“Facebook makes people be honest!” says company with famously honest slogan

Say what you like about social media (and by now, PR companies promoting their clients in the media pretty much have) but there appear to be advantages to using Facebook, if The Sun is to be believed, which it never is:

Facebook makes us lie less – because everyone sees what we’re up to anyway

FACEBOOK forces us to be more truthful, says a new study, because everyone knows what we’re up to.

More than a third of users (36 per cent) say they now tell fewer white lies, for fear of getting caught out.

Millions of people share their diaries, photos and so much personal info on social media that it’s increasingly difficult to fib.

Source: The Sun, 20 November 2012

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This would be an interesting study, if indeed it was a study – however, instead, it’s yet another PR piece churned out by internet pollsters OnePoll on behalf of their client – the woodstain product which is so honest is ‘does what it says on the tin’: Ronseal. 

We can be certain that this was a PR piece, as it’s easily tracked back to Ronseal’s PR agency – Brazen PR:

Often when these PR pieces come up, the initial reaction can be: “Well, perhaps the information is true? It sounds plausible…”. Indeed, even in this case, the notion that sharing our lives online makes us more honest makes a superficial level of sense. However, consider this: the poll was an online survey. Which is to say, the headline could reasonably read ‘People online tell us they’re honest online’. The methodological flaw here ought to be apparent: if people actually lie a lot more online, they’ll lie in your online survey.

Of course, this flaw doesn’t matter to Ronseal or to OnePoll – they got their name into the news, and that’s the only thing that matters.