So, about that penis data…

December 1, 2016

(This article was first published on rstats – Tadaa, Data!, and kindly contributed to R-bloggers)

It was just one of our hobby projects we do on the side.
Just one of those projects we do to try out R-code, visualization techniques (i.e. ggplot2 code, mostly), and efficient collaborative reporting via RMarkdown.

But then Lukas couldn’t sleep and instead decided to work on the project a little, creating a particular plot he thought was interesting. He posted the plot on /r/dataisbeautiful, a subreddit for data visualizations, and apparently people we’re more interested than anticipated.

The plot in question

The issue with this plot going slightly viral is that many people didn’t bother to check the full analysis over at the project page, which lead to misinterpretations of what a histogram is, false assumptions about the structure of our data and, of course, people being really defensive about their junk. Well who’da thunk.

Bottom line is: A single plot can not represent everything about an analysis.
Read the stuff around the plot.
In that regard, we learned that posting individual plots on reddit, assuming people would actually bother to read the linked analysis, was naive. Nobody reads things on the internet. That would be silly.

At this point we’d like to mention that at least someone from I Fucking Love Science actually bothered to send us a few questions instead of writing a misinterpreting post about the analysis. And here it is.

Well, so much for that. At least we now have had our 15 minutes of fame.
It was fun.
And it felt slightly wrong.

Other sites reporting on the post

  1. Indy100, from The Independent
  2. This Latvian site, apparently glad about the data for their country, if Google Translate can be believed.
  3. The Greek Huffington Post, which so far did the best job describing what we did, as far as we can tell.
  4., which also got the gist of it.
  5., which didn’t believe we’re not obsessed about penises 🙁

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