Fact checking


There's another problem, even for those who do fact-check: Context.

For example, Swedish rape statistics look outrageous, with insane growth of rape crimes in a short time.
This was repeatedly blamed on immigrants, though the blame should be laid at the feet of the Swedish parliament. They redefined "rape" so widely, that many activities which aren't even sexual harassment in most OECD countries are counted as a rape felony.

The outrage should rather be an outrage by man rights activists (since men are overwhelmingly being targeted by this legislation) rather than xenophobes.

The insane output of lies, distortions, hateful narratives et cetera on the internet, effectively adding hatemongering efforts in English countries to other countries through the English reading skills of the population,  has become and been recognised as a major challenge for freedom and peace within Western societies. The dangerous idiots were always among us, but their mode of operation and their communication have been expanded by technology.
Meanwhile, the establishments of Western democracies had such a long run that their failures piled up and their achievements have become self-evident and don't improve the establishment's reputations any more. Said establishments have also exhausted their range of abilities, being unable to muster the political effort for major reforms to address current perceived or real problems. This is particularly obvious in countries with very stable political leadership as in Germany; we had the same chancellor since 2005, and two of the three legislative terms since had a grand coalition of the two major parties. All this under the leadership of the conservatives who by default are not very keen to reform (else they wouldn't be conservatives). 

There is much to do, particularly by voters, but taking action on basis of counterfactual beliefs sure isn't the way to go.



  1. Humans had it never easier to inform themselves about public issues thanks to the technological developments yet so many use them to get used and sometimes abused. It's an increasing bitter irony.

    You also raised the Nordic or specific Swedish approach to rape which has enlarged the legal frame for rape through a public debate influenced by radical feminists with a clear ideology. It's a bit of minefield right now however quite a few studies that at least policy aspects of the 'Nordic model' have bad unintended outcomes.*

    The Assange causa ties that specific Nordic ideology° to the recent torrent of fake or manipulated news in which Wikileaks was used partly as a vehicle or emitter by various interests.
    It was a butterfly which help to create the perfect storm.

    Needless to add that we will see more investment into counterfactual material because it worked surprisingly well...



    °Ideology in itself is nothing negative if it's about ideas plus log(ic).

  2. Dude, the legislation targets rapists irrespective of their gender...

    1. ...which is a claim that's totally not in conflict with what I wrote.

      Besides, the legislation defines "rapists" in Sweden, and I pointed out that this definition is astonishingly wide.

      Besides, have fun with some translations of actual Swedish laws (I factchecked some of the translations at random):

  3. You explicitly say "men are being targeted", however this cannot be true as the legislation does not make any reference to the gender of either victim or perpetrator. You might mean that more men are suspected and tried for breaking the law against rape, but since there are no reference to gender in the law itself, any imbalance in gender of those suspected of breaking must lie in factors outside the law.

    As I learnt it was impossible for a husband to rape his wife up until 1997 in Germany, I can understand you find the Swedish definition overly wide. However, on its own this is simply an opinion.

    While it is true that there are still several sections of Swedish law that still haven't been reformed from a modern feminist perspective (such as the laws about shared custody only in marriage), you have found one of the most vile sources I've ever seen to cover these issues. They also like to lie, as in the section about pensions where they claim that "The state pension system in Sweden is rather complicated but basically, a person contributes to his or her parents’ pension based on a complicated formula." in reference to Chap 3 §13 of 1998:674. This is completely untrue, the pension system works on the principle that you pay for your pension yourself, and this chapter deals with the exceptions, such as if you've been in the military, or the case the paragraph is actually about: if you raised a child you get some benefits from the state, and some of those benefits can be counted towards your pension up until the child is 5 years. You see the depth of the lie when they on the basis of this law claim that adult children pay for their parents pensions! Ridiculous!

    (The law also states that only one person gets to count the child benefit towards their pension per child per year, and §13 deals with what happens if the parents don't decide themselves)

    1. I wrote "overwhelmingly being targeted", which has a different meaning from "being targeted".

      Snowden is getting prosecuted for allegedly not having worn a condom when allegedly the woman believed he had. That's rape in the Swedish interpretation. Sorry, but that's bollocks.
      Granted, they aren't as extreme as a few other states where you need positive verbal confirmation that the partner wants sex or else it's rape.

      Another reason why Swedish rape statistics are unfit for comparison and pointing at minorities:
      "Some observers note Sweden's low alleged-rape-to-conviction rate should be taken with a grain of salt because while the number of reports is higher than in many other countries, this is partly because the country records allegations in a different way, tracking each case of sexual violence separately.

      So for example if someone says they were raped by a partner every day for a fortnight, officers will record 14 potential crimes. Elsewhere, many countries would log the claim as a single incident."


    2. No, in English "overwhelming" is a quantity or quality modifier, it does not change the meaning of restriction and direction towards a subset that "target" conveys.

      Yes, that is indeed bollocks: First because it is Assange and not Snowden, secondly because the rape charge stems from when he started fucking a sleeping woman, not something about a condom. You can read about this in the leaked police investigation, or possibly in some leaked trial document but there's been a lot of court work about Assange so that is probably harder to find

      I have never claimed it is easy to compare rape statistics between nations with different standards of reporting (and indeed it is not entirely sure that the police report in quite the same way even within a country)

    3. Sooner or later I was bound to mix those two up.

      "Overwhelmingly" is indeed a quantity modifier; it describes a quantity of less than 100% in this case, for else the word would be "entirely" or "exclusively". Thus by writing "ovewhelmingly" I left open the possibility that women might be on the receiving end of the law as well, which makes your insistence on gender-specific wording of the law pointless.
      BTW, in Europe typically about 5-6% of the prison population are women. Technically it's correct to claim that almost any criminal law in Europe is overwhelmingly targeting men. I didn't go out on a limb here.

  4. ""Overwhelmingly" is indeed a quantity modifier; it describes a quantity of less than 100% in this case, for else the word would be "entirely" or "exclusively". Thus by writing "ovewhelmingly" I left open the possibility that women might be on the receiving end of the law as well, which makes your insistence on gender-specific wording of the law pointless."

    Sorry, you didn't get Rettaw's point.

    The law itself does target a specific behaviour, regardless of the gender of the perpetrator.

    So, when more men than women are convicted according to this law, the cause for this is that men display that criminalized behaviour more often.

    1. This is going nowhere, but this is also the internet, so let's go on with a pointless discussion that misses all bigger points of the article:

      "In Sweden, case law also plays an important role in setting precedent on the application of the legislation. For example, a 2008 ruling by the Supreme Court decided that digital penetration of the vagina, on a woman who is intoxicated or sleeping, shall be regarded as an sexual act comparable to sexual intercourse, and is therefore an act of rape."

      You don't really suppose women could ever possibly be convicted like this, right? I mean what would they need to do? Use a straw?

      Granted, the parliament only issued the first document on which basis the judiciary branch completed the definition, but no doubt every legislator was well aware that any toughening of anti-rape laws inevitably affects 95-99% male defendants.

      I get that you guys do extra-specific nitpicking here because it's an article about fact checking. Maybe it wasn't wise to write anything remotely controversial in such an article, but the point of that paragraph was really to point out that a superficial interpretation of a statistic from a foreign country needs careful evaluation of context before interpretation. I suppose you guys know full well the completely dominant way of how Swedish rape statistics are being interpreted outside of Sweden.
      Germany noticed something similar when cases of alleged (not proved) tit and ass grabbing and inappropriate speech morphed into an epidemic of rape in internet discussions.
      Suddenly, every grabbing of a piece of ass was weighed as if it was a complete rape.