In the era of fake news, fewer and fewer people are willing to put their trust in data and numbers, so Mona Chalabi's statistics talk goes over ways in which people can distinguish between bunk stats and valuable information.
There's no question that an uncomfortable portion of the statistics that people glean from various media — be it traditional news outlets, social media, blogs, or anywhere else — are at best dubiously misleading and at worst patently untrue. Fake news and fake statistics indeed continue to be hot topics in the wake of the 2016 US presidential election. The direct impact of these falsehoods is of course the erroneous beliefs that emerge as a result, but the indirect (and perhaps more pernicious) effect is that people trust even completely reliable stats far less than they should.
The crux of Chalabi's statistics talk is restoring belief in good numbers. As a data journalist, she has become adept at spotting wonky figures, and in her talk she suggests ways in which media consumers can do the same.
Recognizing Wonky Stats
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Humanizing Big Data
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Addressing Aboriginal Issues
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