Tech-Savvy Voters Reject The Filter

Tech-Savvy Voters Reject The Filter

Remember that poll we featured a week or so ago asking if you’d vote for a party which supports the Labor Internet filter? Having run on 17 Australian technology sites, the poll is now closed and the results are clear: virtually no-one wants to vote for the filter.

Of the total 38,427 votes cast, a whopping 97% — 37, 228 people — said they would not vote for a pro-filter party. Only 809 (2%) said they would, while 1% (390) didn’t care.

Yes, we know: Internet polls aren’t statistically valid, and you’d hardly expect a tech-savvy group of readers to support the filtering proposal in its current form. But what the poll demonstrates is that there’s a sizeable group of informed people who do rate this as a relevant issue for politicians to consider.

Sadly, it’s not likely to fight its way into the sound-bite driven push by both major parties towards the lowest common denominator, but at least some party strategists might realise this is an issue people are interested in.


  • As one of the 809 who said they would vote for the pro-filter party, I can only say one thing.

    I really should have read the question. I thought I was saying that I didn’t support the filter. Oops.

  • What this poll really shows is the problem with polls. I think the filter is an abomination but the federal election is not a referendum. To ask only that question in a poll and pretend that it means ANYTHING is ridiculous, misleading and irresponsible.

    • can’t disagree more. the filter is indicative of a deeper underlying approach to a broad range of issues.

      the filter is also just one step in a culturewar agenda being pushed by the religious right in this country (check out ABC Radio National’s Religion Report’s 2008 thing on the ACL, for one) – the filter is not the conclusion of their project to save Australia, but only the beginning.

      Government should exist to protect the liberties of its citizens, not the other way around.

    • Agreed. The poll uses a leading question so that unless you were particularly in favour of the filter, you wouldn’t click “yes” or “don’t know” (unless you misread the question).

      There is no option for individuals who do not like the filter, but for whom it is not the only important issue this election, which I suspect would actually be a lot of participants’ position.

      Are all 97% of respondents really saying that they are not going to vote Liberal, Labor or Greens (A Greens senate vote will forward preferences to Labor), forsaking all other issues and considerations because this issue is the most important?

      Polls like this have the potential to do more damage than good to the anti-filter argument.

      • My mistake – I don’t think Greens direct Senate prefs to Labor, just in the lower house. People are more likely to number their own boxes in the lower house ballot, so not so much of an issue.

        But it does raise the issue that even the Greens, who are probably doing the most to stop the filter, do not think the issue important enough to stop them from doing a preference deal with Labor.

  • It should make someone take notice.

    If you take these votes and distribute them evenly across all seats (ie 150) then you could have a approx 0.3% swing. Based on the last election there were 6 seats decided on a margin less than this.

  • As such a contentious issue, wouldn’t an *educated* referendum make sense?

    But really, if it took effort, it would show how out of touch Conroy is with the public, specifically the internet users that he should know about.

    • conroy’s not stupid. he realises how much of a unified bloc fundamentalist christian voters are, and with the help of their lobby groups, how easy it will be to sway regular folk that this is a’think of the children’ issue that moderate people should support.

      its a very clever, well organised, well financed campaign.

      and then on the other side of the fence is people like us. IT literate individuals with no Hillsong preachers to organise us, broken into many different small groups at best.

      If Labor gets the numbers up, the filter will pass. If Liberals get in in any way that they think was a result of Xian bloc, the filter will passs.

  • The problem is that the Lib’s filter will be just as bad, if not worse. 🙁 At least with Labor we’ll get the NBN. Best we can hope for is Labor backing down after the election (when they no longer have to pander to marginal seats in highly religous areas). Lesser of two evils…

  • Thankyou for providing evidence that 97% of technology site users are paedophiles.

    This research will help us to prevent spams and scams coming through the portal and killing kids.

    This survey, however, should have been compulsory. I don’t like opting-in on surveys.


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