A New Twitter Feed That Brilliantly Skewers Bad Statistics

Slate's Culture Blog
Oct. 21 2011 12:21 PM

Follow Friday: The Very Best in Fake Statistics

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Smartphone ubiquity may pose a threat to proper dinner parties, but it has also created the perfect cocktail-party icebreaker: face-to-face Follow Friday swapping. Now you can introduce a new acquaintance to the genius of @WiseKaplan, for instance, and receive reciprocal nourishment when he or she reminds you to follow @DRUNKHULK.

In just that fashion I was, at a recent work-related happy hour, made aware of @FakePewResearch, the latest venture from the cheeky folks behind @FakeAPStylebook (a must-read account for writing nerds).

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Like its forebear, @FakePewResearch takes an iconic journalistic tool—in this case, polling data—and throws in just the right amounts of irony, pop-culture geekery, and absurdism. The resulting feed has the flavor of old Onion infographics back when best-selling CDs were still a common subject of conversation. Some choice tweets:

HOW WE PRACTICE KISSING: Friend (32%), Mirror (27%), Pet (15%), Paused Episode of CHARMED (14%), KissMaster 3000 (12%).
45% of scat singers describe the economy as "dee-doo-doop," 32% say "bibbity-bee-bop," and 23% say "zippity zow zow zowwwwww."
4% of Frankensteins think fire is pretty OK.

The feed’s favorite hashtag, #DownerStats, delves into subject matter that is just too intense for actual Pew researchers:

33% of puppies never get hugged. #DownerStats
46% of all cupcakes are made using illegal child labor. #DownerStats

According to a recent study, conducted by me, @FakePewResearch brings the funny 98% of the time.

Jeremy Stahl is Slate's social media editor. You can follow him on Twitter.