Outliars: A Discourse Guide to Fact Checking and Click Baiting
Outliars–not outliers. In this book, lies are considered as data. Using headlines from a twenty-eight year archive of The New York Times, this book considers how headlines of the Trump era negotiated the fact of lying in contrast with previous administrations.
Through charts and diagrams, the book illustrates the volume of coverage that Trump received compared to preceding administrations. It also shows how the influence of technologies such as search engine optimization and headline A/B testing support the spread of misinformation narratives.
Headlines are annotated to highlight keywords and punctuation that are common for various types of lies. The labels and keywords on these headlines mimic strategies used in machine learning for creating training data—suggesting that this collection of data could serve as an automated lie detector.
"Outliars" highlights the patterns of hedging language in headlines and the futility of calling attention to lies.