Can a fact be ‘biased’? [closed]

Apropos of this baffling exchange I had with a right-wing ‘Brexit’ supporter on on Twitter yesterday I’d like to know if my definition of a fact (‘a thing that is known or proven to be true’) is correct or if my co-respondent is the one with the winning definition.

To save you braving the nonsense that is twitter, it went something like this:

  1. A user posts a pic of the front-page of todays Independent newspaper. It is headed ’50 key facts to help you decide’ [whether to vote in or out of the EU].
  2. Someone then comments ‘Biased ‘facts’ no doubt.’
  3. To me this just seems wrong – a ‘fact’, surely, is a thing known or proven to be true?
  4. I suggest that his comment is oxymoronic – how can a fact be biased?
  5. Someone then claims that ‘biased facts means facts that are used for a biased purpose. If all the facts were there it would be unbiased’
  6. I think his argument, as worded and stated, is a nonsense.

I really don’t want anyone to get drawn into the EU referendum (or any other political debate) – I’m asking specifically about the meanings of the words per se so I would prefer it if explanations did not explain things in terms of economics, immigration, demographics or whatever.


Speaking from a statistical perspective, it is definitely possible to create factual statements that have a bias.

It’s important to keep in mind the definition here:

        prejudice in favor of or against one thing, person, or group compared with another, usually in a way considered to be unfair.

I submit to you several factual statements designed with bias.

  1. “More white people are killed by police officers than black people.” The implication here should be obvious. And, to be fair, this statement is factually true. However, it fails to mention that there are far more white Americans than black.

  2. “The number of deaths as a result of DUIs have increased since marijuana was legalized in Colorado.” Again, this is indeed a true statement. However, since the legalization, the population of Colorado has increased significantly.

  3. “The design of the F-35 has several flaws.” True statement. The design of every aircraft has several flaws, so while this is clearly designed to make the F-35 look bad, it’s also a true statement.

The problem mostly lies in what you consider indisputable fact. In the words of Nietzsche:

You have your way. I have my way.
As for the right way, the correct way, and the only way, it does not exist.

Source : Link , Question Author : 5arx , Answer Author : Howdy_McGee

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