No, big data did not polarize us

… Polarization in American politics is right now about as strong as it was in the late 19th century. There’s probably a mediocre steampunk sci-fi novel out there about the McKinley campaign hiring an analyst to build some Charles Babbage analytical engine to perfectly target prospective Republican voters across the […] Read more »

Bold Promises Fade to Doubts for a Trump-Linked Data Firm

Standing before political and business leaders in New York last fall, Alexander Nix promised a revolution. … Mr. Nix’s little-known firm, Cambridge Analytica, claimed to have developed something unique: “psychographic” profiles that could predict the personality and hidden political leanings of every American adult. “Of the two candidates left in the […] Read more »

How Readers React to Political News Stories They Don’t Like: By Ignoring Them

The United States is so polarized that it can seem that Republicans and Democrats choose to exist in two entirely different versions of the day, depending on their media diet. But a new analysis of the web traffic of 148 news organizations shows something subtler: Publications across the political spectrum […] Read more »

Algorithmic Bias: How the Clinton Campaign May Have Lost the Presidency or Why You Should Care

We’ve recently been informed that the Clinton campaign relied heavily on an automated decision aid to inform senior campaign leaders about likely scenarios in the election. This algorithm—known as “Ada”—was a key component, if not “the” component in how senior staffers formulated campaigning strategy. … So what happened with Clinton’s […] Read more »

How to recover from the polling disaster of 2016? Look beyond polls.

Planes rarely crash because one instrument fails or one gauge gives a bad reading. Rather, the right combination of things fail in tandem — a mechanical problem paired with bad weather, a backup system malfunctioning at the same time as a pilot error — leading to catastrophe. The disaster of […] Read more »