Nusbacher Associates

So lately an “internal citizenship” quiz is going around Facebook. The group running this quiz is called Sreda which is, according to its English-language website, an “edutainment foundation” focused on “Russian Orthodox Christianity”. They report over two million people have taken the test so far (here) which is an amazing jump from the two-*hundred*-odd participants in each their three projects to date:

  1. A migrant survey for the Russian Federal Migration Service;
  2. A survey of prayer vigil participants for “defense of the faith” at the Moscow Khram (the cathedral seat of orthodoxy in Russia);
  3. And a survey of protestors it openly describes as “the opposition” with “gender peculiarities”! (Yes really – paragraph 6 last sentence in bold – and “oppositsiya” is even in the URL).

Not exactly an unbiased research agency and not exactly hiding their pro-government bias very well either… If they’re really separate from the government at all, given how things run over there nowadays. My Russian doesn’t extend much past the alphabet and lunch orders, so I’d be interested to know what any Russian speakers can find out.

So, Sreda, well done on your open-source fishing expedition! You’ve now got the IP information and personal preferences of two million people and counting. And all you had to do was place an innocuous-looking little quiz on Facebook and trust that nobody would look you up.

Well played, Russia, well played.

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