Tag: data (page 1 of 6)

Get off Twitter if you want to see your friends’ posts

Tyler Freeman wrote a script to analyse the tweets he’s shown in his algorithmic Twitter timeline. 90% of his friends (i.e. the people he chose to follow) never made it to the main feed.

The diagram below shows the 90% in grey, withthe people he follows in orange, strangers are in blue, and ads are pink. This is what happens when you have software with shareholders.

I am following over 2,000 people, so to only see tweets from 10 percent of them is disconcerting; 90 percent of the people I intentionally follow, and want to hear from, are being ignored/hidden from me. When we dig deeper, it gets even worse.

[…]

The way I see it, the centralized path via government regulation is a short-term fix which may be necessary given the amount of power our current societal structures allot to social media corporations, but the long-term fix is to put the power into the hands of each user instead—especially considering that centralized power structures are how we got into this mess in the first place. I’m eager to see what this new world of decentralization will bring us, and how it could afford us more agency in how we donate our attention and how we manage our privacy.

Source: Does Twitter’s Algorithm Hate Your Friends? | Nightingale

Proving endemic racism and sexism in the world of football

Anyone who follows football will perhaps be disappointed yet unsurprised that racism and sexism continue to be part of the beautiful game.

This study is clever in the way that it shows that those watching football matches use coded language and are biased against women. Hopefully, it will help all of us figure out better ways forward.

(I actually really enjoy watching women’s football with my family!)

The resulting paper, “Pace and Power: Removing unconscious bias from soccer broadcasts,” caused a stir when they presented it at last month’s New England Symposium on Statistics in Sports. Of the 47 sports fans who watched a two-minute clip of the World Cup TV broadcast, 70 percent said that Senegal, whose players were all Black, was “more athletic or quick.” But of 58 others who saw an animation of the same two minutes without knowing which teams they were watching, 62 percent picked Poland, whose players were all white, as the more athletic side.1 The physical advantages that supposedly defined the African team’s style of play disappeared as soon as their skin color did.

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The athleticism flip-flop offers a new kind of evidence of a prejudice that affects how Black players of every nationality are perceived. For decades, researchers have documented media stereotypes of African players as “‘powerful,’ ‘big-thighed,’ ‘lithe of body,’ ‘big,’ ‘explosive,’ and like ‘lightning,’ attributes that were to be contrasted with ‘the know-how that England possess.’” As Belgian forward Romelu Lukaku, who is Black, told The New York Times, “It is never about my skill when I am compared to other strikers.” Now, for the first time, researchers have a way to isolate how race influences direct perceptions of the game.

Interestingly, they also looked at gender as well as race:

The study also examined attitudes toward gender by showing viewers a pair of two-minute clips, one from the American top-flight National Women’s Soccer League and another from League Two, the English men’s fourth tier. Even though the NWSL draws more fans to games, its average player earns about a quarter as much as the average player in League Two. Gregory and Pleuler were curious whether this “clear gender pay gap” could be explained by a difference in the quality of the soccer shown on TV, as some have argued.

People who watched the broadcasts said that the men’s game was “higher quality” by a 57 percent to 43 percent margin. Those who saw the renders with genderless stick figures preferred the women’s match, 59 percent to 41 percent. The results weren’t statistically significant across a small sample of 105 mostly male respondents, but Pleuler believes the line of research is promising. “I think these results are suggestive that your average soccer fan can’t tell the difference between something that does have a large investment level and the women’s game, which does not,” he said.

Source: Soccer Looks Different When You Can’t See Who’s Playing | FiveThirtyEight

UK government adviser warns against plans to force the NHS to share data with police forces

It’s entirely unsurprising that governments should seek to use the pandemic as cover for hoovering up data about its citizens. However, it’s up to us to resist this.

Plans to force the NHS to share confidential data with police forces across England are “very problematic” and could see patients giving false information to doctors, the government’s data watchdog has warned.

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Dr Nicola Byrne also warned that emergency powers brought in to allow the sharing of data to help tackle the spread of Covid-19 could not run on indefinitely after they were extended to March 2022.

Dr Byrne, 46, who has had a 20-year career in mental health, also warned against the lack of regulation over the way companies were collecting, storing and sharing patient data via health apps.

She told The Independent she had raised concerns with the government over clauses in the Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Bill which is going through the House of Lords later this month.

The legislation could impose a duty on NHS bodies to disclose private patient data to police to prevent serious violence and crucially sets aside a duty of confidentiality on clinicians collecting information when providing care.

Dr Byrne said doing so could “erode trust and confidence, and deter people from sharing information and even from presenting for clinical care”.

She added that it was not clear what exact information would be covered by the bill: “The case isn’t made as to why that is necessary. These things need to be debated openly and in public.”

Source: Plans to hand over NHS data to police sparks warning from government adviser | The Independent