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Deceptive Charts and Marketing
Tim of ThyArt   03 Dec 2019 / updated: 03/Dec/2019

Can you recognize a deceptive chart?


Charts provide great information as long as they are not purposely deceitful, and it can be determined the actual information that they provide. It is asked that you look closely at any chart before qualifying it as worthy information, while uses of these tactics may be noble and provide a better clarity, these are marketing for the agenda (to include selling something). KNOW THE AGENDA OF THE CHART!


There are many ways to be deceptive in presenting information. These deceptive strategies are almost always used in the marketing of a product or an agenda. The psychology of marketing while near perfected in the 20th century has been under constant search for tools to guarantee that the attended targets, you and me, respond exactly as planned. Charts can be very deceptive!

[1] By removing an absolute reference point, such as an absolute zero, charts can exaggerate the change between data points or inflate difference between items.

[2] By using exponential or logarithmic versus a linear scale, the presenter can make any data smaller or larger and the amount of change to appear concerning or unconcerning. The difference in scaling is 1, 2, 3, 4 compared to 1, 10, 100, 1000.

[3] By selecting a data range that hides data that does not support the story, a chart can be purposely deceitful to the truth the data presents. This is common in charts from NASA concerning Climate Change, the real data before the year 1960 tells a different story of a warmer time, with the best option not to display it, else be subject to explain why the raw data has been adjusted to hide the warmer period. Hiding the data is not a lie, just deceitful, while adjusting, could be fraud!

[4] The use of anomalies in charts is a favorite for Climate Change fear mongering, as it unlinks the data from reality. To use a chart that uses a random reference point to indicate anomaly to that reference hides the actual number a chart is claiming, as example the zero could be 58F, 59F, 90F, or even 58.567F.

[5] The point is charts can be deceptive if one does not look closely at how it is presenting the data. Charts provide a means to make a change or comparison look smaller or larger, proportional, or a correlation, or equal or different. Charts provide great information as long as they are not purposely deceitful, and it can be determined the actual information that they provide. It is asked that you look closely at any chart before qualifying it as worthy information, while uses of these tactics may be noble and provide a better clarity, these are marketing for the agenda (to include selling something). KNOW THE AGENDA OF THE CHART!

Tim LeClair - "Canned laughter hides the ugliest of content as if it is funny"



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