24 October 2022

Gavin Freeguard
Warning: Graphic Content
16 min readOct 24, 2022


Data Truss

If a week is a long time in politics, then the three and a bit weeks since the last edition of this newsletter…

How should we correct things we get wrong online? (Cartoon showing someone saying they can’t go to bed, as ‘someone is WRONG on the internet’.)

I’m sure there are several data angles on Recent Events, but here are a few quick ones:

  • The Commons chaos last Wednesday night produced stories about the PM not having voted on her own confidence measure, and prompted the chief whip and her deputy to resign and unresign. The former does not appear to be truedisparities between overall and more detailed counts on the app should have been a flag that something might be up with the voting lists, the PM’s name later being added. This did not stop the story circulating, and corrections to it are unlikely to have received the same coverage. This highlights how casually reliant we are on numbers, accepting apparently definitive data without checking it and where it came from (and also how unfit for purpose some processes our democracy relies on might be). It also shows how tricky it can be to correct things once they’re out there. I faced that dilemma with my (already caveated) tweet on the whip ‘resignations’ — in that instance, it felt adding a clarifying tweet rather than delete was the best option. It can be a tricky area, although deleting widely shared blatantly wrong tweets should be more of a thing. (And… well, quite. More here.)
  • As for #dataviz… I’m not sure this chart shows quite what the tweeting MP wanted it to. And we also had an example of how very small design decisions can make a big difference — witness the evolution of this chart away
    from showing much bigger totals than the reality.
  • And this is fun from Andrew Gray, on how Events drove people to previous PM Wikipedia pages.

A few other bits and pieces:

Have a good week, and see you for a hopefully much shorter newsletter on Friday…

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Today’s links:

Graphic content

Bodge it

Data Truss

Crises? What crises?

Viral content





Everywhere else

Weather and climate


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Meta data

Deeply DPDIB

A farewell to harms

UK politics

UK government

UK parliament

Digital government

Information health

Big tech

Our surveil said

Open for the best

AI got ‘rithm



Digging geospatial data

Extremely online


Everything else


And finally…

Cuppa load of this


Everything else