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Data Science vs Fake News Contest


Submit a story that clearly exposes a false claim in the news, using data and visualization. This contest is sponsored by KDnuggets, Data For Democracy, and data.world. Submissions due March 10, 2017.



Fake news have become a significant problem for US democracy, and probably had an impact on 2016 US Presidential election.  The problem continues today, with false claims by politicians and false stories spreading in the news.   Data Science is about searching for what is true and supported by facts, and we believe Data Scientists can help make our democracy better, even if a little, by using data to show which claims are false.

KDnuggets, Data for Democracy, and data.world announce a contest for best Data analysis / Data journalism / Data visualization stories that expose recent lies or false claims by politicians and others.

This contest is  non-partisan - lies and exaggerations should be exposed on all sides.


Update: here are the contest winners:

  1. 1st place: What Happened Last Night in Sweden: Data Science vs Fake News
  2. 2nd place: It’s Getting Hot In Here: Data Science vs Fake News
  3. 3rd place: Does the Muslim Ban Make Us Safer? Data Science vs Fake News

Here is simple example of data visualization debunking a false claim.

President Trump said  in his Feb 16, 2017 press conference about his electoral college win

"I guess it's the biggest electoral college win since Ronald Reagan".

Data from Wikipedia on US presidential elections (Fig. 1) shows it is not.

Us Presidents Electoral College 1988-2016
Fig. 1: US Presidential Elections, Electoral College votes for winners, 1988 - 2016

The contest asks to submit a short post - 300 to 600 words, with 2-3 visualizations up to width 600px.

Please state the false story you are debunking (preferably a recent one) and clearly identify your data sources.

The winner will be selected based on how prominent is the story/speaker in the news, how false is the claim, and how clearly does blog explain why the claim is false.

Our focus in this contest is on stories in US politics, but we will consider European and global politics in follow-up contests.  Stories should address claims  in the news, such as

  1. Immigrants from 7 travel-ban countries are a significant terrorism threat in the US.
  2. Vaccines cause Autism
  3. "US Murder rate is at 47 year high" (Donald Trump, Feb 7, 2017 )

and present data that debunks those claims with a convincing story and visualization.

Other current topics in the news will also be accepted.

This contest is closed - winners will be published in KDnuggets soon.

We will give prizes of $400 for 1st, $200 for 2nd, and $100 for 3rd place and publish the winners (and possibly other submissions) in KDnuggets.

Authors affiliated with sponsoring organizations below are not eligible for prizes.

data.world is the social network for data people, helping data scientists discover and share cool data, connect with interesting people, and collaborate to solve problems faster.   data.world will give a separate prize of $100 for the submission which involves the best use of their platform .

Data for Democracy brings together an active, passionate community of people using data to drive better decisions and improve the world in which we live.

KDnuggets is a leading site on Business Analytics, Big Data, Data Mining, and Data Science, reaching over 400K visitors/month  and over 150,000 subscribers.

KDnuggets   Data for Democracy   data.world