Manipulations with Dat

Methodological manipulation

There may be weak methods in research. For example, at the end of March 2018, the Russian media reported an increase in anti-Semitism in Ukraine, but the Ukrainian authorities “hid it closely”.

The Russian website quoted a 72-page report produced by the Israeli Ministry of Diaspora that showed that Ukrainian Jews had experienced more attacks (both verbal and physical) than Jews in all former Soviet republics.

However, the report was not based on a systematic study, nor did the authors analyze data collected by Ukrainian non-profit organizations. Based on the sources cited, the authors made a mechanical calculation of the events, no matter how serious or reliable the data were. For example, the demonstration counted both actual cases of vandalism and verbal insults.

The boldest statement in the report is that the number of anti-Semitic cases in Ukraine has doubled compared to the previous year. According to surveillance organizations, the number of anti-Semitic vandalism cartoons has increased, but only slightly – from 19 to 24. This is reflected in the figures collected by the national group on monitoring minority rights after the hate crimes. In Ukraine for more than ten years. In 2017, no anti-Semitic violence was registered, and in 2016 there was only one, says group leader Radio Liberty.

A closer examination of the report showed that the situation had not been thoroughly assessed. However, the history of anti-Semitism was one of the most important parts of the Kremlin’s anti-Ukraine propaganda campaign to justify its aggression against Ukraine. Therefore, the Russian propaganda media easily summed up the report on Ukraine.

Other conflicting evidence emerged from a study conducted by the U.S. Pew Research Center in 18 Central and Eastern European countries, which showed that Ukraine had the lowest anti-Semitic attitude in Europe. In Russia, according to the document, this level is almost three times higher.

The site criticized Pew’s method and claimed to ask respondents, “Do you want to see Jews as countrymen?” was not a sign of love or aversion to the Jews.

Pew’s research, religious beliefs, and national affiliation in Central and Eastern Europe include a section of the method that explains the research. It is important to analyze and understand the method.

Misunderstanding of the results

One of the features of propaganda is the attempt to look truthful and genuine. Such propagandistic claims often rely on distorted research findings.

The Russian Kremlin website published an article about Fitch Ratings’ recent outlook for Ukraine, focusing only on negative factors and ignoring the overall stable forecast. Only using the first sentence of the Fitch report did he claim that Ukraine has the third largest shadow economy in the world after Azerbaijan and Nigeria.

The first sentence of the Fitch report states: “Ukraine’s credit rating reflects weak external liquidity, high public debt and weak structural weaknesses in the banking sector, institutional constraints and geopolitical and political risks.”

This is the only information taken from Fitch’s views that completely ignores the following sentence: “These factors are in balance with improved political credibility and coherence, the short-term manageable debt settlement profile of government securities, and a history of bilateral and multilateral support.”

The best way to remove such deception is to find and examine the entire report. Another manipulative statement was that most Ukrainians are not interested in visa-free travel to the EU at all.

Wrong comparisons

published an article that food prices in Ukraine have been as high as in Europe in February 2018. Demand is based on a Facebook message from former Ukrainian Prime Minister Mykola Azarov. Azarov’s claim was based on information from RIA Novost, presented in an attractive but suspicious infographic.

According to the Numbeo index, Ukraine is the cheapest country in Europe along with Moldova, Macedonia and Albania. The site also compares food prices in different cities around the world, showing that on average Ukrainian prices are a long way to go before reaching European level. So it is wrong to compare absolute numbers without considering other indicators, Stopfake noted.

Try to separate the actual numbers and facts from the incorrect information. Very often these types of forgeries contain some real numbers as well as numbers from suspicious and forged sources.

In the Canadian example that has spread on social media since 2015, the conclusion seems to be that Canada spends more money on refugees than on pensions.

Leave a Reply