I was disappointed to find that The Santa Barbara Independent is using a commercial site known as UPICKEM to conduct its survey of Santa Barbara’s favorites [aka Best Of Santa Barbara]. This process requires participants to agree that this company can vend their contact information to others for commercial purposes (“UPICKEM and its licensees may contact End User periodically to provide him/her with news, other information, or offers which it believes would be of interest to him/her”). This seems contrary to the general attitude of The Independent as I have understood it for decades, that is of respect for the individual and their privacy and rights. It also skews the results of any such survey by excluding those who don’t want to pay the price to play.
Glen Mowrer, S.B.
Editor’s Note: Best Of ballots also appear in the newspaper.