When in Doubt, Make Up a Statistic

Used to be when an official gave out a statistic in a public statement (“We’ve seen a 37% increase in duct failure accidents!”) one could assume that the statistic came from somewhere. Maybe a very bad study, but somewhere.

Those days are gone. Consider the recent statistic provided by Pentagon spokesperson Dana White that after the attacks on Syria, we saw a 2000% increase in Russian troll activity in 24 hours. You might wonder, “how was that determined?”

Gizmodo took a look at discovered, it came from nowhere. But now it’s been said, so it will be presented as truth by credulous journalists and take root in the public mind.

Welcome to your informed democracy.

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