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Data quality is a thing.

I just happened to come across this story, where a journalist took some garbled data and spun a false tale which then got spread without question.

It’s a problem. First, it’s a problem that people will repeat unjustified claims, also a problem that when data are attached, you can get complete credulity, even for claims that are implausible on the face of it.

So it’s good to be reminded: “Data” are just numbers. You need to know where the data came from before you can learn anything from them.

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