Sensational Graphics from a Research Firm – Disraeli Would be Proud

I am used to the abuse of visuals for sensational purposes. But this chart (left) just completely irks me. It is from the home page (the HOME PAGE!) of Pew Internet Research. So much for objectivity.

Let your eyes guide you. You look at the data visually. So you look at the bar chart. You assume 88% of society is OK with adultery. But that is not what the date says!

Then, and only then, in shock, do you notice the text to the right that qualifies the data with "percent saying this behavior is morally wrong". That is sensationalism. Visual sensationalism that undermines trust. This is a bad visual because it is effective while at the same time just wrong. Be honest damnit, especially with visuals.

Disraeli? Oh, he is the guy who said:

‘Lies, damn lies, and statistics’ – Benjamin Disraeli

What he meant to say was:

‘Lies, damn lies, statistics and then we have bad visualization’ – Benjamin Disraeli (cough – edited – cough)