Digital Polarization

Hello Everyone,

over the past few days my group members and I have been working together to contribute knowledge and analysis to the Digital Polarization Wiki. With my group, we investigated the truth status of our claim, which was titled “Freak Storm Pushes North Pole 50 Degrees Above Normal to Melting Point”.

We began our research by searching for other articles reporting on the same event and topic, noting the differences in the dates these articles were posted as well as the facts they reported. The first reference to our claim was reported on December 27th, 2015 by  Robertscribbler.com. RobertScribbler is a climate writer who put together a post on his WordPress stating that a North Atlantic storm would “Push Temps to 36-72+ Degrees (F) Above Normal At North Pole”. It was then mentioned on December 29th, 2015 by theatlantic.com titled “A Storm that Will Unfreeze the North Pole”. The first influential post of this claim was reported by the Washington Post who also cited the 50 degree change in temperature at the North Pole; this initiated a stream of articles and various posts relating to the claim.

Overall, it was not difficult to determine whether this claim is true or not; it is apparently true due to the lack of variation in quantitative data referring to the temperature change. Almost every article I found reporting on this claim cited a 50 degree rise in temperature as well as stressing the damage that will come from it. Through my work, I was able to help my group members find the origin of this claim as well as a few posts that followed it. Through these discoveries, my group and I were able to map out the first appearances and first influential posts in response to the event. It was not difficult to locate the origin of our claim, it was easily accessible through examining the range of dates as posts first began to appear. Lastly, I found this project to be a very beneficial experience; learning about the origin and variation in truth status relating to different claims surely has caused me to look differently at news sources and blogs when verifying it’s validity. I hope that the information my group was able to contribute will be found helpful by others when determining truth status.

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