Sometimes, people feel the need to win an argument no matter what, or to “save face” after being totally incorrect. Or maybe it’s the last question at a pub trivia night, and the championship is on the line!
(Un)fortunately, it can be easy to be called out on factually-incorrect assertions (e.g. “I’m certain that a panda is a marsupial!”) now that everyone has an Internet-connected cell phone.
To allow a person to bolster their incorrect statement, a new phone app, “Dishonorable Argument Winner,” is proposed, which operates as follows (see Figure 1):
- The app is just a single text box and a “pay now” button.
- The user types an incorrect statement into the text box and then clicks the “pay now” button.
- Behind the scenes, the user will now be matched to a “data fabricator” (a person somewhere else on the Internet). The data fabricator will be paid if they can quickly supply a fabricated web page that supports the incorrect statement.
- (After the data fabricator supplies a link to a web page, the user can share this link with their friends to show that they were correct all along.)
Fig. 1: Left: this app is as simple as it gets: a text box where a user types in a request for fraudulent information, then pays for it. Right: the user is matched with someone else on the Internet who will (quickly) create a fake web page that supports the information in the text box at left.
Suppose a person lost a trivia question because they thought the location “Four Corners” referred to a point between Utah, Arizona, Nevada, and California. Normally, this could easily be fact-checked (Figure 2).
Fig. 2: Fact-checking an uncontroversial statement is usually easy.
Fig. 3: The “dishonorably win an argument” app will supply a user with a fake version of a web page that supports their incorrect information. A mockup of what this might look like is above. Remember: these fake pages need to be generated quickly, so there isn’t much time for the data fabricator to doctor images.
PROS: Probably technically not illegal in most jurisdictions! Opens up new work-from-home opportunities for part time data fabrication.
CONS: Might be extremely unconvincing, especially if the fake web pages are hosted on a site like “
www . win-arguments-with-fake-information . com” .