Data Visualization

Blog of the Data Visualization & Communication Course at OSB-AUB

This is my favorite part about analytics: Taking boring flat data and bringing it to life through visualization” John Tukey

Netflix inc. Raising Awareness or Capitalizing on Social Injustice?

Netflix inc. Raising Awareness or Capitalizing on Social Injustice?

Contributors: Abdel Rahman Al Estwani, Sara Al Nesany, Lea El Halabi, Nour El Saadi, Hadi Sleiman, Charles Wakim

Netflix is today’s world’s leading streaming entertainment service. With very humble beginnings, Netflix grew enough to successfully overcome Blockbuster. It then grew enough to fall in the loop of corporate greed and use social causes for its own growth.

Yes, read what you just read again… If you do not see what we are trying to say, here’s a quick video that summarizes our claims:

So our aim is to debunk the myths that shape a positive image of Netflix. It is not what it pretends to be. That said, we would rather take you down a quick story to walk you through our findings… and How we found them… To do that, please enjoy our Streamlit dashboard:

While we are sure Netflick$ won your hearts at first, we are also sure that you were left revolted by Netflow$’s greed. That said, we do not undermine the strategic mind of Netflick$ who quickly turned into Netflow$… In fact, Netflix’s strategic use of time and social causes to grow their public interactivity enabled them to create noise around them. For instance, when anger spurred because of the representation of a gay character in a Turkish Netflix show, people convened to watch the show on Netflix. Indeed, any publicity is good publicity. 

While we have focused on LGBTQAI and BLM causes, we do also acknowledge that Netflix has most probably used the same strategy with other minority groups, and will probably still continue to capitalize on social causes- be it the ones we mentioned or others. It is Netflix’s way of being trendy and riding the wave, and it sure helps them grow (as you saw on the documentation). We strongly denounce these uses. Nonetheless… if we were to pass one message to Netflix it would be the following: you might indeed capitalize over minorities and social causes, but at least, at the very least, improve the quality of the titles you add to your ‘social cause’-related categories… improve your representations of these minorities that suffer… you can capitalize, but at least make it worthwhile and properly help the minorities…

We leave you with your conscious to decide how to proceed with everything you just learned…

Do let us know what you think and follow us on Instagram to stay updated and debunk other nyths 🙂

Road To Hunger: Somalia

 2022. Climate change. DROUGHT. Increasing DROUGHT periods. Shorter Time Between these DROUGHT periods. FAMINE.

Meet Zahi. Zahi is a 10 year old Somali boy who lives in Somalia. He has been suffering from acute malnourishment for a good while now.
In fact, as of 2022, it was reported that around 4.1 Million Somalis are just like Zahi: all acutely malnourished, or even severely malnourished. In other words, this means that 1/4th of the Somali population is at the very least acutely malnourished. What can that cause, you may ask? Illnesses, poor physical and cognitive development, and ultimately, death.

This makes Somalia the hungriest country in the world. If you are wondering how hunger is measured, it is by using a metric entitled the Global Hunger Index (GHI). The latter is calculated by gathering data about:

  • Undernourishment: share of people in a given region/country whose caloric intake is deemed insufficient,
  • Child Undernutrition: share of children under 5 who have low weight for their height (wasted children) and thus suffer from acute undernutrition, but also the share of children under 5 who have a low height for their age (stunted children)- which indicates chronic undernutrition,
  • Child Mortality: mortality rate of children under 5 who die because of inadequate nutrition and unhealthy environments.

To visualize the world’s hunger, the map that can be viewed in Sheet 1 below or on this link has been created.
We notice that Somalia is indeed the only country in the world with an extremely alarming Global Hunger Index, with an average GHI of 58 over the past 20 years.

What makes the situation in Somalia this dire and helpless? Well, to say the least, poverty coupled with and aggravated by governmental corruption, several outbreaks (to list a few: cholera, malaria, measles, corona), inflating prices (notably with the current Russia-Ukraine crisis) and most importantly the series of drought periods that have been happening consecutively over the past years, with the 2011-2012, 2016-2017 and 2021-2022 crises counting as the 3 major and most recent drought crises that have happened (and are still happening). Moreover, drought means death of livestock, no water, parents abstaining from eating to feed their children the very little food they have access to, and overall hunger. One must note that droughts have always happened in Somalia (and in the Horn of Africa generally), meaning that the Somalis are used to drought, and they had adapted to it, knowing how to pick themselves up and continue. However, with climate change, these drought periods have become more acute and consecutive, with shorter periods separating them, hence disabling Somalis from the chance to recover from the last drought.

Alright, now what is the solution?

The deployment of an immediate humanitarian response: gathering funds through non-governmental organizations or even governmental donations which aim (but are not limited to) to sending emergency water supplies, sending food donations, treating the malnourished, distributing dietary supplements, opening and running health supplies but also giving out cash and livelihood support to those who are most in need.

Does this help?

Yes. It does.

As a matter of fact, just like the graph on Sheet 2 below shows (or the one you can see on this link), in 2012, Somalia’s GHI was measured at an all time high of 65. Thanks to the donations and the humanitarian responses that happened between 2011 and 2020, Somalia’s GHI dropped to 50.8. Magical, right? Arguably the GHI all time high of 65 could have been prevented in the 2011-2012 drought crisis had the international scene acted quicker than they did: in fact their response was so slow that thousands had died by the time aids reached. It was indeed deemed a failure. Moreover, back then only 56% of the UN’s funding appeal for Somalia were met by donors, whereas during the 2016-2017 drought crisis, the international scene responded quicker and more acutely, with 68% of UN’s funding appeal for Somalia being met by donors.

However, it is to be noted than today, in the ongoing 2021-2022 drought crisis, merely 2.3% of the UN’s total funding appeal for Somalia have been met by donors. 2.3%. Furthermore, according to Mohamud Mohamed, Save the Children’s Country Director in Somalia: Donors have a narrow window to prevent a major humanitarian disaster in Somalia (…)We’re worried that the political environment globally is overshadowing the humanitarian suffering of the Somali people.” As Mohamed said, the eyes of the world are focused on Ukraine, and are overlooking the rest of the world. Unequal treatment kills.

And the time, my friends, is ticking.

Written by Nour El Saadi.