NYT corrects story about saddest spot in Manhattan

The New York Times


Bad data from the New England Complex Systems Institute misidentified Hunter College High School as "the saddest tweeting spot in Manhattan," Corey Kilgannon writes. A correction now perches atop the original post.



One Twitter account was to blame, researcher Yaneer Bar-Yam told the Times:

But on Friday, after being pressed again for more information, Professor Bar-Yam said he did a more detailed analysis of the data and realized that he had incorrectly interpreted a data map that seemed to indicate that the high school was the source of a flurry of negative posts during the period of recording the data in spring 2012.

Closer analysis revealed that the posts had actually come from a single Twitter account “from a region just south of the school,” said Professor Bar-Yam, who declined to identify the account or the exact location from where the posts emanated.

The confusion occurred because the Twitter posts were recorded by location and plotted on a street map to identify locations of high and low sentiment by color code, he said, adding that the prolific tweeter near the school created “a single data area of low sentiment that overlapped with the location of the Hunter College High School.”

  • Andrew Beaujon

    Andrew Beaujon reported on the media for Poynter from 2012 to 2015. He was previously arts editor at TBD.com and managing editor of Washington City Paper. He's the author of the 2006 book "Body Piercing Saved My Life," about Christian rock and evangelical Christian culture.

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