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Posted by Philip on 18 June 2013, 9:00 pm in , , , , ,

Interactive media manipulation lacks integrity @TheVoteNZ

Until this week I've enjoyed TV3's interactive debate show, The Vote. It's covered some interesting topics - drugs, racism and tax. They don't claim to be scientific, but it's an entertaining, if not reasonably vague, representation of public opinion.

This week though, I think they've gone too far. "This Month's Debate," shouts the website, "Our kids - The problem’s not poverty, it’s parenting. Do you agree?"

The moot is "poorly" put, as I tweeted, pun intended. It is confusing. "The problem’s not poverty, it’s parenting." Poverty is systemic; parenting is individual.

"The problem is poverty, not parenting." Yes.

"Do you agree with our double negative?" No.

Yeah, nah. You know the stupid ad.

If the Facebook poll is anything like their last, non-broadcast, one, who knows what the outcome will be:

Should Peter Dunne lose the $187,000 in parliamentary funding he gets as a party leader?

• Yes - it's not fair

• No - the party will re-register in due course

• Not sure

So what's the question? "Should Peter Dunne lose the $187,000?" or "Is it fair?"

To add insult to injury, they bring kids into it. Again, on Facebook:

"Kiwi kids have voiced their opinions about our topic through Save the Children's website which encourages young people to have their say.

"They've posted a poll about our debate and so far, kids have responded saying parents are responsible. You can check it out below."

I went to the website. I couldn't see the poll or the kids' responses.

But why are we asking kids about this, anyway? It's not kids' responsibility to decide whether social inequity or their parents are to blame for whether or not there's enough money.

That's an adult problem.

Sure, let's have fun with interactive media debates, but let's not manipulate public opinion. Let's maintain some integrity too, by making the question clear and asking the right people.

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