Fair Warning: Crowd control, fake news, and romance

Before I started Fair Warning, one of the things that worried me was that I wouldn’t have enough content to talk about. Happily, this week, that is not the case, and I’ve been building this blog up as I spot things around. I almost feel like there might be too much going on!

Previously on Fair Warning: An Introduction

Gizmodo ran my favourite story of the week. Towards the end of last year, TfL performed a trial, gathering data from people using WiFi on the underground, and Gizmodo have obtained some of their findings. The story goes into some detail about what TfL hopes to use it for in future (crowd management, planning — even advertising planning). One of the more fun things is seeing how people get from one station to the other:

This week was Valentine’s Day so there was lots and lots of data on that. Most of it, to be honest, was more marketing/fluffy statistics rather than anything particularly fascinating. Something I can relate to is this chart which shows the rise and fall of a relationship, through WhatsApp message volume:

Over the pond

The Southern Poverty Law Center’s annual census has found that extremist/hate groups in the US have risen dramatically in the last year, most notably the number of anti-Muslim hate groups has almost tripled.

The Pew Research Center has done research on Americans’ feelings (“warmth”) towards different religious groups. Compared to 2014, American are generally feeling more positive towards all religious groups (although Muslims and atheists are still at the bottom!)

Gizmodo has been using targeted adverts to encourage government agency employees to send in tips about life under Trump. Love how creative this is, but I don’t know how effective it is, or what their results are.

There’s a website keeping track of gun violence in the US. As of 16th February, 3,706 people have been injured with a gun since the beginning of the year, and 1,970 people had died due to gun violence. Of these injured and killed, 77 were children.

If I’ve read this chart right, it says that US conservatives tend to be far more exposed to fake news (though who knows the definition for that) than liberals, and liberals tend to be exposed more to fact-checking pieces. Hm.

Pigscast.com have attempted to fit all US media onto a chart which illustrates both partisan bent and also ‘quality’ of each outlet. Uhhh, let’s just say I don’t think those on the outer edges will be best pleased.

Finally, in some lighter news, there’s an interesting piece on “why lawn mowing is better than sex” which explains how many calories different activities burn. Sex is terrible for burning calories, apparently!


DataGraver looked into some data which showed the number of people killed per year by terrorism in Europe. The charts show that the height of terrorist activity in the region was probably in the 70s, and that in its worst year, 1988, 450 people were killed in terrorist attacks.

Here is a lovely piece of work by refugees living in Berlin, which maps out all facilities and services that refugees might want to use in the city, like doctors, German language classes, lawyers, police, etc. I think the power of these sort of community maps is hugely underestimated. What an amazing idea!

I quite liked this chart from HuffPo that Amol Rajan tweeted — it shows where in India people are vegetarian. One of the surprises in this for me was that I had always thought the food divide was north-south rather than northwestern vs everywhere else.

Bad chart of the week

I mean… This just isn’t how a bar chart works. Come on.

Shameless self-promotion

I’ve been holding myself to my own promise of writing one article a week, and I had wanted to do more data-driven stories but this week it was not to be. I did, however, write about my horrendous, soul-destroying experience with anxiety which many people said was helpful, so that’s nice.

Psst! If you see any terrible/great stories, stats, charts, anything you think might be of interest… Tweet me! If you like my work, why not buy me a coffee?