How We Choose

We’ve selected the top most engaging news articles on Twitter from Australian news media. The selection criteria are based on logical fallacies statistics found in the retweets and comments.

Critical Concentration

“Street battles have broken out between thousands of Donald Trump supporters and counter-protesters in the heart of Washington…”

The response contains almost half of comments that look a lot like fallacious reasoning of any type our detector can recognise. Spread between reasoning type groups:

Logical Fallacies Statistics

A lot of the commenters do not agree with the article title for a start. They say it was a peaceful pro-Trump protest, then Antifa and BLM attacked them. And it is incorrect not to mention those.

Examples of personal attack from responses:

TRUTH IS SOME OF THE ANTIFA AND BLM THUGS PUNCHED OUT A COUPLE PEACEFUL MAGA SUPPORTERS!!!! You stupid f…s …

The lunacy of the radical left, the manipulative lying of our media.

Triggering News

Commented with Ad Hominem Fallacy and Name-Calling replies. In this group last week, the top one was:

“The makers of Coon cheese will retire the ‘racist’ brand. Do you agree with…”

The response contains approximately 34% of comments that look a lot like Ad Hominem Attacks. The spread controversial arguments between logical fallacy groups:

Logical Fallacies Statistics

Coon cheese brand was named after Edward William Coon, who patented a cheese ripening process. Coon was also a racial slur, in the late 19th century - 1970s used to refer to a dark-skinned person of African, Australian Aboriginal, or Pacific Island heritage.

Argumentum ad Hominem examples from the comments

Stupid. It’s not racist; it’s the guy’s name fgs . Stop pandering to the Marxists

Go woke, go broke. It’s an eponymous brand name. Nothing racist about it. If the snowflakes had their way, everyone with White as the last name would be forced to change as well. Just pathetic.

Cheese is racist now?? You idiots!!

Food for Thoughts

In this smart argument category - where comments contain a lot of reasoning that looks really like Appeal to Ignorance, Reduction to Absurd, Conspiracy Theory, False Dichotomy Fallacy, Fallacy of Composition or Fallacy of Division.

Last week, the most worth reading tweet in this group was

“Former Democratic presidential candidate Marianne Williamson says the United States is in an ‘extremely dangerous’ position as President Donald Trump undermines voter confidence by airing claims of election fraud..”

The response contains approximately 10% of comments that look a lot like fallacious reasoning. The distribution between types of reasoning:

Logical Fallacies Statistics

It looks like current POTUS Donald Trump lost the elections but continued to claim it was stolen. He sent claims to court, continues talking about fraud, and this former Democratic Party candidate sees the US is in an ‘extremely dangerous’ position because of this.

Some Conspiracy theory examples

I am wondering how much the CCP has paid each brainwashing machine!

And Ad Hominem Tu Quotue fallacy example

Remind me again what the Democrats have been doing since the 2016 election

Appeal to Emotions

A lot of comments that look really like Appeal to Emotions Fallacy. In this category last week, the worth reading tweet was

“BREAKING: A Melbourne footballer has AVOIDED jail over the assault of a nurse in a CBD laneway…”

The response contains approximately 20% of comments that look a lot like fallacious reasoning.

Logical Fallacies Statistics

Examples Appeal to Emotions fallacy:

Disgusting that he avoided jail, but I’m not sure why we keep referring to him as a footballer. Has he been on a VFL or AFL list at some point. Cause the way I see it is that he is just a suburban player like thousands of others. Why are we glorifying him as a footballer?

Who would make it for that poor lady? Why is the benefit she got from his community service?

What a f…n disgrace

Team and Status Quo

Some arguments in comments that look like contain these logical fallacies

In this class last week, the best piece of news was

“Deputy CHO says the compulsory mask-wearing policy could go within a month but two experts argue Victoria should drop its ‘excessive and risk-averse’ approach…”

The response contains approximately 13% of comments that look a lot like logical fallacies. The reasoning types composition:

Logical Fallacies Statistics

Victoria had the highest second wave of COVID-19 cases of all the states in Australia. Now for more than 20 days there is no new case there. The disease is extremely dangerous, and discussions are continuing, especially due to recent cases in SA.

Nice Appeal or Authority fallacy examples:

Guess what? He’s Deputy CHO; those two experts aren’t. I’ll do what he’s doing. Thank you.

Especially Appeal to Opponent’s Authority argumentum ad adversarium

“If we have no community transmission whatsoever, then I am not going to be recommending masks beyond that.” Brett Sutton (22 August 2020).

Hasty Generalization Fallacy example:

People don’t wear them anyway .. The amount of bare noses out there is obscene.

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