People all over the Netherlands have been flagged for welfare fraud based on a crude spreadsheet & some unscientific prejudices. How do we know? We took the algorithm apart & rebuilt it. Score yourself & see
To get the data we worked w/@argosonderzoekt & @nrc using FOI laws to see how 100,000s of people were profiled by a discriminatory system. We found a hidden, unused field for ‘native’ & ‘foreigner,’ a likely remnant of an earlier variable
Working as a taxi driver, living in a ‘high risk’ neighbourhood or not having a university diploma are just some of the risk indicators included in the fraudescorekaart.…
We took it apart and put it back together again in a web app where users can enter data and see the calculated risk scores.
The scorecard was discontinued in 2020 but @LHReports found that multiple municipalities silently continued using the software with the exact same scoring algorithm. They abandoned it only after our reporting…
The variables used in the fraudescorekaart have no statistical evidence, they’re a collection of past prejudices. The hidden field with the options for ‘native’ & ‘foreigner’ strongly suggests past racial discrimation
The high risk scores may have no basis in science but they have real life consequences: triggering intense scrutiny & stress for the targets, incl unannounced home visits. We explore Tamara’s story to be broadcast @argosonderzoek
This investigation comes from the #SurveillanceNewsroom of @LHreports & is part of a broader European exploration of the deployment of welfare risk scoring algorithms…

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More from @LHreports

May 24
African democracies have been pushed to purchase expensive Western biometric election systems to safeguard the vote. As polls loom in Kenya @LHReports has been investigating Idemia & its role in failed elections
Over the last 9 months @LHReports, along with partners @AfricaUncensored & @LeMonde have dug into the activities of the French multinational Idemia & the secretive contracts it's held to run the last 2 elections
It's a story of extraordinary tech failures coupled with profiteering & the secret transmission of data outside Kenya. Worst of all, the tablets at the centre of this story will be used in a 3rd election this summer
Read 13 tweets
May 6
Financial speculators are pushing millions of people into hunger, flooding into commodity markets & exacerbating rising food prices. @LHReports reveals the scale of #HungerProfiteers & the lobbying that sabotaged efforts to stop investors gambling with food 🧵
In collaboration with reporters from @DerSpiegel @TheWire_ & @TheContinent_ @FTM_nl, @LHreports tracked a steep increase of money flows into listed commodity funds investing in wheat, the key ingredient for bread and pasta & whose supply is affected by war in #Ukraine
Commodity funds & markets are opaque but what we found should concern anyone worried about the current food crisis. We’ve documented a huge influx of investor cash into specialist agricultural funds, much of it coming from speculators: #HungerProfiteers
Read 25 tweets
Apr 29
Today, after more than 2 years of investigations by @LHReports, the head of the EU’s border agency Frontex resigned. Small teams working in Europe’s public interest can make a big difference. Explainer in short 🧵
Our first story on Frontex revealed how it was switching to drones to evade rescue operations in the Central Med. Denials, big spending, misuse of tech, inversion of humanitarian responsibilities…
We were looking at an agency supercharged with EU taxpayers’ money. See this animation of Frontex’s budget projections (as they were then) & its role in deportations for a sense of scale
Read 9 tweets
Apr 27
1/ Europe’s border agency Frontex denies involvement in pushbacks but their own database shows the exact opposite. By analysing @Frontex data @LHreports can reveal how illegal push backs are registered and concealed
2/ @LHreports w/partners @derpsiegel @lemondefr @RepublikMagazin #Rundschau analysed incidents registered in Frontex’s own database & found the agency involved in pushing back at least 957 people from Greece to Turkey
3/ We used freedom of information laws to request Frontex data. They sent us partial data from their database, JORA, with crucial fields redacted. We got the incident type, dates & number of people involved but no descriptions
Read 14 tweets
Mar 23
Trained by Russia, the Syrian military has flattened vast parts of former opposition neighborhoods in the name of de-mining. Our new investigation reveals the extent of the destruction, which experts say could be a war crime.
These areas are mostly off limits to residents & journalists so @LHreports @SIRAJ_SYRIA @RozanaFM used #OSINT to document how the military razed one district & spoke to Syrians who lost homes in an op unnecessary for de-mining
Satellite analysis shows that almost half of the buildings in Qaboun were destroyed since the government recaptured the area in 2017. It was reduced to rubble not through war, but the government’s “peace.”
Read 22 tweets
Mar 23
While the world's universities rightly offer places to Ukrainian students, at least 4 of their African counterparts, from the same Unis, have been jailed in Poland just for crossing the border to escape a war 🧵
Their stories & those of at least 52 other non-Westerners fleeing the war, uncovered by @LHreports come out today in @Spiegel @Independent @Mediapart & in our continuing live reporting thread inset
@Spiegel @Independent @Mediapart Adamou from Cameroon studied AgSci outside Kiev, one of 70k+ foreign students doing degrees widely recognised in EUR. His family dug deep to send him. Now he's in a detention centre in Warsaw…
Read 7 tweets

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