It is ludicrous to suggest that a survey, posted with the intention of soliciting opinions from a global audience, can instigate "competitiveness and negativity". In order to make a connection between these two points, the reader has to make the giant leap of faith that Earl was targetting a specific group or individual. Inasmuch as neither the question, nor the choices, referred to any of the dance groups or salseros worldwide, then the claim that he instigates competitiveness and negativity is unsubstantiated.
Now, here is what can be substantiated: Earl posts many surveys in order to obtain a consensus the desires and needs of the global salsa community. Stuck On Salsa uses this information to serve the salsa community more effectively by making every effort to cater to their desires and needs on the website, and at events and classes; and, by soliciting global opinions they seek to ensure that their information and events are updated and reflects the latests trends. The evidence that supports this claim is: monthly parties that have DJs that play 90% salsa (format defined by a series of polls); contests of different formats based on the needs expressed by the community at different times (currently the contest is for amateur with judges that don't know the contestants---this format was identified by a series of polls); and workshops with a variety of well-known dancers. Here's another fact that can be substantiated: Earl, and Stuck On Salsa, make every effort to provide services to the salsa community with a positive spirit that seeks to welcome the diversified community of salseros worldwide. The evidence that supports this claim is: a website that does not celebrate the grandeur of its own but is a knowledge portal for anyone seeking information about salsa; and, parties that are characterized by their lack of cliques (please see all previous postings on the commentary board expressing gratitude for the warm reception at a SOS event). One last fact that can be substantiated: Earl is the biggest champion of DC salseros specifically even though he has personal relationships with salseros worldwide. Evidence to support this claim: editor's comments celebrating the success of DC salseros anywhere, anytime (Trabuco in Puerto Rico, Salsafuego in Puerto Rico, Clavekazi in Chicago, DJ Emilly in Boston, etc.); interviews with local salseros in order to increase their visibility and expose their activism to the community (DJ Bruno, Eileen, Dee, Clavekazi, etc.); giving every local DJ an opportunity to play at SOS events; posting pictures on his site of almost every DC salsero in order that they see themselves reflected as part of a community that embraces them; deleting from the commentary board offensive comments directed at Trabuco and Victor...but leaving them on the board when they were directed at him. From these facts, a reasonable person would conclude that Earl does not intend to "sow hate and discontent".
As established above, the objective of the surveys is to obtain consensus from the community on different issues and use this information to serve them better. In some cases, the objective of a singular poll may be transparent to the reader (for example, "what kind of workshop would you like?"); but in some cases, the objective is not transparent (as in the poll that is the subject of this response). Through a collection of polls that seem oblique and obscure to the reader, Earl seeks to compile a characteristic profile of the readership and use this information to serve the community better. For example, none of us here at Stuck On Salsa had the slightest idea that this poll would generate any interest because it was about dance groups, after all did you read the Angry Salsero? Nonetheless, in an effort to understand the interests of the salsa community at large, Earl posted it. The objective was to understand the trend in the salsero community (i.e. do salseros dabble in dance groups or commit for life? are there any social salseros being born anymore? could this be a local, national or global phenomenon?) Answers to these and other similar questions about the make-up of the community are revealed by the ratio of respondents to the number of hits on the page and the statistical distribution of the responses. The choices for the responses were not intended to offend, but generated with sufficient detail to obtain a polarized consensus with specificity, and they were articulated with a sense of humor. It is unfortunate that some individuals felt targeted.
I hope that the above clarifies the objective of the surveys and Earl's true intentions.