What data analysis shows about Raeesah Khan’s “apology” for lying about rape story.
- Analysis of the text and audio of her apology reveals:
- Raeesah spent over a third of her speech (35%) talking about herself.
- Admitting wrongdoing accounted for only about half (18%) of the time she spent talking about herself.
- Apologizing to the police she accused of misconduct, and the rape victim whose story she used without prior consent, was only about 7.5% of her overall speech.
SINGAPORE — A 27-year old multi-millionaire’s daughter, and social justice warrior turned politician was recently called out for lying about a rape story. Arguing the need to #believewomen, Raeesah Khan testified in Parliament that she had accompanied a rape victim to make a police report, who later emerged from the police station bawling, because a victim-blaming officer remarked about her dressing, and sobriety.
When pressed for details in order to commence disciplinary investigations into the alleged police misconduct, Raeesah suddenly became coy about the facts, retreating behind a maze of excuses; ranging from the need to preserve the rape victim’s privacy, to having lost contact with the person altogether.
Facing pressure from standing in the way of a disciplinary investigation into possible police misconduct, she continued to publicly insist that it had happened despite the lack of police records of her ever showing up at a police station.
About three months later, in a testimony before the Singapore Parliament, Raeesah finally dropped a bombshell: she’d fibbed about it all along. She never accompanied a rape victim to a police station, and confessed to have known nothing at all about such a case.
Much ink has been furiously spilled on the matter by numerous commentators — especially on the fact that her apology didn’t seem quite like one at all. In particular, listeners were quick to note that a good amount of time of her “apology” was spent painting herself as a #metoo “survivor” of sexual assault.
But does this hold up to rational scrutiny? Or is this just schadenfreude egging us on to sniff in remote places for the faintest scent trail of moral rot?
To test this theory, I analyzed the audio and text transcripts of Raeesah’s “apology”. The goal was to perform a rudimentary content analysis on (i) the amount of words, and (ii) length of time which Raeesah spent on different topics.
Data source and sampling.
I scraped YouTube’s auto-generated transcripts of her video-taped testimony before the Singapore Parliament. The entire video includes a savage interrogation by another Member of Parliament, but her tell-all ends at the 3:15 mark.
Data preparation and processing.
I copied the data into an Excel sheet, with three columns. Time stamps in the first column, text transcripts in the middle, and coded the word count in a separate column.
I then color-coded the various sections of her “apology” speech based on what the key subject of the phrase or sentence was. I identified three core subject categories in her speech: (i) her own experiences or aspirations, (ii) admitting to wrongdoing (lying about the rape story, and breaching the privacy of the alleged victim), and (iii) apologizing.
Parts of the speech that fall into “Other” include factual recount, references, or generic statements that could just as easily apply in any other context.
I tabulated what percentage of her words, as well as time spent was allocated across these different topics. The column labelled “Content” is a blended average of both time and words as a share of the overall speech.
Visualizing the data in the form of a pie chart, we observe some interesting patterns in how Raeesah chose to spend her time during the bombshell speech.
Analysis and Insights.
It appears that Raeesah spent over a third of her speech (35%) talking about herself. In particular, claiming and highlighting her own victimhood as a “survivor” of sexual assault, and also pleading with her voters to give her a second chance.
Admission of wrongdoing about fabricating the rape story, her non-existent involvement in assisting the mystery rape survivor, and the alleged police misconduct — accounted for only about half (18%) of the time she spent talking about herself.
About the same amount of breath was spent apologizing (15%). I should note that she spent half of her time apologizing to the Parliament for giving false testimony, her voters, her political party, and her family.
Saying sorry to the police she accused falsely of misconduct, and the survivor whose story she used without prior consent was only about 7.5% of her overall speech.
I remember a criminal law research paper on sexual assault I did nearly a decade ago. I still recall to this day, the significant problems with having to document and prove non-consensual sex. This makes the burden of proof incredibly high, in addition to the trauma of rape.
It is likely that people will be now even more dismissive of sexual assault claims. Each fabricated rape story hurts genuine victims, and provides greater deniability to perpetrators who point to such cases.
But a more sinister part of me wonders, if the people who will be harmed the most from this are merely pawns in the political career of virtue-signaling demagogues.
Given what I’ve seen from my analysis of Raeesah’s faux “apology”, I can’t help feeling like my darker intuitions might just be correct.
Disagree with my analysis or methods? Feel free to show me why.