Are Web Polls All the Harris Gang Has Left?

Are Web Polls All the Harris Gang Has Left?
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Climate change spin-doctor Tom Harris has a web poll up on his super-duper denialfest website today, asking people to vote on “How likely is it that human-caused carbon dioxide emissions are causing a climate crisis?”

Any guesses what kind of response you get to such a question posted on a website devoted to denying the realities of human-caused global warming?

The problem though with web polls is that they are very, very easy to game. The easiest technique is to simply urge like-minded members on other sites like Free Dominion to come over to your website for a second and cast a vote to show just how wrong those socialist-scheming scientists and Al Gore really are.

Just like I could urge readers of DeSmogBlog to go over to Harris’s site and vote up a response that he doesn’t agree with – but please don’t, it’s a serious waste of time.

And if a person is truly motivated to ensure a desired outcome to a web poll they can simply sit at their computer, cast a vote then clear the cookies on their browser, hit refresh on the poll and then vote again. I did this on Harris’s poll a couple of times, just to prove my point. The truly sophisticated version of this technique is to use a task automator program to vote, clear cookies, refresh, vote, clear cookies, refresh… over and over (the fastest I ever saw was 1,000 votes in 2 minutes).

The point is that web polls rarely tell you anything other than which side of a given disagreement is desperate enough to waste hours upon hours gaming the outcome of a poll to somehow prove that they’re right and everyone else is wrong.

Which in the case of Harris and company may be all they really have left to do.

Are Web Polls All the Harris Gang Has Left?

Kevin is a contributor and strategic adviser to DeSmogBlog.

He runs the digital marketing agency Spake Media House. Named a “Green Hero” by Rolling Stone Magazine and one of the “Top 50 Tweeters” on climate change and environment issues, Kevin has appeared in major news media outlets around the world for his work on digital campaigning.

Kevin has been involved in the public policy arena in both the United States and Canada for more than a decade. For five years he was the managing editor of DeSmogBlog.com. In this role, Kevin’s research into the “climate denial industry” and the right-wing think tank networks was featured in news media articles around the world. He is most well known for his ground-breaking research into David and Charles Koch’s massive financial investments in the Republican and tea party networks.

Kevin is the first person to be designated a “Certified Expert” on the political and community organizing platform NationBuilder.

Prior to DeSmogBlog, Kevin worked in various political and government roles. He was Senior Advisor to the Minister of State for Multiculturalism and a Special Assistant to the Minister of State for Asia Pacific, Foreign Affairs for the Government of Canada. Kevin also worked in various roles in the British Columbia provincial government in the Office of the Premier and the Ministry of Health.

In 2008 Kevin co-founded a groundbreaking new online election tool called Vote for Environment which was later nominated for a World Summit Award in recognition of the world’s best e-Content and innovative ICT applications.

Kevin moved to Washington, DC in 2010 where he worked for two years as the Director of Online Strategy for Greenpeace USA and has since returned to his hometown of Vancouver, Canada.

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