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BBC Finally Admits Its Famous ‘Women Write Better Code’ Story Was Fake News

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When the issue of “fake news” came to prominence at the end of this year’s election cycle, traditional media outlets were the firsts to engage in relentless finger-pointing. Journalists everywhere deplored the spread of misleading, lazily reported and, in some cases, totally fabricated stories that had been facilitated by social media.

That’d be ignoring — of course — that in a competitive media climate where virality and accuracy go head-to-head, editors will often go for a catchier headline, at the expense of factual accuracy. And as one writer at HEqual noted, even the respectable BBC is not immune from this kind of sensationalism.

In February 2016, the media ran amok over with a study which looked at gender bias on Github, a website where developers can submit code to collaborate on open source projects. Once a code contributed is submitted, it has to be vetted by various members of the community before being approved. The aim of the study was therefore to compare acceptance rates of contributions from men versus women. – READ MORE

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