Sociologists call on media not to spread fake surveys


The Sociological Association of Ukraine has called on media outlets to comply with the requirements for the publication of sociological surveys.

This is stated in the appeal of the Sociological Association of Ukraine, which was made public during a round-table meeting entitled “Sociology and elections: an argument for a reasonable choice or manipulation?” at Ukrinform on Friday.

“We are calling on the media and news agencies to strictly comply with the requirements for the publication of sociological surveys (who questioned, when, how many people were interviewed, the survey method, the margin of error and precise wording of questions) and to verify the competence of the source of information. Checking the professionalism of a company that presented the survey data is the task of a media outlet or information broadcaster, not the viewer or the reader. If the company that presented the survey data is not a member of professional communities, has no sociologists in its staff, does not publish on its website detailed information on the methodology of conducting a survey, has no experience in conducting sociological research, is not ready to provide additional information about the research, then it raises doubts about the quality and reliability of data,” reads the appeal.
It notes that the professional community of sociologists is worried about how many fake and unprofessional sociological data appear on the media and the Internet, and media outlets publish such data with reference to unknown or little-known centers without compulsory methodological information for assessing the quality of data.

The authors also say that politicians, political consultants and some journalists, when publishing ratings or discussing the course of the election campaign, accuse leading sociological centers of being corrupt in cases when they consider that these ratings are not advantageous to their political party or bloc. “Such unfair methods of political struggle ultimately confuse the voter and undermine confidence in sociology as a science,” the association said.

The authors of the appeal emphasized that sociological centers, which are members of Ukrainian professional associations (the Sociological Association of Ukraine, the Ukrainian Marketing Association) and international organizations, operate within the rules that do not allow manipulation of the results of the survey.

“Professional communities have the developed mechanisms for influencing their members (including economic ones). Deviation from the rules of sociological research is extremely unlikely, because it is controlled by the community and threatens the future existence of such a center,” the association said.

The document emphasizes that the publication of false findings of studies conducted by fake institutions may have an impact on the consciousness of citizens and domestic politics in Ukraine, as well as contradict national interests and endanger the national security of Ukraine.


Date : February 1, 2019
Source : Ukrinform

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