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Bots spamming polls? Why?

Discussion in 'Forum Management' started by Alfa1, Apr 4, 2014.

  1. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Guests have permission to vote on polls on my site. I just found out that just now many of my polls received thousands of votes on all answers.
    The only reason I can think of is to strain the servers, though that is kind of silly. Its weird.
  2. AndyB

    AndyB Well-Known Member

    This is not a good idea. There is nothing prevent someone from writing a program to vote thousands of times on a single poll.
  3. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    In general this has worked well. There is nothing to gain by skewing poll results.
  4. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Even if there is "nothing to gain", folks do that kind of stuff all the time. Not to mention the fact that it makes the poll (statistically) absolutely useless - which defeats the purpose of a poll in the first place. :D
    AndyB likes this.
  5. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    Polls worked fine for over 10 year with guest voting on. As long as there was nothing to gain we saw no significant deviations. Until this week.
    Why do you consider guest voting to make the poll statistically absolutely useless?
  6. Tracy Perry

    Tracy Perry Well-Known Member

    Because you cannot ascertain if 1 person has voted 100 times. That will skew the statistics on the returns of the poll. I guess if the question pertaining to the poll is useless be the results don't really matter.
    For me, I want realistic statistics on a poll.

    As for nothing to "gain"...sure their is.. the results that they want even if that may not support the majority but only a vocal minority.
  7. whynot

    whynot Well-Known Member

    Yes: 10 votes
    No: 2 votes

    I vote on "No" 20 times as a guest:
    Yes:10 votes
    No: 22 votes

  8. Alfa1

    Alfa1 Well-Known Member

    While I am sure that this happens, in general the guest voting patterns do resemble member voting patterns. It does depends though, if the poll is about something that people feel strongly about, or if there is something to gain/loose, then guest voting is not useful.

    For example:
    Which do you prefer:
    1. pie
    2. cake
    3. ice cream

    Such poll will generally not attract abusive voting

    Does god exist:
    1 yes
    2. no

    Such poll will attract abusive voting.

    In any case, what was happening in the situation described above is that spam bots where not voting more for specific answers, but were voting equally on all answers. For example on one poll there were 6 answers and the bot added 1950 votes to every answer.

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