Okay but if you go onto the Mens Rights reddit (I mean I don’t encourage this, my brain cell count just plummeted), and find their post discussing it apparently bots went through the survey and put all the same answers thousands of times. And it seems legit. So I mean I’m all for laughing at the fact that the people on r/MensRights are very very similar in a ridiculous way, but only if that’s true… which it probably is but this data is massively fucked.
First, we’d like to thank you for apparently being the only person to reblog this post with any level of common sense.
The issue you’ve mentioned (see the post here) is actually trivially obvious when you compare to their (relatively clean) results from last year. Unless the subreddit exploded over the last 9 months with thousands of identical clones who’re all under-20 white male atheist strong conservatives who support marijuana legalization and nothing else, it’s pretty clear that the survey was sabotaged by a (probably feminist) asshole with a voting bot. Most particularly, note a complete reversal in supposed political affiliation. The prior survey was dominated by independents, with libertarians and democrats in similar numbers and republicans trailing at a measly 7%, whereas this survey is overwhelmingly “strong conservative.”
When we ignore the single anomalous vote pattern (and, with that in mind, consider the potential for other similar behaviors), the demographics seem reasonably congruent with the prior survey.
So is /r/MR really that homogeneous? Well, sort of, something we can discuss using the prior survey. The people on /r/MR are indeed pretty similar, but aside from gender they seem to be demographically representative of their countries and Reddit itself. While it might seem odd that they’re mostly white, a quick look at the location demographics shows otherwise: 57% from the U.S. (~73% white), 13.5% from Canada (~86% white), 8.5% from the U.K. (~87% white), and 4.8% from Australia (~92% white). Of the remaining 16%, the vast majority were apparently from various European countries which are (surprise surprise), overwhelmingly white. So sure, the /r/MR crowd is mostly white, but only because they’re from countries that are mostly white.
They peak in the 18-34 age range, which is exactly what we’d expect from Reddit, and while somewhat above the U.S. average span the gamut of education. They’re mostly (~70%) unmarried, which isn’t a surprise either: median age of first marriage for the countries in question ranges from 28 to 32, and about 56% of the population falls into the under-25 demographic. They’re indeed largely (~60%) atheist, but this is likewise neither a surprise when looking at young people or Redditors. Despite the paucity of Christians, there are about as many Jews, Muslims and Hindus as would be expected geographically, and the “Other” category isn’t possible to examine. The only other truly unexpected result was the sexuality demographics, which showed a relatively high 20% as non-heterosexual.
To make a long story short, /r/MR is only as similar as we’d expect them to be based on their location and the makeup of Reddit as a whole.
While the surveys aren’t precisely analogous, it’s also possible to draw some comparisons between the old /r/MR results and the new results from /r/feminism. According to the survey, /r/feminism has a slightly less extreme gender ratio, unsurprising considering the social prevalence of feminism. The racial demographics are similar, and still strongly white. Interestingly, blacks make up a similar portion than all other minorities combined, while in /r/MR they were the smallest group (in order of size, “Other”>Hispanic>Asian>Black). If we remove them from both surveys the overall minority ratio comes out the same, which suggests a small-number skew. (Basically, because the /r/feminism response pool was around 1/3 the size of the /r/MR one and very small in general it’s easy for small fluctuations to throw things off.)
The age range is very similar, and the responses on religion are comparable: very high atheism, high Christianity, with others trailing behind. Oddly, while /r/feminism has a noticeably lower percentage of Christians they have a much higher percentage of Muslims, though again this runs into small-number issues. Finally, /r/feminism shows a clear skew towards liberalism (70%), which compares to /r/MR’s more independent leanings.
However, the recent /r/feminism data can’t be fully trusted either. While it’s unlikely there was significant brigading from /r/MR, it’s not unlikely that at least some people answered (or refrained from answering) in such a way as to purposefully skew the data in a direction they felt would appear positive.
Returning to the /r/MR survey, it’s pretty clear that a bare minimum of 2400 responses are the result of an automated bot. According to the survey author, the responses seemed questionable even before that, and at this point we have to throw out the survey as a whole. Let’s be honest, neither feminists nor SRSers are above such behavior, which is pretty ironic since all they’ve done is guarantee anyone with a brain will throw out the results entirely: either they were (arguably correctly) scared that the results wouldn’t fit their prejudices, or they’ve passed up a great opportunity to prove they do. So yeah, nicely done on their part.
As for the rest of you who’ve uncritically reblogged this crap without bothering to check the numbers….how fucking dumb are you people?