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Misinformation is everywhere, but nowhere more prolific than on the internet. A Google search for "homeopathy" or "UFO" returns a landslide list of mystery-mongering websites. Yes, there are a few skeptical web resources too — but a non-skeptic can be easily misled online. On this episode, Derek & Swoopy talk with Tim Farley, a skeptic applying his 20-plus years of software development experience to the creation of advanced tools and techniques for fighting the battle against misinformation on the World Wide Web. Tim's popular websites include the Skeptical Software Tools blog "Skeptools" (which uses Web 2.0 techniques to aid the spread of critical thinking information online), and WhatsTheHarm.net, which has collected the stories of over 225,000 people who have been injured or killed as a result of supernatural and pseudoscientific practices from alternative medicine to hypnosis to faith healing.
Show Notes
 

Date – August 26th, 2008 read by Swoopy


I bet you thought this episode was going to be about Bigfoot.
if you didn't hear the bigfoot story maybe you were watching The Olympics.
It was announced that proof of bigfoot was discovered in the N. Georgia mountains.
Our favorite skeptical investigator, and bigfoot aficionado Benjamin Radford wrote this.
The press conference promising DNA evidence showed nothing but possum.
Within days the bigfoot story unraveled itself.
The photos were of a rubber suit – stuffed with roadkill.
Pending litigation by promoter Tom Biscardi claims he paid 50 thousand for the corpse
Legitimate bigfoot researchers say the hoax erodes real scientific proof of bigfoot.
Jeff Meldrum boasts a peer-reviewed published paper about a genuine unknown North American primatenamed Anthropoides Ameriborealis.
Meldrum's book "Sasquatch: Legend Meets Science" was endorsed by Jane Goodall.
Noted primatologist Jane Goodall is a bigfoot believer herself.
Rick Dyer, who was fired from his job because of the hoax said "nobody got hurt."
Tim Farley created the increasingly popular website What's The Harm.
We met Tim at The Amazing Meeting six in las vegas where he presented SkepTools.
Tim was inspired at TAM 5.5, a call to activism for Skeptics.
One of the phrases we hear often is that woo doesn't actually hurt anyone.
What's the Harm is an excellent collection of evidence that shows otherwise.
What's The Harm collects stories of people harmed by not thinking critically.
The site lists the types of misinformation which have caused this sort of harm. 
Some of the topics are expected like homeopathy some more obscure like GPS.
There are more stories of harm than Tim can keep up with posting online. 
Skeptical Software Tools show skeptics how to use Web 2.0 to extend their message.
You can use Google Custom Search to sort out science from woo.
Tim has created his Sense and NonSense searches to help cull information.
Next year at TAM, Tim hopes to have a workshop on how to use Skeptools.
One thing that skeptics with a website can do is use the rel="nofollow" tag on links. 
Lack of using rel="nofollow" increases PageRank of woo sites from skeptics links. 
If all skeptics use their special talents, we can all be activists.
We urge everyone to visit What's The Harm.
You can find out more information about Web tools for Skeptics at the Skeptools blog. 
The first ever Skeptics track at Dragon*Con 2008 in Atlanta will feature:
The Amazing Randi
Dr. Michael Shermer
Dr. Phil Plait
Dr. Steven Novella 
Benjamin Radford
Alison Smith
Michael A. Stackpole
Richard Saunders
Find out more about ticket information and hotels for Dragon*Con 2008.
Bump – Skeptic Magazine 
We'll be recording the SkepTrack panels, and also filming them.
You can keep an eye on the proceedings via SkepTrack.org and subscribe the feed. 
Skepticality outro.



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