After scrutiny, news outlets stop conducting unscientific online debate polls

At least four news outlets that formerly conducted postdebate online polls chose not to do so Sunday, following increased scrutiny from critics who argued doing so would allow Republican nominee Donald Trump to misrepresent the polls to once again to declare himself the winner.

Time, CNBC, Fortune, and The Hill did not post web polls asking readers who won Sunday’s contest. Each of the news outlets had regularly done so in the past.

Throughout the campaign cycle, Trump has frequently touted online polls to declare himself the winner of debates.

After the Hofstra University showdown late last month, he tweeted a screen shot of various online polls designating him the winner, despite every scientific poll declaring his opponent, Hillary Clinton, victorious.

Online polls are almost always discounted by professional pollsters and analysts because they are unscientific, meaning the sample of participants is not reflective of the electorate.

Representatives for Time, CNBC, Fortune, and The Hill did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Monday.

After Trump touted the online polls in the aftermath of the first debate, a handful of Fox News hosts also used the unscientific surveys to push the narrative the real-estate tycoon had won.

A Fox News executive had to later send a memo to television producers and the politics team reminding staff unscientific online polls “do not meet our editorial standards.”

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