Sourceless interpretation

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A sourceless interpretation is any situation where someone (the reporter) interprets what has been said by a third party without offering any way to see what the third party actually said verbatim. It is most problematic in online discussions, where it's easy enough to provide a link or a pasted quote; links are preferable, as this allows the reader to access the full quote in its original context with some way to verify authenticity.

While there are situations where this omission is completely acceptable, it is a red flag in in any circumstance where the reporter is evaluating the third party in a way which supports an argument the reporter is being made. In this context, it is little better than hearsay, may easily be some sort of misrepresentation, and ranks very low on the hierarchy of evidence.