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LETTER: On the election, polls and social media

In response to Victor David Hanson’s Sunday commentary, “The disinformationists”: I cannot remember reading a commentary based on weaker foundation.

Mr. Hanson suggests that the polling errors in the election might be due to polling intent no longer offering a “scientific assessment of voter intentions,” and this relates to the profit motive or support of a particular side. None of these relate to a legitimate pollster. As well as a financial reward, there is pride in predictive success, and I am sure many pollsters are now reviewing their sampling and questioning their methods. Given the current political conflict, I expect they are also more closely evaluating how margin of error relates to response reliability.

Mr. Hanson also notes, without support, that “Google has been accused of messaging its search results.” Had I developed a search engine, I, too, would have given attention to customers and written an algorithm to give highest priority to what most of them want displayed and speed of display. Satisfying more customers to create more profit is the heart of capitalism, not political.

Lastly, Mr. Hanson complains about social media shutting down “accounts and censoring ads and messages.” That certain accounts ought never to have existed is a given. Censorship of outright lies and unfounded speculations should always be an option. Further, any content that might possibly tempt a parent to teach a child hatred or distrust of another because of race, religion or political belief must never be allowed. If you believe this is extreme, think of the 10-year old children in France celebrating the beheading of a teacher.

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