Facebook user survey devolves into bizarre political quiz

What begins as a customer satisfaction survey quickly turns into a political quiz about the vice president and illegal immigration.

A recent survey on Facebook is leaving a lot of users scratching their head.

The survey, which invited only a few users to participate, appears at the beginning to be a typical customer satisfaction survey but then devolves into a bizarre news quiz.

The survey begins by asking how satisfied recipients are with their Facebook experience and the news feed, supplying five possible responses from very dissatisfied to very satisfied. The social network then wants to know how often you get your news from various sources, such as Facebook's news feed, Twitter, news Web sites, and newspapers. It also asks about specific TV news stations, such as CNN, Fox, and MSNBC.

The questions then turn to typical demographics queries, asking about the respondents' race/ethnicity and their level of education.

The questions then turn to opinions on politics, asking how warmly or coolly people felt about Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, Republicans, and Democrats, as well as how they describe their own political ideology, from very conservative to very liberal.

Then the survey enters the "news quiz" phase and things get strange.

The first question asks who the current vice president of the United States is. Choices: Joe Biden, Dick Cheney, Hillary Clinton, or John Boehner.

The next question asked which presidential candidate supports allowing illegal immigrants brought to the U.S. as children to remain in the country. Choices: Both, neither, Romney, or Obama.

The last part of the quiz is a true-false question that asks whether the economy has shrunk 7 percent in the past three months.

While it's reassuring that Facebook cares about how we feel about our experience on the network (note no specific question about Timeline), the tenor of the political questions and news quiz suggests the social network wants to know how politically aware its users are and how certain news agencies affect their beliefs. But for what purpose?

Facebook declined to address that question but seemed to indicate that the survey was posted in error.

"For a brief period of time, an incomplete test survey was visible to a small percentage of users," a Facebook representative told CNET. "This survey has been removed."

(See a copy of the survey at MarketingLand.com.)

 

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