"Malaysia Prime Minister Mahathir Mohamad and the Sultan of Johor are seen in a blue Proton Saga... "When asked whether there is any tension with the sultan, Dr Mahathir said: “No, I don’t see anything because I went to see him and he drove me to the airport. I don’t want to comment on the sultans because if I say anything that is not good then it’s not nice because he is the sultan”"

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Wednesday, August 15, 2018

The lengths people go to deny news they don't like

Edward C. Yong - brilliant!

Edward Yong: Hungarian govt abolishes gender studies as it is useless in the country's job market

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: Fake news I think. No mention at all on their official website: http://www.kormany.hu/en/ministry-of-human-resources/news

And classes at CEU are still continuing: https://gender.ceu.edu/

Me: You think they'd publish it in English so soon?

This is sourced from a Hungarian outlet which has been around since 1979 and I Google translated the article and it's legit

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: The Sun has been around since 1964, and Fox News since 1996. Both are legitimate news agencies.

Me: Yup. And some people would insist the earth was flat if the sun and fox news said they were round


Hungary Bans Gender Studies From Universities

"Marta Pardavi, -- co-chair at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights watchdog organization -- criticized the Hungarian government with an "#academicfreedom" hashtag."

Do people still want to allege this is fake news?

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: It's quoting from the same source as the other article.

Edward C. Yong: give it a week or so...

Me: So you think that Marta Pardavi, co-chair at the Hungarian Helsinki Committee, a human rights watchdog organization is so stupid she is taken in by fake news

Please tell her on twitter that she has been led. Presumably she should resign as she is propagating fake news about human rights in her country

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: She is basing it on the same source you did. Perhaps she is mistaken, perhaps she isn't. I am merely pointing out the fact that the news has yet to be registered on the official Hungarian human resources website, the same ministry that has been quoted as having initiated the ban. Secondly, the university in question has yet to announce it on their site as well. Unless you can provide more substantial evidence, it seems that it might be fake news. I am not a Hungarian news correspondent. This just seems too unlikely to be true.

Me: Maybe she thinks it's a credible source. Or maybe she has access to sources (which might not be online) that we don't. I trust that she would not be misled by fake news given her position

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: Don't you think that if this news were true, the western media would report it? The western media have no love for Hungary, and this would be sensationalist news, perfect as a headline.

Hungary is making a mockery of ‘EU values’. It’s time to kick it out | Owen Jones

In Orban’s Hungary, a Glimpse of Europe’s Demise - WSJ

Me: It's on fox news

Hungary's populist government abolishes gender studies courses

We can see that gender studies has been facing a hostile climate

Ambivalent situation for gender studies in Hungary | Swedish Secretariat for Gender Research

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: Thank you. I see they also used the same source. Though, I can't be certain if it was verified. However both universities are still offering the course

Gender Relations, Gender Roles and Beliefs

The supposed spokesman's twitter account makes no mention either:

Zoltan Kovacs (@zoltanspox) | Twitter

Me: You know they don't update university websites immediately right?

The fact that both fox news and a human rights activist use the same source suggest it's credible

If the straits times reported that a government memo had been sent to nus but you found nothing on the nus website or the government website would you be calling the straits times fake news?

Wayne Yeo: Lol "the fact that both fox news and a human rights activist use the same source suggest it's credible" - when there is a sea of information it's very difficult to tell what's true and what's not. Reading from the internet is just as fallible as reading from the library. That's why there's always a bibliography or reference section at the end of every scholarly journal to check where the author has gotten its sources from. Tagging fox news and worse still, a "human rights activist", is the shittiest argument you can make for yourself. You want to learn about true information? Go and read Chomsky before making such comments. Or else you're the real problem with people and politics - making baseless arguments without understanding the reality of the situation.

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: This is the official blog of the PM of Hungary http://abouthungary.hu/ no mention of it there

This is a news agency from Hungary established in 1877
No mention there

Me: This is getting ridiculous

How about this. We come back in a month or if this story is proven true, whichever is later, and if it is true you guys admit you were wrong and being ridiculous

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: Why are you convinced it's true? I'm giving you hard evidence

Give me a credible source, and I will agree. I am not taking a side, I'm just stating a matter of fact.

Me: Is the straits times a credible source?

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: Yes it is to an extent

Me: "If the straits times reported that a government memo had been sent to nus but you found nothing on the nus website or the government website would you be calling the straits times fake news?"

What do you think?

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: First of all, if the government in Singapore issued such a statement, it would be reflected on all their official sites within the hour. Which in this case, it hasn't. Secondly, the HV is not an equivalent of ST. I've given you two other primary sources, both legitimate and do not report this news.

Me: do you think the Hungarian government works like the Singaporean government?

Here is what Wikipedia says about hvg


"Founded in 1979,[6] Heti Világgazdaság is closely modeled on the Economist in style and content.[7][8] It is a sister publication of the business daily Világgazdaság.[9] The magazine, published weekly, was very important in the years spanning the transition from communism in airing new ideas and challenging boundaries.[10] During the same period it was also a leading investigative publication.[11] In 2003 Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung acquired 75% of the magazine.[11]

HVG is often referred to as the leading news magazine in the country.[1][12] Some articles are also available online and in English.[13]

The circulation of HVG was 120,000 copies at the end of the 1990s.[8] The weekly had a circulation of 140,000 copies in 2004[10] and a readership of more than 500,000.[7] The circulation of the magazine in the fourth quarter of 2009 was 93,775 copies, making it the third most read weekly after Helyi Téma and Szabad Föld in the country."

In some ways it seems more credible than the straits times

furthermore just because a news story does not appear on a source doesn't mean the source is denying that news story

Nevermind. I will set a reminder in a month to return to this thread

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: You're verifying your sources using Wikipedia?

Me: You're welcome to follow all the citations if you want

Also: Study shows Wikipedia Accuracy is 99.5%

"the accuracy of drug information on Wikipedia was 99.7%±0.2% when compared to the textbook data."

Sean Benedict Guttensohn: That article is not peer reviewed, nor an academic source. How can you verify Wikipedia, using a study done on another unverifiable source?

And I've checked the citations

http://ptks.pl/cejc/wp-content/uploads/2014/05/CEJC_Vol7_No1_Sipos.pdf This was one of the citations

You can see that the magazine has been accused of non factual reporting

Tai Yu Hsiang: The Telegraph has picked it up now: Viktor Orban moves to ban gender studies courses at university in 'dangerous precedent' for Hungary

Good enough a source yet?

Also, Inside Higher Ed has published a statement by one of the two affected universities (CEU):

“A recent proposal drafted by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Human Capacities touches upon the future of Gender Studies in Hungary,” CEU said in a statement provided to Inside Higher Ed. “The draft cannot yet be considered to represent the official standpoint of the Hungarian government. Regarding the issue, CEU informed the Hungarian Rectors’ Conference, and thereby the Hungarian government, about its position. Since this matter is currently in an ongoing and not public process, we do not wish to enter into the details. At the same time, CEU reaffirms its commitment to academic freedom and rejects any attempt at censoring academic curricula.”

(Proposal to Ban Gender Studies in Hungary)

I'll just state that the original article link that started this kerfuffle has a misleading headline. The course has not YET been abolished, but as of the present, there is merely an amendment to legislation that would end up with the course being abolished. But that is made clear in the text of the original article.

Me: We know that we can't trust the Torygraph either!

Anyway Reuters has joined the fake news bandwagon and become a far right tabloid

"Hungary’s government will stop financing gender studies university courses, Prime Minister Viktor Orban’s chief of staff said on Tuesday, marking one of the first concrete steps in a cultural shift signaled last month." Hungary to stop financing gender studies courses: PM aide

Looks like it didn't even need a month

Note that ELTE is still offering the course


And the supposed spokesman's twitter account makes no mention either:


The official blog of the PM of Hungary is silent on this as well


Perhaps Reuters has been taken in by fake news too...

Btw you mixed up Heti Valasz and Heti Világgazdaság. Just because both start with "Heti V" does not mean they are the same. Indeed the source explicitly endorses HVG:

"we have to mention the Weekly World Economy (HVG) first as the most important specialised journal. Although the political environment did not allow it theoretically the editors and journalists of it observed Western professional standards before 1989. Because of this running tradition this weekly has become the most important place for precise and investigative journalism in Hungary after 1989 — and partly because of the possibility the editors could own their weekly in the 1990s, which was a thriving and independent weekly (and a European professional investor, Westdeutsche Allgemeine Zeitung, bought 75 percent of the HVG in 2003)."
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