16th September 2019, 06:48 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I've never been impressed by Snopes

Love Snopes. Every time one of my friends copies a post about why we should be mad at some school district, or that there's a missing little girl, Snopes is my first stop.

A picture of a teen holding a sign asking people to share her post so she'd stop being bullied popped up in my thread today. The picture was from 2015 and Snopes went to lengths to track down the exact school and their response back then (which was swift and decisive).

Snopes is your friend.
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Old 17th September 2019, 12:01 AM   #31
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Originally Posted by Loss Leader View Post
Love Snopes. Every time one of my friends copies a post about why we should be mad at some school district, or that there's a missing little girl, Snopes is my first stop.

A picture of a teen holding a sign asking people to share her post so she'd stop being bullied popped up in my thread today. The picture was from 2015 and Snopes went to lengths to track down the exact school and their response back then (which was swift and decisive).

Snopes is your friend.
Just never forget "Trust but verify". They are not 100% correct. (And they asserted there are few "intentionally" wrong articles.)
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Old 17th September 2019, 12:03 AM   #32
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I've never been impressed by Snopes; they seem to cherry pick what needs to be investigoogled and what doesn't deserve scrutiny.

What's the alternative to the above?
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Old 17th September 2019, 12:09 AM   #33
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Just never forget "Trust but verify". They are not 100% correct. (And they asserted there are few "intentionally" wrong articles.)
It's the Lost Legends section of the site. Well worth a browse, especially if you don't read the explanation first.
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Old 17th September 2019, 03:02 AM   #34
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Originally Posted by Klimax View Post
Just never forget "Trust but verify". They are not 100% correct. (And they asserted there are few "intentionally" wrong articles.)
No, of course not. Everyone makes mistakes.

However, I feel like the criticisms leveled against Snopes in this thread are more properly aimed at reality’s infamous and well known liberal bias.
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Old 17th September 2019, 03:21 AM   #35
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Originally Posted by 3point14 View Post
What's the alternative to the above?
They investigate all claims?

Well of course they can't do that, so they have to be selective.

I think the real complaint is that they only or mostly check claims made by conservatives (although this one is an exception).
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Old 17th September 2019, 03:34 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by Puppycow View Post
I think the real complaint is that they only or mostly check claims made by conservatives (although this one is an exception).
Yes, that is the complaint. One of them, anyway.

Is it a legitimate complaint or does it suggest confirmation bias on the art of the complainer? Are people merely remembering the times Snopes debunked conservative claims and forgetting when they debunked liberal claims? Or, far more often, Snopes mostly debunks non-partisan off-the-wall claims that former high school classmates share on Facebook and politics has nothing to do with it?
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Old 17th September 2019, 04:35 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by Upchurch View Post
Is it a legitimate complaint or does it suggest confirmation bias on the art of the complainer?
If they do address conservative-leaning ones more often it may simply be because conservative ones are more common or are shared more often.
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Old 17th September 2019, 04:40 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by Brainster View Post
I've never been impressed by Snopes; they seem to cherry pick what needs to be investigoogled and what doesn't deserve scrutiny.

In this article, they examine the claim that Colonel Sanders of KFC fame stole his recipe from a black woman named Miss Childress, who is shown in a picture.

Now, despite the fact that Snopes managed to track down the picture (which appears to have been painted for a 1921 advertisement), and despite the fact that they cannot find any mention of Miss Childress or the notion the Colonel Sanders stole his recipe from a black woman, they rule the claim "unproven" although in the subhead that accompanies the article they say "alludes to a deeper truth."
Yeah, I can't believe they didn't reach a definite conclusion in the absence of definite evidence. What do they think they are, skeptics?
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Old 17th September 2019, 06:06 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by jadebox View Post
If they do address conservative-leaning ones more often it may simply be because conservative ones are more common or are shared more often.
Indeed. One glance at Reddit’s r/forwardsfromgrandma and you’ll notice grandma ain’t on the left side of the spectrum.
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Old 17th September 2019, 08:02 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by kookbreaker View Post
Indeed. One glance at Reddit’s r/forwardsfromgrandma and...
...you'll end up killing brain cells just from the proximity to all that stupid.
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