Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Can you lie on Online Survey, Research and Polls?

There are many researches and surveys (especially those done online) whereby one is asked about his/her race, language and sex.

I deliberately decided to lie about my language and race in the study I participated in. this because I did not see how relevant this would be.

If I had indicated that I am of a white race, would they say:

“There are currently about e.g. 2 000 white people working as Clerks/Administrators in the mining industry in the North West Province”.

And if I had indicated to be of a black colour, the research/survey report would read:

“There are 2 000 black people in the North West province working as Administrator/Clerks in the mining industry, many of who only access the internet at work (79%, being one of them) while 21% access it at home (due to their economic privileges)?
Often people do not tell the truth in serious and important initiatives such as these with the view, or lack thereof, of trying to misrepresent information that might be of importance.

What legal rights to researchers have with regard to people misrepresenting themselves and their organizations as far as surveys and researches are concerned more so, they are being used or will be used for e.g. conferences, manifestos, parties?

And is there any law in South Africa that provides that people who lie, do not tell the truth and withhold during participations such as Surveys and Research, such should be prosecuted or not?

If one is not obliged by law to “tell the truth, nothing but the truth”, could this mean that Online polls and surveys that are conducted by the likes of Sunday Times and its weekly supplement The Times are not the true reflection of South Africans, and those polls done of Asikhulume, every Sunday on SABC 1 between 18h30 and 19h30?

Do you lie or have you lied when participating in print or online research, surveys and polls?

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