Harvard Internet Monitor: Bias of Omission in Action

Harvard University, possibly the most overrated institution of learning since the Great Library of Alexandria, has launched a new Internet Monitor Dashboard. They claim that the goal is to drive policy, so it’s not surprising that the dashboard turns out to be an agenda-driven piece of work missing key information.



Their data is the same as we’ve been seeing from the pro-socialized-Internet folks for ages. They pull a few select stats, ones that grossly favor small countries with massive population density, then use it to try to claim the USA is “lagging behind.”

Completely coincidentally, I’m sure, they omit information like population density. Even though even a cursory look at the stat makes it clear the United States is grossly overperforming in Internet access and deployment.

It’s easy to build Internet access when you just have to roll out cable to one urban area, and get literally half the nation’s population. It’s true, the Seoul metro area is half of South Korea’s population. Contrast with our largest metro area, New York City, which captures about 7% of America.


Sure, if you think it’s fair to compare the Internet access of someone in the heart of Seoul, where the economies of scale are through the roof, with the Internet access of someone in the middle of Texas, where the cost per user goes way up for deployments… then I don’t think your argument is very fair at all.

Bias is shown in what we omit, as much as it’s shown in what we choose to display.


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