Time to get out the proverbial salt shaker and look upon these poll results with a wary eye.
On the one hand, more than half of U.S. residents sampled want the government to regulate Internet video, according to a just-released poll by 463 Communications, a Washington, D.C., public relations firm that specializes in high tech issues.
463 works with Zogby International on periodic polls asking “quirky” questions about technology and the Internet (463 Blog). Sometimes these surveys yield interesting results, like the regulation of Internet video.
Twenty-nine percent surveyed said Internet video should be regulated just like TV content, and another 24 percent said the U.S. government should push for an online rating system similar to the one used by the movie industry. Not surprisingly, only 33 percent of 18-to-24 year-olds support government-regulated video content, while 72 percent of those over 70 years old do.
“I was really shocked that people look at the Internet the same way they look at TV,” said Tom Galvin, a 463 partner. “People see (online video) as spiraling out of control, and they want the government to do something about it.”
On the other hand, quirky polls leave you shaking your head, wondering about the validity of the overall effort.
463 asked if respondents want to have an Internet device implanted in their heads. (Only 11 percent said they would do this.)
463 found that 1 in 4 Americans say the Internet can serve as a substitute for a significant other, which really isn’t saying much since dogs, cats, TV, church, sports, and the movies already accomplish this.
“Some,” Galvin said, “view the Internet as their new best friend.”
Only 1 in 5 adults think it’s a good idea to implant microchips in their kids heads so it’s easier to find them when they’re lost.
1 in 4 Americans have a social network profile like MySpace or Facebook — and here’s the really interesting part — 78 percent of 18-to-24 year-olds have social networking profiles.
And in perhaps the most shocking finding, 463 discovered that the iPhone isn’t that sexy when compared with Halle Berry, Scarlett Johansson, or Patrick Dempsey. Personally, the iPhone is sexier than all but Angelina Jolie.
In all seriousness, 463/Zogby polls do dredge up some interesting thoughts to keep an eye on — like regulating internet video — but you got to sift through the silliness. Perhaps one day YouTube, the world’s largest video sharing site, will carry G, PG, PG-13, R, and XXX ratings.
At least some people out there think so.
Photo credit: Scarlett Johansson, People Magazine