2015 Press room

Here is a collection of press coverage of the Human Rights Data Analysis Group.

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Civil War in Syria: The Internet as a Weapon of War

Hakan Tanriverdi - Suddeutsche Zeitung - January 4, 2015
Suddeutsche Zeitung writer Hakan Tanriverdi interviews HRDAG affiliate Anita Gohdes and writes about her work on the Syrian casualty enumeration project for the UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights. This article, “Bürgerkrieg in Syrien: Das Internet als Kriegswaffe,” is in German.Read full article off-site

Experts Greet Kosovo Memory Book

Petrit Collaku - Balkan Transitional Justice - February 4, 2015
On Wednesday, February 4, in Pristina, international experts praised the Humanitarian Law Centre’s database on victims of the Kosovo conflict, the Kosovo Memory Book. HRDAG executive director Patrick Ball is quoted in the article that appeared in Balkan Transitional Justice.Read full article off-site

New Estimate Of Killings By Police Is Way Higher — And Still Too Low

Carl Bialik - 538 Politics - March 6, 2015
Carl Bialik of 538 Politics interviews HRDAG executive director Patrick Ball in an article about the recently released Bureau of Justice Statistics report about the number of annual police killings, both reported and unreported. As Bialik writes, this is a math puzzle with real consequences.Read full article off-site

Improving the estimate of U.S. police killings

Cory Doctorow - Boing Boing - March 7, 2015
Cory Doctorow of Boing Boing writes about HRDAG executive director Patrick Ball and his contribution to Carl Bialik’s article about the recently released Bureau of Justice Statistics report on the number of annual police killings, both reported and unreported, in 538 Politics.Read full article off-site

That Higher Count Of Police Killings May Still Be 25 Percent Too Low.

Carl Bialik - 538 Politics - April 2, 2015
Carl Bialik of 538 Politics reports on a new HRDAG study authored by Kristian Lum and Patrick Ball regarding the Bureau of Justice Statistics report about the number of annual police killings, which was issued a few weeks ago. As Bialik writes, the HRDAG scientists extrapolated from their work in five other countries (Colombia, Guatemala, Kosovo, Sierra Leone and Syria) to estimate that the BJS study missed approximately one quarter of the total number of killings by police.Read full article off-site

5 Humanitarian FOSS Projects to Watch

Dave Neary - Opensource.com - April 29, 2015
Dave Neary described “5 Humanitarian FOSS Projects to Watch,” listing HRDAG’s work on police homicides in the U.S. and other human rights abuses in other countries.Read full article off-site

Kriege und Social Media: Die Daten sind nicht perfekt

Mirjam Hauck - Suddeutsche Zeitung - May 6, 2015
Suddeutsche Zeitung writer Mirjam Hauck interviewed HRDAG affiliate Anita Gohdes about the pitfalls of relying on social media data when interpreting violence in the context of war. This article, “Kriege und Social Media: Die Daten sind nicht perfekt,” is in German.Read full article off-site

Are journalists lowballing the number of Iraqi war dead?

Pierre Bienaimé - Columbia Journalism Review - July 7, 2015
The Columbia Journalism Review investigates the casualty count in Iraq, more than a decade after the U.S. invasion. HRDAG executive director Patrick Ball is quoted. “IBC is very good at covering the bombs that go off in markets,” said Patrick Ball, an analyst at the Human Rights Data Analysis Group who says his whole career is to study “people being killed.” But quiet assassinations and military skirmishes away from the capital often receive little or no media attention.Read full article off-site

Syria’s status, the migrant crisis and talking to ISIS

@IRINnews - IRIN Global - August 14, 2015
In this week’s “Top Picks,” IRIN interviews HRDAG executive director Patrick Ball about giant data sets and whether we can trust them. “No matter how big it is, data on violence is always partial,” he says.Read full article off-site

Sous la dictature d’Hissène Habré, le ridicule tuait

@lemonde_afrique - Le Monde Afrique - September 16, 2015
Patrick Ball, un expert en statistiques engagé par les Chambres africaines extraordinaires, a conclu que la « mortalité dans les prisons de la DDS fut substantiellement plus élevée que celles des pires contextes du XXe siècle de prisonniers de guerre ».Read full article off-site

Direct procès Habré: le taux de mortalité dans les centres de détention, au menu des débats

@pressafrik - Press Afrik - September 18, 2015
Statisticien, Patrick Ball est à la barre ce vendredi matin. L’expert est entendu sur le taux de mortalité dans les centres de détention au Tchad sous Habré. Désigné par la chambre d’accusation, il dira avoir axé ses travaux sur des témoignages, des données venant des victimes et des documents de la DDS (Direction de la Documentation et de la Sécurité).Read full article off-site

Death rate in Habre jails higher than for Japanese POWs, trial told

AFP - Yahoo News - September 18, 2015
Patrick Ball of the California-based Human Rights Data Analysis Group said he had calculated the mortality rate of political prisoners from 1985 to 1988 using reports completed by Habre’s feared secret police.Read full article off-site

Procès Hissène Habré : Le statisticien fait état d’un taux de mortalité de 2,37% par jour

Maurice - le soleil online - September 19, 2015
Les auditions d’experts se poursuivent au palais de justice de Dakar sur le procès de l’ex-président tchadien Hissène Habré. Hier, c’était au tour de Patrick Ball, seul inscrit au rôle, commis par la chambre d’accusation de N’Djamena pour dresser les statistiques sur le taux de mortalité dans les centres de détention.Read full article off-site

“Surmortalité carcérale” sous Habré

@BBCAfrica - BBC Africa - September 21, 2015
Le statisticien américain Patrick Ball, expert au procès de Hissène Habré, a déclaré vendredi que le taux de mortalité d’opposants tchadiens présumés dans les prisons du régime Habré était encore pire que celui des prisonniers de guerre américains dans les camps japonais.Read full article off-site

“El reto de la estadística es encontrar lo escondido”: experto en manejo de datos sobre el conflicto

Diana Carolina Durán Núñez - El Espectador - November 17, 2015
In this interview with Colombian newspaper El Espectador, Patrick Ball is quoted as saying “la gente que no conoce de álgebra nunca debería hacer estadísticas” (people who don’t know algebra should never do statistics).Read full article off-site

Inside the Difficult, Dangerous Work of Tallying the ISIS Death Toll

Bryan Schatz - Mother Jones - December 9, 2015
HRDAG executive director Megan Price is interviewed by Mother Jones. An excerpt: “Violence can be hidden,” says Price. “ISIS has its own agenda. Sometimes that agenda is served by making public things they’ve done, and I have to assume, sometimes it’s served by hiding things they’ve done.”Read full article off-site

Data and Social Good: Using Data Science to Improve Lives, Fight Injustice, and Support Democracy

Mike Barlow - O'Reilly Media - August 2015
100x100-oreillymedia-logoIn this free, downloadable report, Mike Barlow of O’Reilly Media cites several examples of how data and the work of data scientists have made a measurable impact on organizations such as DataKind, a group that connects socially minded data scientists with organizations working to address critical humanitarian issues. HRDAG—and executive director Megan Price—is one of the first organizations whose work is mentioned.Read full article off-site