Mental Floss

How to Spot a Dishonest Data Visualization

Kirstin Fawcett
iStock / iStock

Just like words, numbers can lie—and misleading graphs are a common vehicle of deception used to dupe otherwise discerning shoppers, voters, or newspaper subscribers. These dishonest data visualizations can be difficult to spot, but by watching the TED-Ed video below, you can learn how graph makers twist statistics by distorting the scale, withholding relevant context, and more. That way, you’ll be able to filter the facts from the falsehoods the next time you encounter a chart that looks too good to be true.