Thursday, December 5, 2013

NP Survey Says

The National Post readers are 94.3% in favour of Small Flockers and against the oppression and tyranny by the #ChickenMafia.

On Dec. 1, 2013 the National post published a feature article on the plight of the Canadian small flock poultry farmer.  I previously Blogged about it here.

Since posting their article, the National Post has received untold Billions of people accessing this story from around the world, their website has repeatedly crashed due to the huge volume of people trying to gain on-line access to read this one article, subscriptions requests by the millions have flooded in to get home delivery of the printed version of the paper, and numerous billionaires are in a bidding war to buy the newspaper as it is now seen as a goldmine, all directly stemming from this one article.  Not really, but it sure sounded good, eh?  ;-)

However, in reality, the NP received unknown number of people reading the article, 606 of those Liked it on Facebook, and 121 bothered to comment on the story.  When someone makes a comment, they can either agree or disagree with the article, or post a comment that is neutral or off-topic (ie. not related to the story).

I read every comment, and tried to honestly determine if they were pro or con to the Small Flockers plight.  If they were pro Small Flockers, I scored it a +1.  If they were against Small Flockers cause, I scored it a -1.  If they were neutral or off-topic, I scored it a zero.

All other readers are allowed to read previous comments, and rank those comments as favorable or disfavorable to their personal views.  Somebody would have to come back again and again to rate the newly posted comments, which isn't likely to occur often, so the early comments tend to get the most eyeballs, and receive the most up/down ratings by others.  By holding your cursor over the displayed votes, you can see who (ie. their on-line nickname) voted up/down on each comment.

At some moment in time, NP closes the article to further comments (NB. appears to be closed about 2 days after initial posting).  After the closing, anybody can still rate any or all of the comments posted.

Due to the limitations on this system, the statistics to be analyzed are non-linear and skewed, but can still give an interesting perspective.  Certainly on-line readers of NP is a very special subset of the Canadian public, and may not be totally representative of the whole.  With that said, lets analyze the comments and the up/down voting on those comments.

Figure 1:  Rated comments on NP article
Figure 1 shows the raw statistics for the 121 comments posted on this NP article.  There were 57 comments that clearly supported the Small Flockers position, 60 comments that were neutral or off-topic, and 3 comments that were clearly against Small Flockers (and pro the Supply Management system as it exists today).

If we ignore the 60 neutral/off-topic comments, we have 57 comments that are pro Small Flockers, and 3 against.  That's 95% in favor of Small Flocker's position.  That's pretty well iron clad support.

When a positive comment was made in favor of Small Flockers, other readers could vote those positive comments up (ie. agreed with them), and did so 579 times; and other readers voted against them 23 times.  I assume that voting down on a comment that was in favour of Small Flockers is a vote against Small Flockers.  Similarly, voting against a negative comment that was against Small Flockers can be taken as somebody likely in favor of Small Flocker's cause.  It may not be totally true in all cases, but it's the best we can do under the circumstances.

Figure 2:  Summary statistics
for all voting on comments
Figure 2 shows the summary statistics on all up/down voting done on the 121 comments.  The average number of votes for a comment were 6.48 and a median value of 3 (ie. 50% of the comments had 3 or more votes, and 50% of the comments had fewer than 3 votes, pro or con).  Some comments had no votes whatsoever, neither pro nor con.  One comment had as many as 62 votes; obviously it struck a nerve with most people.  "SDEV" is the standard deviation (ie. a measure of variability in the voting between all comments).  The "%CV" is the coefficient of variation (ie. SDEV/AVERAGE * 100%) and gives an unbiased measure of the variability in the voting.  A %CV of 176% is huge, showing that some comments were ignored, while others were a strong magnet to votes pro or con.  In total, 778 votes were made.  This doesn't mean 778 voters were involved, as a voter could have voted as many as 121 times, voting once for every comment, if they so chose.

In Figure 3 we have the overall scores for all comments and all voting.  Adding the positive comments and the positive votes for a positive comment, we get a total of 641 vote/comments in favour of Small Flockers.  There were a total of 39 negative comments/votes.  This means that the NP readers who decided to express themselves, there is a 94.3% trend in favour of Small Flockers position, and just 5.7% who are in favour of Supply Management.
Figure 3:   Overall Scoring of Comments and Votes

Note that those commenting, and those voting pro/con on those comments have virtually the same pro/con stance on Small Flockers position (95% pro, and 94.3% pro Small Flockers).

That's pretty well overwhelmingly in favor of Small Flockers.

How long do you think it will take for the government to realize a sea-change has occurred, and the politicians trip over each other trying to get in front of the Small Flocker parade?  The Small Flocker parade is already way down the street, leaving the politicians way behind.

The Small Flocker parade is entertaining the crowd, and the crowd is loving them right back.

The #ChickenMafia is doomed.  It's only a matter of time.

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On-topic comments, where you behave yourself and play nicely, will remain posted; whether they are pro or con. Everybody needs to fully understand all points of view so that we can find a solution that encompasses everybody's concerns. Give it your best shot.

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