Tuesday, January 8, 2013

The most unexpected fact check you'll see all day

In my morning perusal of the internet, the Washington Post headline "the saddest graph you'll see all day" caught my eye.  It turns out it was this infographic about rape*:

Now if you've read my blog at all, you know that I consider every infographic guilty until proven innocent, so I figured this one was equally lousy, and I didn't think much more about it.

I was going to take another look at it this afternoon, but then I went to Slate.com and found that Amanda Marcotte had already done a take down of exactly how terrible this graphic is.  Let me just say, when that's the person fact checking you, something's gone terribly wrong.

In case you're curious, the glaring issues with this infographic are: it uses the label "rapists" interchangeably with "rapes" (implying 1:1 ratio), it mixed UK data with US data (the # of unreported rapes is based on something out of an old UK study)....the actual estimate of unreported US rapes is 54%, and they mix false accusations (where someone was accused wrongly) with false complaints (where someone said it happened but didn't name a suspect). 

Can I say it again?  I HATE INFOGRAPHICS.

*Since when are you allowed to call an infographic a graph?

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