A poll that was published on Infotrak Research’s official Twitter account was withdrawn because of a heated online discussion.
Tuesday, July 19, following the presidential running mate debate, Infotrak posted a poll on Twitter asking followers who they would support if the results were announced.
Screenshots that have been circulated on social media claim that Kenya Kwanza’s running mate Rigathi Gachagua was ahead before the poll was removed, which sparked an outrage.
Infotrak CEO Angela Ambitho worried about concerns made by Kenyans about the reliability of research firms and the part these polls play in influencing the election campaign in a statement made to Kenyans.co.ke.
She added that the survey was intended to measure public sentiment toward the running mate discussion and Kenyans as a whole, but when the results came in, the polling company noticed something peculiar.
The authenticity of the survey was called into question, according to Ambitho, who said that they discovered the poll had been tampered with by bots. The social media team at Infotrak kept an eye on the poll and soon discovered that many of the accounts voting weren’t real.
“When we did this Twitter poll we realized there were bots and we decided to pull it do. A Twitter poll is not scientific but it can give a gauge of what Twitter users think,” she noted.
She noted that the social media site had bots and that it is challenging to run a clean survey. Ambitho mentioned that Infotrak would conduct a new survey today that will follow the principles of data collection and inform Kenyans of the findings.
“We will be running another poll today and unlike the Twitter one which was compromised this poll will be scientific. So we will select participants randomly and we don’t risk a case where one person votes more than once,” she added.
“It does not mean we pulled it down because someone was winning it had been compromised. Social media polls can’t be termed as a scientific poll,” she added.