On August 3, Vox published a piece by Zack Beauchamp headlined, “Data shows a surprising campus free speech problem: left-wingers being fired for their opinions.” Of course, his piece hinged on proving that “there’s in fact limited evidence that conservatives are being unfairly targeted” on campus, and in fact, lefty professors were in greater danger of being fired for speaking their minds.
However, the folks at Heterodox Academy are pushing back, saying Beauchamp totally misinterpreted the data in his “explainer.”
"@Voxdotcom's @ZackBeauchamp did not give due diligence to the phenomenon he was trying to explain – indeed, he did not even make full use of the sources he cited in his own essay, let alone doing basic research beyond." https://t.co/OTWZhR4v5b
— Claire Lehmann (@clairlemon) August 16, 2018
How a @voxdotcom writer got every fact wrong about @HdxAcademy. And much wrong about data on current campus trends. I like Vox, and was surprised to find such careless writing. Rebuttal by @Musa_alGharbi https://t.co/H7ZbsT2l3r pic.twitter.com/z7ZQ1POGbK
— Jonathan Haidt (@JonHaidt) August 17, 2018
Musa al-Gharbi, managing editor at Heterodox Academy, laid out his rebuttal to Beauchamp’s piece Thursday, including the fact that Heterodox Academy is an academic consortium and not an “online magazine.”
For example, Beauchamp writes:
The raw numbers here should already raise questions about the so-called political correctness epidemic. According to the Department of Education, there are 4,583 colleges and universities in the United States (including two- and four-year institutions). The fact that there were roughly only 60 incidents in the past two years suggests that free speech crises are extremely rare events and don’t define university life in the way that critics suggest.
Only 60 incidents? That number comes from a study by Free Speech Project director Dr. Sanford Ungar, and al-Gharbi notes that Ungar selected a sample of about 90 incidents from his full dataset of 137 incidents — 60 was nowhere close to the number of incidents over the previous two years.
Beauchamp also cited a study by Jeffrey Sachs to argue that “left-wing professors were more likely to be dismissed for their speech than conservative ones.” Al-Gharbi points out that “Sachs’ data show the opposite of what Beauchamp claimed: conservative professors are actually more likely to be fired for political reasons.”
— Grant Addison (@jgrantaddison) August 16, 2018
Yes, more left-wing professors are dismissed for their speech, but “there is about a 10:1 ratio of liberals to conservatives in social research fields,” so in reality, al-Gharbi writes, “a conservative professor is, on average, nearly twice as likely to be fired for political speech than a liberal professor is.”
We could go on, but, you know, you could just read Vox instead, because they have the smartest thinkers.
I think this level of accuracy is par for the course for https://t.co/9eC5SxBDud. It's spin presented as analysis.
— Jerry Z. Muller (@jerryzmuller) August 17, 2018
— WesternCanonPodcast (@WesternCanonPod) August 17, 2018
This is absolutely normal for Vox. Why pretend it’s some wild outlier when it isn’t? You “like” Vox? Have you ever read it before?
— Nick Shaw (@n_ick_s_haw) August 17, 2018
You haven't been paying attention, then. The quality of their 'journalism' and writing is so bad, I've blocked them like they were a propaganda bot similar to what I did for InfoW.
— Kev M (@BogeyInTheDark) August 17, 2018
Carelessness like this makes it seem like a publication is less concerned about accuracy and more concerned with pushing a certain narrative.
Many of us do not want to think this way about @voxdotcom. But how are we to think otherwise?
— John Wood, Jr. (@JohnRWoodJr) August 17, 2018
>I like Vox, and was surprised to find such careless writing.
Found your mistake.
— ? The Petrichory ? (@The_Petrichory) August 17, 2018
the guys who published a piece about a bridge connecting gaza and the west bank got something wrong https://t.co/kUXJhKEUm7
— Just Karl (@justkarl) August 17, 2018
How does someone maintain a role as a senior reporter when he keeps getting caught putting ideology above accurate reporting? Amazing.
— Andy C. Ngo (@MrAndyNgo) August 17, 2018
Vox *is* ideology before reality, packaged as helpful explainer journalism for maximum duplicity
— T U N D R A N A U T (@tundranaut) August 17, 2018
Holy #%]*} that was terrible. Didn't even understand the data he was citing. Do better Zack. Higher serotonin might help.
— Tripp (@tripp_p) August 17, 2018
Now Vox's Zack Beauchamp tries to downplay the need to know gun terminology https://t.co/vh7P4bQAbi
— Twitchy Team (@TwitchyTeam) March 8, 2018