ABC Online poll rigged by people within the ABC? : LUSENET : Friends of the ABC : One Thread

ABC Online ran a poll on attitudes towards the war against Iraq. For the first 1500 or so votes the results were pretty much in line with opinion polls. Then the result lurched masively in the pro-war direction in a way that could not occur by chance. Like throwing a coin and getting head after head after head after head. It had to have been being manipulated by someone. I complained to the ABC that it was so far from public opinion that it lacked credibility, and that it reflected poorly on the ABC that it was publishing what was clearly a manipulated result. I looked again a little while later and the numbers of people who had voted had jump massively, seemingly all of them on the pro-war side bringing it back to a similar results to public opinion. Then when I looked again only hours later the poll had closed, huge numbers more had voted and they'd all voted pro-war. The only way the numbers of votes could jump massively and the results could swing one way then the other then back again is manipulation, and given the sort of articles coming out of ABC Online suggesting the dissent against the war is all manufactured by the looney left and the rent-a-crowd mob, not the genuine opinion of the majority of Australians, you have to wonder if that manipulation of the poll results and the closing of it at a point when they showed a result that was far far more pro-war than public opinion is, I have to wonder if that manipulation was being done by people working for the ABC. It looks to me we have yet another part of the ABC that is hugely biased politically, just in the opposite direction to most of the rest. Are ABC management incapable of unwilling to implement a policy of professionalism: balance in news and a diversity in views?

-- Anonymous, March 04, 2003


One contributor has suggested that the result of this poll was rigged by ABC staff. I guess that is possible, but I think it unlikely.

Another has suggested that such polls might be rigged by people voting many times. I think that is also possible, although I believe the ABC has been taking steps to stop this. I'm not sure how successful they have been.

Another option is that various political groups have organised their members to respond to polls like this. I know that a lot of political groups organise their members, particularly at election time, to flood the talkback lines on radio.

I am also aware of some left wing groups who have organised, via chat groups and mailing lists, to get their members to respond to Intenet polls. I would be surprised if right wing groups had not done the same.

The conclusion? Polls like this are suspect. They are open to influence from zealots (of every persuasion) from outside. It is also possible (but I think much less likely) that they could be rigged on the inside.

Contrary to the post from one respondent, the Friends of the ABC do not have any view on this issue.

The views of the people who have contributed to this discussion are just that - their views.

To repeat - the Friends of the ABC have no view on this issue either way, but encourage discussion

Darce Cassidy Friends of the ABC

-- Anonymous, March 27, 2003

Anybody could have rigged that poll, since you could cast your vote as many times as you liked.

-- Anonymous, March 14, 2003

Is it possible to have unbiased, uncensored reportage of the Iraqi invasion, or should I call it the "slaughter of the innocent," by the ABC? Whilst Howard holds the purse string ie. funding. Obviously he has no regard for the opinion of the majority. So much for our democracy. I personally do not support war with Iraq.

-- Anonymous, March 18, 2003

When you don't like the result, you whinge about it! FABC can't stand the truth!

-- Anonymous, March 26, 2003


Even though you can vote several times it does not necessarly increment the poll counter. You could get round this by continuely deleting the cookie deposited on your client browser by the remore server and starting a new incidence of the browser and voting again.

This is a cunbersome exercise that not everyone knows how to do properly. I believe that the poll is more accurate than anything that appears in the newspapers where the samples are very small and often conducted in selected areas where voter preferences are known.

Most of the ABC polls showed 70% against the war which is a realistic figure. Imagine what the number would have been if the printed media had not been so biased and I believe the ABC also had more UN & US news content than French or German sources by a long margin. This majority remained constant in the UK also until the war started and the propaganda cranked up to full trotle.

-- Anonymous, April 29, 2003

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