Saturday, March 13, 2010

Dealing to online polls

Lots of websites run polls. I’ve done it, too. All of them are useless, but sometimes the mainstream newsmedia will report such poll results as if they’re real and have validity, and I’ve certainly criticised them for it.
Political advocacy groups, especially on the right, frequently report such polls as if they’re real. Far-right christianist site “OneNewsNow” held a poll last week asking: “Do you believe that individuals, through a relationship with Jesus Christ, can overcome unwanted same-sex attractions?” It was hinting at the “ex-gay” scam that far right christianists constantly promote (and make a lot of money from).

Überblogger Joe Jervis saw the poll and urged his readers and Twitter followers to freep the poll. We did. The results can be seen in the screen grab above. As Joe said on his blog:
"Over 90% of the readers of the American Family Association's news site OneNewsNow agree that it is impossible to pray the gay away. At least, that is how the Christianists would spin it, had the result gone the other way."
Very true.

The christofascist AFA quickly learned from their error in offering people an actual choice of views: Since then, all their polls offer choices merely reflecting shades of the same right-wing viewpoint (an example is at the bottom of this post). While this makes freeping their polls pointless, it also makes the polls themselves even more pointless.

And that was one of the benefits behind the whole exercise: It showed that organisation polling itself to see how much they agree with each other is just silly. Reporting such results as if it’s real is another matter—it’s plain wrong, no matter who does it or why.

1 comment:

d said...

That website scares the bejesus out of me!