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On-line poll easily manipulated

BigCityLib details here why no one in the blogosphere or the media should be taking the Angus Reid online poll as an accurate gauge of public opinion out there: It’s easy to “freep”, or to manipulate the results:

Sign up, then sign up again using a different name, and then again. Indulge your fantasies: be black, switch genders, or adopt the persona of a Western Separatist–its all possible on the AR forums, and you can do it all from a single IP address! Then start taking surveys: which party would you vote for, do you like cheese, have you ever suffered from skin tags? The fun and games never end, and you can help one of Canada’s major polling organizations forecast a Green Party majority!

So, the next time you see this poll claiming the Liberals are at 22% (as one on-line poll result did a month or 2 back) or some other astonishing result (ie the Tories at 55%, or the Greens in 2nd place), its less likely to do with public opinion turning against one party or massively supporting another, and more likely to do that supporters of one group or the other are “freeping” these polls to get the result they desire. I would hope the media would at least indicate that if they insist on continuing to report this online poll as some grand indicator of public opinion.

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