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Debate tonight – smartphone worm app

Written By: - Date published: 8:29 am, November 21st, 2011 - 101 comments
Categories: democratic participation, election 2011, tv - Tags: , , ,

Tonight is the TV3 Goff-Key leaders’ debate 7pm – 8:30pm. Remember “the worm”? It’s back. Sigh.

Yes folks, once again we’re going to be subjected to this controversial feedback mechanism driven by an “uncommitted” panel.  But, in a move aimed much more at “wow” factor than at validity or utility, there will also be a second worm driven by the TV audience via smartphone apps.

The smartphone worm has a huge and obvious bias, National’s demographic is much more likely to own a smartphone than Labour’s.  This bias seemed to have lead to the idea being dropped back in October:

Election 2011: Worm won’t use iPhone

A war of the worm is heating up as subterfuge, technophobia and low-income voters have cancelled plans for an iPhone-only rating of TV3’s election debate.

The worm is a line on the bottom of TV screens which tracks responses to party leaders from undecided voters during debates. It is officially known as “the reactor”.

Marcus Tarrant of Roy Morgan Research said the worm would return to screens next month after six years away following a controversial appearance in 2005. However, Tarrant’s plan to roll out new technology for the device has had to be dropped for fear of inaccurate readings and “sneaky” interference.

Tarrant initially wanted all worm respondents to vote using their personal iPhones. But smartphone use in New Zealand is so low, and limited mostly to the wealthy, that an old-fashioned dial system has been brought back to represent a wider spread of voters. Barely 5 per cent of New Zealanders own smartphones.

He said another problem was sneaky users “can get all their mates to connect and give the result they want. …

Those problems haven’t been solved, but TV3 has obviously decided to go ahead anyway.  That makes the whole thing a gimmick, and a trivialisation of democracy.  But what’s a Leftie to do?  There doesn’t seem to any alternative to taking part in the flawed process.  So, smartphone lefties, if you feel so inclined, you might as well grab the app and take part (instructions below).  You’ll be heavily outnumbered by astroturfing righties from [insert region here] – but what else is new.

Download the Roy Morgan Reactor app free:
iPhone – click here
Android phone – click here
Search: “Roy Morgan Reactor” on your phone’s app store

Update: From John Pagani’s blog

you have to switch off home wifi to make it work. It only goes on 3G.


It actually has Red as the colour for negative/disapprove, and Blue as the colour for good/approve.


Fail again. That’s three strikes.

101 comments on “Debate tonight – smartphone worm app ”

  1. Colonial Viper 1

    How crap.

    • weka 1.1

      “But what’s a Leftie to do?”
      Um, make a complaint to the Broadcasting Standards Authority? Ask a lawyer for an opinion? Target TV3 via blogs and other social media? Given the role the worm played in the past in changing election results, this is a seriously fucked up thing to be happening.

      • weka 1.1.1

        You can ring TV3 on (09) 928 9000  and tell them what you think (I said that I think it’s anti-democractic because they’re selecting from a very small demographic of people who can afford smart phones). Apparently feedback goes to the news team, who according to the call centre made the decision to use the phone app worm.

  2. higherstandard 2

    The most rorted poll in NZ is the Horizon online poll – surprisingly this favours Winston First, Conservative Party and to a lesser extent ACT and ‘unfavours’ the Nats.

    This suggests to me that these type of polls are rather easily manipulated by small numbers of people.

    • The horizion poll shouldnt even be called a poll. Its so out of sync with every other poll.

    • Deadly_NZ 2.2

      Why is it a rorted poll??? Oh because unlike all the other ones this one is done on the Web, so you will get a more varied spread of the population. Unlike the others that only use a LandLine and a rigid list of questions.

  3. I thought the bias would be with Labour, young college/high school students would have these.

    Quite ironic that all you guys that hate america and capitalism would be using this to help the worm vote for a party that is against it.

    Your our version of the Phelps family.

    • felix 3.1

      Who hates America, Brett?

      • Brett Dale 3.1.1


        Students that are talked by teachers who went straight to teachers college from high school and got taught by a socialist professor.

        • Daveo

          Are you for real?

        • felix


          • Brett Dale


            Just go to any highschool in the country and sit in on a class.

            • Colonial Viper

              In your delusional nightmares maybe

            • felix

              But Brett, you said “all you guys that hate america”.

              Who are you talking to? Do you think the standard is full of highschool students?

            • NickS


              Fuck you’re stupid.

              Because teaching history without hiding all the shit the USA (and other powers have pulled) has done is somehow “anti-american”.

              Also, to teach a high school subject you have to study various uni papers, not just solely study at a teachers college, and indeed the norm is for people to go get a Bachelors at uni or higher (one of my chemistry teachers was a PhD student, and Croft had a MSc in ecology), then do a 1-2 year course at teachers college. So frankly, once again you’re shown to be utterly ignorant.

              So fuck off back to making vaguely authoritative noises about sports, where at least your target audience can’t tell if you’re full of crap or not.

    • “Quite ironic that all you guys that hate america and capitalism would be using this to help the worm vote for a party that is against it.”

      Oh bollocks. No one said they were for or against the technology just it’s availability that would ensure a representative sample.

      There are no brownie points when you counter an argument that no one is making – as you stretch out to get your third gin of the morning.

    • millsy 3.3

      Hey Brett, didnt you get born in a socialist maternity hospital, go to a socialist public school, play sport on a socialist council owned sports field, and get brought up in a home paid for by either a socialist housing corp mortage or a mortgage with a socialist state owned bank?

      And when you broke your arm, as a kid, would you have gotten treated in a socialist public hospital paid for by socialist ACC.

      I would also like your opinion on Abu Gharib and My Lai seeing as you love America so much, and also your opinon on the US healthcare system.

    • joe90 3.4

      You’re a delusional fool Brett. You’re gobbling up the paranoid shit Louden and co have created and regurgitating their fantasy as fact. Idiot.

  4. happynz 4

    Your our version of the Phelps family.

    That doesn’t even remotely make sense. Try again?

  5. ghostwhowalksnz 5

    Does the Roy Morgan app require some sort of demographic info ?

    If they are mostly males in professional or management roles, like the usual smartphone owner profile, then we know the results all ready.

    The real reasons for the polling companies getting in on this is that they have a pool of respondents who they can sell the details to marketing companies. Do you want to buy a BMW ?

  6. I also wonder how many bone craving wearing socialist high school teachers will instruct their students to vote for Goff with this.

    There will be a bunch of 13 year old kids who cant even vote who will be using this, then they will prove how hard they are by going on facebook and telling people they did it, maybe even get a few likes.

    They will probably then bag the usa and capitalism, after going to youtube first, playing on their xbox using their iphones and going to see Twilight part 6.

    Perhaps they will even go along to occupy Timaru (who the fuck would want to do that anyway) and start chanting “the whole world is watching” with the two other people that show up.

    Hopefully when they leave school, they will realize that their teacher is an idiot and America does more good than harm.

    But at the moment they will be tweeting such classics as “key is a C**T” “Key sucks” all the while why wearing a fucking scribe shirt and doing that hand sign they think makes them hard.

    • happynz 6.1

      Wow, just wow. Do you actually believe that guff you just typed out?

      • Brett Dale 6.1.1


        Yes a lot of teenagers own iphones and androids.

        Also a lot of teenagers are influenced by their high school teachers who tend to vote left.

      • joe90 6.1.2

        high school teachers who tend to vote left

        Wow, prognosticator pursuivant.

        • Galeandra

          Brett, I taught high school for 40 years ,and perverted the minds of thousands of kids by exposing them to the socialist bile of writers like Hemingway and Steinbeck.As part of my evil plan I also persuaded them all to buy cellphones made in Scandinavia.

          Sadly, the America today like NZ is full of adults who can’t read or write to save themselves, if the blog comments are anything to go by. But it’s good to see that the war on terrorism isn’t letting up, what with Mississippi judges gaoling a mother for three years for lying about drug convictions in her food stamps application, and the arrest of all those unAmerican abnormals in OWS who resent that if lucky enough they can still earn 1970’s wages in the land of the free to starve.

          Thanks for making my day. You’re such a good advertorial for left wing philosophy.

          • Brett Dale


            Have you spent time in the USA???

            Do you whats its like to live day in and day out.

            If I was a teacher I would tell students to spend time in a country then judge that country.

    • dd 6.2

      I think this bitter rant suggests that both sides would rather just not have ‘a worm’?

      It will benefit one side more. At this stage I couln’t tell you who that would be. Old Brett has suggested some reasons it will benefit labour but we have also heard reason it will benefit National

      • Brett Dale 6.2.1


        The worm should not be used.

        • Fortran

          TV3 and Herald not available in my house so its Shortland Street and a video.
          Stupid idea the worm – desperate media cranks.

          • Deadly_NZ

            If you can’t get tv 3 on the usual bands try looking up in the UHF band i have found it up there and clearer than the LF bands. Just a thought unless the unavailability is a Ban

    • What vitriol, Brett. Is that fear I smell on you? Getting a little panicked are we, didums?

      • Brett Dale 6.3.1

        William Joyce:

        I will keep your post in my mind for saturday night.

        I mean really, iphones androids are a young college person’s thing, and they normally vote labour, of course the bias is towards labour, that is why tv3 is doing it this way, they want the lead up to seem close to the election so it means higher ratings.

        • Deadly_NZ

          I’m 56 and I have an Android Phone, and No I will not waste my time with the App. As I am at home, so why should I use 3g and pay for it ? When I have WiFi already running in my house. As would Any half pie savvy person, so there goes your argument about teachers and students strait down the Crapper.

    • Lanthanide 6.4

      How many 13 year old kids with smart phones are going to listen to their “socialist” high school teachers when they can listen to their “titan of industry” fathers that bought the phones for them?

      Which is the other thing, really: this worm isn’t going to stop 13 year old from opining on something that they can’t even participate in.

      • Brett Dale 6.4.1


        What 13 year old listens to their parents?

        • Lanthanide

          What 13 year old listens to their “socialist high school teacher”?

          • Brett Dale


            The ones that have it drumed into them day after day that America is to blame for the worlds problems and any thought other than it leads to a fail grade.

            • millsy

              Yes, because America is just so wonderful, its soldiers are exemplary in their conduct, their rivers and lakes have no toxic waste in them, and these are no mothers and children sleeping in their streets.

            • Uturn

              When my teachers taught me, it was the French revolution, Napolean’s rise to power, campaigns and fall, that were drummed into us. Not sure which side anyone was on. It was a long and convoluted story, encompassing the politics of Europe to the point it was hard to say who was the real enemy. No one hated the French. Thanks to my socialist indoctrination, I can smell bullshit coming a mile off and spot it no matter what colour it wears. Damn those socialists!

              When I was 13, Labour were punch drunk and reeling under the influence of Rogernomics, National wanted everyone to be a casual worker and there weren’t any smart phones. The real life version of the worm was usually in the form of people shouting and pushing MPs in public. It seemed so important at the time, yet here we are, with no great changes.

            • Lanthanide

              What is more influential in shaping someone’s political views of the world: their parents, family situation and childhood in general, or the 3-4 hours a week they get with a history teacher once they get into high school?

              • felix

                In Brett’s case, none of the above.

                He gained his political consciousness (and I use the word “consciousness” very, very loosely) listening to atrocious country & western records.

            • Alpacaman

              The most the NZ school curriculum gets involved with the USA is the Vietnam War in History, and some American books, depending on what English teachers assign – and, funnily enough, most teachers don’t spend time ranting about politics, they spend it, you know, teaching. I don’t know where you get this idea that 13 year olds are all socialists, if anything the opposite is true. Especially for ones with smartphones.

            • Deadly_NZ

              Ahhh America the Land of the Paranoid and Insane.

      • Alpacaman 6.4.2

        I have to agree with this – my high school is hugely right oriented, because very few take an interest in politics. As National is the status quo, that is what everybody supports.

    • felix 6.5

      lolz Brett.

      But don’t worry mate, most of those young maori and polynesian kids that have you so wound up can’t afford a smartphone.

      ps you’re always going on about hip hop culture. Why do you hate America?

      • Pascal's bookie 6.5.1

        Coz he can’t see race?

      • Brett Dale 6.5.2


        I love hiphop culture i love african american culture, I hate it when white newzealand kids think they know all about hiphop culture just because mommy’s bought them a eminem teeshirt from hallenstiens.

        • felix


          Why do you hate white people?

          • NickS

            It’s Brett, no explanation other than he’s full of teh stupids required.

          • Brett Dale


            I dont hate anyone, as someone who went to the usa and actually did voluntary work with disadvantage kids in poor areas, I can tell you for sure they would hate people from another country trying to act as if its cool to be a gang member.

            Real gang life in the usa is not a fuckin hiphop video, its sad and depressing and it pisses me off that some punk ass snot face kid from linwood in chch thinks he knows all about american gang life cause he watches the juice on sky.

            • felix

              You’re talking to the characters in your head again Brett.

              When are you going to answer my simple question of who you meant when you said “all you guys that hate america”?

              You sort of replied with some gibberish about highschool students, but you don’t really believe that the standard is an online hangout for highschool students, do you?

              That can’t possibly be your real answer. Who did you mean?

        • freedom

          it saddens me you think NZ hiphop has anything to do with the cliche stories that fill the media. Your reference to kiwi kids playing gangs is a classic piece of disinfo that has more to do with the corporate hold on media culture ( scribe, p-money etc) than anything to do with actual NZ HIPHOP music. So in the interests of giving you an opportunity to learn something today, here you go Brett, some real kiwi hiphop for your sorely needed education.

          p.s. would love to see you try to tell Trillion (amongst others) he is a white newzealand kid whose love of hip hop was because mummy bought him an Eminem tshirt. i would pay good money to see that discussion. You are one funny bigot.

    • millsy 6.6

      “America does more good than harm”

      What about My Lai?
      What about Abu Gharib?
      What about the CIA overthrow of democratically elected governments?
      What about the Tea Party?
      What about the US healthcare system, where if you cannot afford insurance, you die?
      What about atrocities against Afghani and Iraqi civilians by US troops?
      What about US pressure to ditch Pharmac
      What about the KKK?

      • Add to  that…
        Global Financial Crisis and the loss of jobs and homes all over the world
        The Great Depression and the loss of jobs and homes all over the world
        Ostracising NZ for being nuclear free
        Importing and giving immunity to murdering Nazi scientists
        Destabilising Cambodia by illegally bombing it then supporting the murderous Khmer Rouge.

      • Colonial Viper 6.6.2

        Add nuclear weapons, cluster munitions and unsanctioned/unaccountable drone killings into the mix.

      • NickS 6.6.3

        What about the Cold War in Latin America, where the US supported absolute monsters and committed war crimes against Nicaragua?

        • rosy

          ….and are still doing so in Honduras – hidden in plain sight because it’s not the Middle East. And there’s a multitude of skulduggery behind the U.S. foreign policy there.

      • Dole Pineapple & Marcos dispossessing farmers of their land and forcing them into the slums so that Americans can have cheap pineapple.
        Contaminating the food chain with genetically modified, copyrighted, for-profit food strains.
        Dispossessing pacific islanders of their ancestral home so the US could blow the shit of it with contaminating nuclear weapons.
        Exporting the waste of New York to South America.
        Exporting e-waste to Africa.
        Stealing the Hawaiian Islands.
        Scorched earth campaigns in the Philippine/American War , torture and the concentration of civilians into “protected zones” with an estimated 34,000–1,000,000 casualties.
        Deliberately infecting hundreds of Guatemalan mental patients with sexually transmitted diseases from 1946 to 1948
        Giving immunity to Shiro Ishiiand all members his units in exchange for the results of experiments with prisoner vivisection, dismemberment, bacteria inoculation and induced large scale epidemics in China from 1932 onward with many other units experimenting in conquered cities such as Nanking, Beijing, Guangzhou  and Singapore.
        Let’s not forget the shit America’s “manifest destiny” had on the Native Americans.

    • NickS 6.7

      This just has to be the biggest load of anti-youth bullshit I’ve seen posted on The Standard thus far, you know, because teenagers have no rights to voice their concerns, let alone judge political parties on what they say.

      Sure, kids can be stupid, but 9/10 they’re bloody brighter than you think and more than capable of thinking about stuff that impacts on them, and besides, on a statistical basis, they’re no worse than the legions of ignorant adults out there who go off sound bites and “who would you rather have a beer with?” bullshit.

      • Brett Dale 6.7.1


        The worm should be for voters, not dome 13 year old kid.

        • NickS


          Make sense please, because you’ve just failed to sidestep my post by making a rather irrelevant statement.

          • Brett Dale


            They can voice their concerns if they want, they can go to their local politician and ask
            for help with a issue, I just think they shouldnt partake in the worm thing, because they cant vote in the election, or at least the media should tell the public that people of all ages are dictating what the worm is doing.

  7. dd 7

    I’d rather it was just a straight debate with no worm or feedback from policy analysts.

    If they have to have opinions I’d want a panel afterwards. Two blatantly pro national supporters amd two blatantly labour supporters.

  8. Tigger 8

    It’s a stupid game but if we don’t play we’re fucked.

    App now on my phone. Will dial Key into negative every time he opens his mouth. And this will be an accurate reflection of what I think about him.

    • freedom 8.1

      reading the comments on the market site for the ap and one very interesting statement stood out.
      ” the ” On Air” sign is only supposed to be there when the event is being broadcast. But the NZ Debate shows ‘On Air’ now and the event is tomorrow !!! ”

      That is enough evidence of the corrupt and unreliable nature of this ap if you ask me. No download for this smart phone user. Who by the way Brett Dale, is neither wealthy nor a 13 year old kid, but knows a real tool when he sees one.

      • Brett Dale 8.1.1


        Dont ask me about iphones/androids /cellphones, i have trouble txting, but im kinda guessing the majority of its users will be teenagers who will vote the worm up for Labour then go on facebook and tell their friends about it, who will like it, and then they will poke someone, all the time writing in txt spk btw.

        • felix

          Dont ask me about iphones/androids /cellphones, i have trouble txting”

          Sure, but that’s nothing to do with the technology involved, it’s because you’re borderline illiterate.

          but im kinda guessing the majority of its users will be teenagers

          And that’s why no-one is taking you seriously.

    • kriswgtn 8.2

      yup same hahahha and i dunno how the fuk it worx hahahahahah

      bought my android phone a week jus for facebooking tbh away from home hahahahaha

  9. Tigger:

    Well thats fair.

    BTW you do know the programme they use, has steps in place to stop people trying to manipulative the results.

  10. r0b 10

    See an update to the post.

  11. Draco T Bastard 11

    John Pagani makes the argument that Goff should pull out because of the worm. I’d agree with him but the MSM would use it as an attack on Goff which they don’t do to Key when he, or his minions, pull out of interviews.

  12. interesting 12


    I will be interested to see the reaction of this (and other left-wing) blog sites if it turns out that the worm favours Goff…

    WIll there still be cries of it being inacurate and wrong and skewed towards National? or will it be praised as the “Game Changer” and “showing that Kiwi’s are coming in behind Goff” etc etc etc

    We will see how much integrity the Left has after the debate tonight if the worm goes Goff’s way….intergrity would still call it as it is ….. a very bias and unfair way to judge the debate (whoever wins)…..my thinking is that if Goff “Wins” the worm debate….the left will spout how great it is.

  13. interesting 13

    i dont even know why they are bringing it back in. it is a ridiculous thing to have.

  14. dd 14

    Russell Malcolm I got arrested 11.11.11 on the orders from the prime minister, (yip the man himself apparently) the charge is misuse of a telephone relating to internet posting, no accusation of threats to anyone, but abusive was suggested and I was questi…oned on using the word….. “bitch”.
    Now get this: Bail condition I must not post anything on the net, on the subject I was posting about.
    I must not contact any government ministers ….including opposition. Is the subject to embarrassing at election time?

    Ps I hope your are not a government minster , if any govt ministers contact me I am not allowed to talk to them’. Jeeze what was so embarrassing?
    Blew me away the order come from the prime minister himself who was woken up to dictate my bail conditions via his personal body guards. (You who know me are truly honoured)

    Although a stranger to the process, I was sitting in the cell laughing thinking of them what the hell have “they” done? AlLI asked for was justice and compliance with the law and it was to much to ask…. but I cant tell, Or I go directly to jail.
    As for a solution, and of course I cant address XXXXX who has me monitored. (nor have I hassled him OR EVER BEEN AGAINST HIM) But a decent person would do what is morally and legally right. And see an end to the issue.

    To all: if u can please copy and repost with comments, I have no intention of committing suicide or having a head-on crash. Paul white or Allan Hubbard style?

  15. Fortran 15

    TV3 and Herald no longer available in our house.

  16. Carol 16

    Never mind the worm…. a load of old gobblers that it is:


    John Campbell will host and moderate &….

    The show will finish with commentary from a media panel consisting of RadioLIVE host Paul Henry, TV3 political editor Duncan Garner and political scientist Therese Arseneau.

    ha ha ha ha ha ha ha……to infinity….

  17. Okay so we have Paul henry on the right and duncan garner on the left, isnt Therese Arseneau normally pretty good? Am i thinking of the right person?

    • happynz 17.1

      Okay so we have Paul henry on the right and duncan garner on the left

      Duncan Garner on the left? Are you serious?

      • Carol 17.1.1

        This is a dilemma for me. I’ve been totally avoiding any show with Henry in it, and Garner is just to irritating to watch very much. I can tolerate Arseneau if she has analysts of more substance and political diversity on with her.

  18. seeker 18

    Therese Arseneau is rightwing disguised as a political science lecturer/commentator/ex Q&A originator and side kick of Guyon Espiner. Everything loaded against Goff. Key must be soooooooooo relaxed and happy. He is in good hands as usual
    Am praying for divine intervention to knock Key’s treacherous little socks off, hope it happens tonight. Here we go…

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