The PZ effect

For a while now PZ Myers has used his Pharyngula-blog as a staging area for online poll crashing. Personally I find online polls to be, at best, entertainment. News websites seem to think that the polls "engage" their browsers in the story. Its the interactive part of news. It was cool in the last millennium.

Pharyngula operates in a specific fashion when it comes to pointless polls. PZ Myers posts "target" message. The target is an online poll. Today it happened to be on MyFox Colorado, who ask:

On Monday, California became the second state in the nation to legally recognize same-sex marriages. Do you think gay marriages should be legal in Colorado?

Options: Yes, No, Not sure.

Usually the tally is on the anti-gay/equality/rationality. Then, the Pharyngula-fans aka Godless Horde storms in. In short order the results change dramatically:

Yes 85.80%
No 13.74%
Not Sure 0.46%

Mike produced a well-thought and composed comment:

pwnt by the PZ effect.

Getting an impact via internet geeks is no new trick. Stephen Colber did it to get a Hungarian bridge named after him (beating Chuck Norris in the process). In this specific case, PZ Effect is a proper term for changing online polls with a remorseless voting onslaught to get a more reality-based result.

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