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[Motd] "Donate" poll removed.ANN.lu
Posted on 29-Feb-2000 19:36 GMT by Christian Kemp11 comments
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I stopped the poll on how much (if anything) people would be willing to donate for an ad-free ANN because at least one individual used multiple IP addresses to artificially inflate the count. I'm not sure why somebody would do that... I had hoped to be able to gauge how much interest there really was so as to make an adequate decision on what kind of payments to accept, and what kind of income to expect. Since there is no guarantee that I'll be getting an accurate count this way, keeping the poll up wouldn't have been a good idea.
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Comment 1Harry Hammerlane28-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 2Spudley28-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 3Mike28-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 4Spudley28-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 5jenga29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 6Pete29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 7John Chandler29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
"Donate" poll removed. : Comment 8 of 11ANN.lu
Posted by Christian Kemp on 29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
In reply to Comment 7 (John Chandler):
> > Uh, I'm not a programmer, I did'nt even know you could do something like
> > that.
> It's fairly trivial. I had to knock up something similar once (for legitimate
> reasons, I might add) - just a quick Perl* script.
It's not even that complicated. I allow up to five votes from any IP address
because many of my visitors are coming through proxies.
The very first version of my voting script did no IP checking. It was abused
within the first hours. I slept less that night and implemented a routine
that would deny multiple votes from one IP address. Soon after, people were
complaining that their vote was rejected even though they were sure they hadn't
voted before. I investigated, and found out that some large ISPs used a single
proxy, and that sometimes (especially in Nordic countries, it seems) a large
number of my visitors used this same ISP.
So I settled somewhere inbetween, and allowed five votes per IP address. That
should be enough to cater for multiple voters on the same proxy, but not enough
to make a difference in a typical poll, getting over 1000 votes.
But for this special poll, one indidvidual voted five times each from five
different IP addresses. Since the question was very exact, and I was depending
on exact and truthful answers to make up my mind, this completely ruined the
counting, especially as I can't watch the poll 24 hours a day. My logging of
IP addresses is very basic, not even attributing the address to a vote, so
it would also have been difficult to parse through the stats and remove all
fraudulent votes.
Why somebody would reconnect from five different IP addresses is beyond my
comprehension. I wanted to gauge how much I'd be able to make if people were
to make donations. So clearly a false "pro" vote doesn't help the cause, since
it makes things seem brighter than they are.
I guess I could go on and on here and rant about this subject, but I'm slightly
tired of it, and I've been typing for far too long already, here in the office.
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List of all comments to this article (continued)
Comment 9Flavvy29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 10Dan Newsome29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
Comment 11Alan Funt29-Feb-2000 23:00 GMT
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