An Online disconnect from the real world?

I'm no Andrew Keen, and I strongly believe that we average citizens define what culture is, not professionals, so his controversial book is moot. That said, a few surveys recently have caused me to question the wisdom of some Internet crowds. First it was Facebook which had CBC's Great Canadian Wish list which had "Abolish Abortion in Canada" and "Restore the Traditional Definition of Marriage" as two of the top-5 wishes. Now it is Pierre Trudeau topping the list of the 10 "worst Canadians" in an online survey conducted by the country's top history magazine, the Beaver.

I don't for a second believe that these votes are representative of what Canadians actually think, nor do I believe it is even what youth who are better represented online think. It would make for an interesting study to find out how these thigs happen: maybe the more narrow minded you are the more narrow the issues that concern you, and thus the better ability to have your narrow view "win" a first-past-the-post type voting situation?

Is this an online phenomena, or do we just not have other places where less scientifically controlled surveys happen?

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This disconnect is not new, merely more efficient

The "internet crowds" Russell refers to in this case are merely doing what they have always done when it comes to self-selecting surveys; they follow the lead of their chosen authority figures and click on whatever they are told to click on, in order to try to distort the results. This really isn't anything different than mass letter writing campaigns, with people copying out the same letter.

One thing it does point out is that groups on the extremes of an issue can be very media internet-savvy, in terms of both marshaling their troops, and creating the illusion that they have more support than they really, by keeping their message purvasive.

John Meadows

BTW: Checked out your BLOG.

Glanced at your BLOG, and really enjoyed the one Microsoft and the USA.

One of the hardest parts of any discussion is to separate the policies we may be critical of from the great people within any organization/country. Some people take things personally, when the commentary isn't aimed at them at all.

Free/Libre and Open Source Software (FLOSS) consultant.