D3 Responds but not on Substance

Natalie Jackson has a nice article for HUFFPOST POLITICS about the attempt by a survey research company (D3 Systems) to censor criticism of their work by threatening to sue me.

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She quotes Matthew Warshaw of D3 saying:

“The only reason we went the legal route was because [Spagat and Koczela] sent their work to our clients first, before they sent it to us,” Warshaw said. “Why did it go to our clients first if the concern was to open a discussion about data fabrication issues?”

Notice that Warshaw does not defend his data at all.  Rather, he focuses exclusively on how he imagines we sequenced our requests for feedback on our paper.

In fact, on August 4, 2011  we sent the paper to D3, KA Research (D3’s field  partner), the Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG), InterMedia (part of the chain for the BBG polls)  and PIPA.  That is, we sent the paper simultaneously to all the organizations that conducted the polls we analyzed.

So D3’s “only reason” for lawyering up is factually incorrect.

Moreover, it is hard to fathom the argument for addressing critiques of survey data only to fielding companies while keeping all the other parties responsible for data quality in the dark.  PIPA and the BBG had ultimate responsibility for ensuring the quality of the surveys bearing their names.  So why exclude them from discussions about their data?  If someone thought she found serious problems in one of my papers I would want her to approach me directly, not just my research assistant.

Warshaw’s last sentence is impressively twisted.  He inferred from his false premise about timing that we did not seek to open a discussion.  So hired a lawyer to muzzle us.

Message to researchers – sincerely strive for open discussion or you too might be hit with a cease-and-desist order.

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