Thursday, April 26, 2007

Survey's gone.

The American Family Association survey is gone.

I've got no crystal ball so I can't claim to know why but the survey WAS getting a lot of attention in the blogosphere. One might wonder if that had anything to do with the vanishing pages (still visible on the Google cache, according to this site, which links to said cache).

Wish I could say yay, but I think Scott at Sardonic Bomb probably hit the nail on the head with this comment:

Actually, some of my more political sources are saying that this poll, and similar ones, are nothing but a scam for the AFA to harvest email accounts (and people that they can include as supporters, no matter how they voted). There is also speculation that the poll results don't change no matter how many dissenting votes it gets."

"In hindsight, it's probably best to never click on anything on AFA's site.

Of course it was absolutely true that after a certain point, the numbers didn't change.

And Scott's warning was backed up by the experience shared by a blogger who, unlike yours truly, wasn't too much of a chicken to give this group contact info:


I too have experienced this. As a gay man, I thought I would "let my voice be heard" by simply voicing my opinion in their poll. I noticed after I posted my choice: "This does not affect how I do business" that the number did not increase. I logged on from another computer, connected to a different ISP. Same number.

So on the other computer, I completed the survey again. Reviewed the results and guess what? The number for "less likely to do business" went up 3 numbers. The "it would not affect my decision" did not change.

So, I checked my email this morning and I get an email that says: "Click here to complete your action." I thought to myself - maybe this is like a "confirm your vote" type thing - just to make sure that the vote is legitimate.

I clicked on the link in the email that confirmed my email was accurate and added it to their mailing list. A few hours later, I received an "action alert" from AFA telling me that the "Democrats are about to deliver on pro-homosexual campaign promise.".. I have henced blogged about the same on my blog..

Brandon Greeson

Seems like a real good news/bad news situation.

Bad news (or good, if you're on the AFA board) - the publicity that bloggers gave this survey probably provided a bonanza of "supporters".

Good news (or bad, if you're on the AFA board) - I can't possibly be the only moderate-leaning-to-liberal person out here who's gone from thinking that the AFA is an organization that works to promulgate a view with which I deeply disagree, to thinking that the AFA is an organization that uses some incredibly suspicious, unethical-looking methods to misrepresent their view as being held by a far greater number of Americans than really agree with them.

I have this thing about groups that give the impression that they speak for more people than they really do. I can't seem to accept that from a group with a message that I think is basically pretty solid (ask any of my friends at the Hudson River Paddlers Guild, sigh...), and it REALLY bothers me in a group whose message is hurtful to a lot of people. And artificially inflating your email list like that? Y'know, if they were a newspaper, I think that would be called "circulation inflation", and that's a pair of words that frequently appears in the company of other cheery little words like "scam", "sue", "scandal", "fraud".

BTW, I think this concludes this particular liberal rant - it's a nice little triptych, beginning middle & end, and I'm ready to talk boats again.

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