The political opinion research, as attested by Hans Magnus Enzensberger once a “structural Similarity with the mantic practices of the Old world”. It was “impossible to say what share of the Oracle of the deity and the priesthood”. Latest scandal studies cast doubt on whether it until today, much has changed. The Berlin-based company bots watch announced recently that 28 percent of all German-language Tweets came in, the debate on the migration Pact of “Social Bots”, so literally by robots with no human Behind it written. The machines have popularized Propaganda content so strong, that one could speak of a rigged debate. The message spread quickly, especially in a public discourse that has taken terms like “Fake News” or “alternative facts” for a long time into the Repertoire. The politician also referred to the results, to warn against the influence of democratic procedure.

But what is fact and what is fiction here? The Online Analyst Luca Hammer complains that the study was not even in excerpts available, what are “the results do worthless”. Hammer examined regularly social networks, and stresses that there is no reliable Definition of what can be characterized as a “Social Bot”. Including party Accounts that spread messages of their own officials automatically, or conventional media depending on the method, the breaking news. In fact, if you search on the bots watch, according to an explanatory publication or disclosure of the raw data in vain. It is business secrets. The company shall on demand of this newspaper is that it is not a “scientific Institute”, but “a private-economically organized Cyber Intelligence company”.

How much credibility have private studies?

? Many media presented the results of the company as of the facts and missed the analysis of the quality seal “scientifically” without the basic Problem of private data to address survey: science is public by nature. Only methodological transparency can ensure that high-sounding press releases to hide, no inscrutable Oracles, but transparent and clean Work. The fall of the academic operating hard enough as it is. The private researchers refrain from any commercial interest.

This fact also drives in the survey research flowers. The Institute Forsa, Infas and the research group on elections, not put on a few weeks ago at the German press Council against the use of surveys of their young competitors Civey complaint, because the results are not representative. Civey back – up, unlike the conventional institutes, on classical Random sampling in telephone or street interviews, but recruited for his surveys of voluntary participants in the Internet on a non-random Basis. The resulting statistical error to compensate for, complex quotas and weighting procedures to guarantee that the answers correspond approximately to those of the total population. The press Council replied to the appeal with the note that “a scientific examination of the survey methodology of Civey” was not to demand the journalist””. Even if the rejection reason sounds plausible, as it describes a purely hypothetical case. Because a scientific Review of the election polls is due to the confidentiality of the statistical approach will anyway be impossible. That still applies to the majority of the Complainant himself. With the exception of the research group elections do not publish raw data or weighting factors, and build on their public credibility.