Internet

Internet Polls Represent What, Exactly?

The venerable People's Daily Online is trumpeting the results of a CNN QuickVote in which 95% of respondents answered "No" to the question "Do you think Japan should become a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council?"

The original CNN disclaimer includes sensible advice for viewers:

The results cannot be assumed to represent the opinions of Internet users in general, nor the public as a whole.
While the People's Daily article is accompanied by a screenshot that includes this disclaimer, they run their own paraphrase as well:
The results can only be assumed representing the view of Internet users in general, but not the public as a whole.
One can only assume that the difference in interpretation represents a more sophisticated understanding of online statistics on the part of The People's Daily.

LINK: PDO survey results here, with CNN screenshot.
UPDATE:The CNN article is here; after being posted to BBS forums all over China, more than 5 million votes have been registered, of which 98% are NO votes. A similar poll on Chinese feelings toward Japan, posted three days later, has just 40,000 votes [noon Beijing time, 16 April]

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