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Cheaters

2003 Weblog Awards

Never prosper. I know who it is and it's been fixed.

If you think it will help your favorite site by padding votes or hacking you are wrong. I'll be lopping off the cheaters votes and banning addresses. I am watching the vote logs and zapping cheaters votes.

Yesterday I saw the rise in Lessig, LGF, and Scripting News and figured they were moving together. This was not exactly the case.

Scripting News rocketed up 5000 votes in short order. I combed through the Scripting News vote logs and didn't initially see any issues. It appeared that LGF and Lessig fans tried to match the Scripting News gains illicitly. Lessig, LGF, and Kottke were all docked due to heavy vote fraud from individual address. Lessing (5K), LGF (3K), Kottke (500).

That was not the end of the story. Checking the referral logs showed where all the Scripting News votes were coming from. He benefited from some underground hacking games and did not earn the votes I though he had. He wasn't involved, but I found the little twerps who where doing it. There were lots of other mirrors like memepool.com who were carrying similar code.

Pete Holiday was able to come up with some code to block the kind of direct link "magic" vote fraud that was happening. Things should run smoother now. Serious thanks to Pete!!!

The moral of the story is earn your votes the old fashion way: beg for them.

Update: There are 19 categories (if I remember correctly) and the voting problems have only occurred in the Best Overall Blog category and only with the sites mentioned. The illicit votes have been removed and the poll code has been modified to disable the cheating. None of the other polls were affected.

In the Best Overall Blog category all of the aforementioned sites are aware of the situation, and none of them are encouraging people to game the system. With the vote totals corrected and the polls more secure the contest will continue. It turns out that I don't have to guess about totals when removing votes.

Some have called for the contest to end. To this I say "no". Aside from wanting to stage a competition, I also wanted to give non A-list bloggers a chance to get some new readers at their sites. Numerous sites (even when complaining about the Weblog Awards) say that they've found some new blogs of interest in the Weblog Awards.


TrackBack

Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Cheaters:

» Matthew J. Stinson | weblog linked with Poll positions

» Tiger: Raggin' & Rantin' linked with I just can't bear to watch

» Captain's Quarters linked with Last Chance at Weblog Awards

» An Unsealed Room linked with Weblog Awards: We are a Competitive Species....

» Amish Tech Support linked with The problem with online polls

» Burningbird linked with Blogger Strike

» One Fine Jay linked with Shooting fish

» American Digest linked with Blog Cheating Gets a Pass at Wizbang

» dcthornton.com linked with 2003 Weblog Awards

» Weblog Hype linked with Not worth that much

» The Blog Herald linked with Cheating blights Wizbang awards

» PoliBlog linked with Cheaters Never Prosper

» American Digest linked with Cheating Continues at Wizbang

» Patterico's Pontifications linked with MORE PROOF THAT HUMANS WILL CHEAT AT ANYTHING

Comments (62)

I guess it's not really sur... (Below threshold)

I guess it's not really surprising that people wound up cheating on the poll given what TTLB had to deal with recently in Ecosystem gaming. It's still sad.

P.S. What are the odds that someone will claim your poll was "hacked"? Heh.

That's why I hate these pol... (Below threshold)

That's why I hate these polls. There are so many free proxy servers out there now, even if you ban the IPs it doesn't help.

That sounded bad. What I m... (Below threshold)

That sounded bad. What I meant was, the IDEA is fun, but people take it too seriously. As a result, you can't get an truly accurate feeling for general concensus.

Ummm...before I ban them, d... (Below threshold)
Matt:

Ummm...before I ban them, did they change the results in my favor?

Just kidding, They're obviously liberals with a very relative morality (Wait, just like the idiots that screwed with TTLB).

...out of curioisity, how d... (Below threshold)
Pete:

...out of curioisity, how do we know they're liberals?

I mean... credit where credit is due and all, but blind accusations and misinformation are the tools of the left... let's try not to lower ourselves to that.

Looks like 'Dive into Mark'... (Below threshold)
Egfrow:

Looks like 'Dive into Mark's' website is trapping the referer link from the wizbanblog site voting list in the poll. When a person clicks on his link from his website it re-directs the user directly to a vote for his site. This is outright cheating and completly BS. This site should be removed from the running.

IF you click on his link fr... (Below threshold)
Egrow:

IF you click on his link from the poll you will cast a vote for that site instead of being directed to that site for 'Dive into Mark's'

Scripting news just jumped ... (Below threshold)
Egfrow:

Scripting news just jumped to over 5000 votes from under 1600 in just 15 minutes. WTF?

Exactly, WTF? I've noticed ... (Below threshold)
alphasheep:

Exactly, WTF? I've noticed the jump too. Someone already tried once earlier today. The site should be removed. I eman, tough luck for the site itself. Perhaps the site owner should have explained to their readers that cheating is conterproductive.

I hope I'm not screwing up ... (Below threshold)

I hope I'm not screwing up on my voting...I selected all of them, then hit one of the "Vote" buttons. Then I thought "Maybe I'm supposed to do that for ALL of them"? Now I'm trying to go back and do it by individual category. I hope it's not showing me as trying to vote twice...

--TwoDragons

The "magic link" you refer ... (Below threshold)
Mark:

The "magic link" you refer to is changed, as per your request. I honestly hadn't seen your previous post where you asked people not to do that. I see Scripting News has jumped another 5000 votes; sounds like I'm not your biggest problem today. Good luck.

Are you telling me Scriptin... (Below threshold)
Bob:

Are you telling me Scripting News got 5000 legitimate votes from Dave posting a link and begging? No, sorry, I don't buy it. He doesn't have that kind of traffic. See for yourself; his stats are public. http://essaysfromexodus.scripting.com/stats/hourlyHits

i'm pretty sure they are al... (Below threshold)
purefiction:

i'm pretty sure they are all hardcore republicans.

Confession, sorry I've chea... (Below threshold)

Confession, sorry I've cheated by voting for myself - only once though (it didn't work a second time) just to see if it worked - in the hope of getting at least one vote.

My blog, started in July 2003, is a Crawly Amphibian in TLB but here it's listed in the Flippery Fish category. Not keen on this category - front runner has porn photos - so please Kevin Wizbang can you move my blog to the Amphibians?

Suppose you are all now going to rush over to the Flippery Fish category to see the porn. If you find what you are looking for: please vote for ME AND OPHELIA!!

Heh. Kevin blogged that we should earn our votes the old fashioned way: beg for them ;-)

Wait a minute. Doesn't the ... (Below threshold)
Rodney Dill:

Wait a minute. Doesn't the SCOFLA (Supreme Court of FLorida) get to weigh in on who the winners are? You should leave vote fixing to the pros.

I honestly hadn't seen y... (Below threshold)

I honestly hadn't seen your previous post where you asked people not to do that.

So cheating is okay unless someone specifically tells you not to?

I'm not exactly sure how to... (Below threshold)

I'm not exactly sure how to beg in the blogosphere and it has a 'desperate loser' connotation attached to it. But, here goes, I got this big bag of Halloween candy left over and if someone votes for me, they're welcome to grab a handful. Or, is that bribery?

Anyway, I followed Ingid's advice and voted for myself also. I sure didn't want to see my site be the Marauding Marsupial who laid a goose egg.

Bob, that's the traffic for... (Below threshold)

Bob, that's the traffic for the essaysfromexodus site, not Scripting News. Basically that site is an archive from an old version of the site. The numbers are totally meaningless. On the other hand, it's pretty clear someone was gaming the vote.

Now if there was only a scr... (Below threshold)

Now if there was only a script or HTTP header trick to deal with hate-mongering sites who've had Kottke on their blogroll for many aeons but when they're in a contest with them suddenly incite their mindless-drone readership to vote again Kottke for the crime linking to a single article.

Dave, at least you know you... (Below threshold)

Dave, at least you know you're a favorite on the IRC circut :-)

Kevin,I would strong... (Below threshold)

Kevin,
I would strongly suggest that in light of the fact you've been gamed you dump this whole thing as terminally tainted.

Still, it has been good for traffic, hasn't it?

This is why I think online ... (Below threshold)

This is why I think online polls are garbage.

It ought to be done with PayPal boxes. Most cash wins. Put your money where your mouth is, so to speak.

Mr. Aylward, the 2003 Weblo... (Below threshold)
Elmo:

Mr. Aylward, the 2003 Weblog Awards ARE a huge success. So many blogs. So many wonderful blogs. So many lovely people. Entertaing to say the least. Pat yourself on the back. Merry Christmas/Happy Chanukah, and a truly joyous New Year. Most Sincere Thanks, Elmo.


Lair might think it's garba... (Below threshold)

Lair might think it's garbage, and I concur to some degree, but Kevin, have you been reading the underhandedly malicious entries tracking you back lately?

And to whom might you be un... (Below threshold)

And to whom might you be underhandly pointing Monsieur Ofjay?

Don't listen to the people ... (Below threshold)

Don't listen to the people who want to shut this down, Kevin. It's been quite an enterprise, and I have run across a number of great new blogs as a result. Thanks are in order.

Gerard, it isn't you I have... (Below threshold)

Gerard, it isn't you I have a problem with. Look at my TB on the front page.

Ah, I see and apologize.</p... (Below threshold)

Ah, I see and apologize.

As for M. Pattercio, all I can say is that blog lists like that one to the left here and on many others are prime for the clicking.

You don't need a compromised contest to know which way the blogs blow.

hehe, gotta love the commen... (Below threshold)

hehe, gotta love the comment: "earn your votes the old fashion way: beg for them.". ;)

Gerard,Those blogs h... (Below threshold)
Pete:

Gerard,
Those blogs have been there for how long? Apparently they either haven't quite worked as well for Patterico or drawing attention to them with a little mor explanation is helpful.

Besides who, exactly, is being harmed by continuing to run the poll? Seems like it's a win/win all the way around (except, of course, for Kevin who has to deal with the whiners).

So what's with the "you may... (Below threshold)
Mary:

So what's with the "you may only vote once in
every 12 hours?"

It seemed strange, but if others were going to vote
twice a day, I figured I would too. But of course,
it always said I had already voted.

Kevin's posted an explanati... (Below threshold)

Kevin's posted an explanation on my little essay about this little episode, but it doesn't address those who vote twice or three times. Before all this started I remember noting a spread of eight to ten votes in the front runners.

Seems to me if we are having a vote, in general, we should have a one person one vote rule. Anything more than that corrupts the process.

Since we have a situation in which one person may vote more than once we have, it would seem to me, a situation where the vote is corrupt.

It is corrupt in a small way on a small issue to be sure. But it is corrupt all the same and to pretend otherwise is wrong.

There's no "win/win" in something that's dishonest. There's just a lot of nodding and winking.

I have it on good sources t... (Below threshold)

I have it on good sources that Diebold programmers were involved in the coding of the CGI form handling code.

Gerard, Gerard, Gerard...<b... (Below threshold)
Pete:

Gerard, Gerard, Gerard...
If you want to get really particular, I think you'd have a hard time naming a "fair" vote that has ever occurred. It doesn't get terribly much more fair than this. What's the difference between everyone having 2 votes a day and having 1 vote ever? None, really.

In a one-vote-ever system there will be people who are unable to vote for a variety of reasons. People not voting to their potential in a two-vote-per-day system is basically the same, it just has a different numerical result.

If the contest upsets your sensibilities so, why not just withdraw your blog (if you have a dog in the fight) or dismiss it as "tainted" (or whatever other holier-than-thou, indignant term you'd like) and quit trying to end it for people who are enjoying it and aren't going to nit-pick over petty details?

Again I have to ask... who is this harming? If the answer is "nobody but kevin" then where's the gripe? On principle? Keep your principles, I have my own, and I like them just fine, thanks. I can tell you a lot of sites are WINNING viewers, even if they're not winning polls.

Honestly. Go piss in someone else's cornflakes.

Why can I not submit a 2nd ... (Below threshold)
mathmantom:

Why can I not submit a 2nd vote even though 2 days have passed since my 1st ??

Well, Pete, the response ri... (Below threshold)

Well, Pete, the response right after yours pretty much sums up who is pissing in the cornflakes. It would seem that your principles regarding vote fraud, as you like to call them, are quite relative.

Kevin's obviously not going to admit he's running a fixed game here. It is now too important to him to maintain that all's fair here. Still, I wonder how he and others who are of the "what's the harm' let it run camp liked the results of, say, the 2000 election in Florida. After all, if a few votes sneak through or don't get counted or get counted twice, what's the harm. After all, it was a "win/win" wasn't it.

Oh please... you're reachin... (Below threshold)
Pete:

Oh please... you're reaching now.

First of all, as it was stated above by Kevin clearing the cookies for wizbang solves the problem. Further, if said person is not able to vote again, who is being harmed? Sure, the sites they want to vote for aren't getting as many votes as they might, but that's only a harm if this poll means anything.

I'm sure Kevin is flattered that you're equating the level of importance of this poll to a presidential election, but the fact is that that's a downright wretched comparison.

These polls are for... wait for it... BLOG AWARDS. Now if you're the type that's going to get all hot and bothered because a poll on the web wasn't 100% scientific and unscammable, I really think you need to get out more. Go for a run or something.

I think even Kevin would concurr that saying that "so and so is the best blogger" is rife with problems, not the least of which being the standards on which they're judged. The point, as I've taken it, of this poll is a) Fun and b) Recognition for some bloggers.

Fun is apparently lost on you, but all of your whining won't change the fact that bloggers have gotten hits and new readers out of the deal. This is not a one-way, send hits to wizbang, sort of poll -- people coming to vote go out as well and several have found new blogs to read.

And, honestly, a "fixed" poll? Do you wear a lead helmet to keep the government's mind-control rays out, too? Really your "world" is one big reality TV show, and we're all just actors. Had you fooled, didn't we?

Seriously... get out more. Don't take it so seriously. It's just a blog and it's just the internet.

PS: Sorry for blogging in y... (Below threshold)
Pete:

PS: Sorry for blogging in your comments, Kev. :)

I'll give myself a spanking.

This note from one of the b... (Below threshold)

This note from one of the blogs in the contest:
====
"...in the 2003 Weblog Awards category Best New Blog. Head on over and check out the entrants, find some favorites for further reading, and vote. This process is going on all week and you can vote every 12 hours."
====

Is it really the case that people here don't see what is wrong with that statement? Do we really have to repeat basic civics from the 7th grade?

I do believe I detect the d... (Below threshold)

I do believe I detect the distinct aroma of sour grapes.

miserable failure... (Below threshold)

miserable failure

A scroogish assumption cons... (Below threshold)

A scroogish assumption considering the season. Actually, what you smell is a contest gone foul. Nothing more and nothing less. A small thing to be sure, but in a realm where we see on a daily basis bloggers touting the medium as the next big thing in ethics management for big media, you'd think that the medium might want to be a bit more self-critical when it came to small ethical items of its own.

What the hell is going on? ... (Below threshold)

What the hell is going on? This is so compliicated I wouldn't know how to vote if it was er...explained to me...um...as though I were an...er...idiot.

...and how the hell am i su... (Below threshold)

...and how the hell am i supposed to be able to see what im typing in those stupid yellow boxes...for god's sake will someone get a grip around here?

We only need a lesson on ci... (Below threshold)
Pete:

We only need a lesson on civics in as much as we need one in logic.

First the civics lesson: this is the internet. It is next to impossible to ensure that each person gets only one vote. In fact, if you can do it, there's a LARGE government contract waiting for you. Since it is impossible to do, arguing that the contest is somehow tainted because it's not done is really absurd. Now I fully realize that this is just a poor attempt at delegitimizing a contest that you're bitter with, but it's still absurd. You're going to have to try better. Besides, you have yet to assert what, precisely, is unfair about everyone being given the same number of votes, regardless of whether it's one or 15.

Now on to logic: when you start with an unsubstantiated assumption (getting more than one vote is bad!) and use it to draw a conclusion (the contest is wretched because people get to vote multiple times), the conclusion is only as valid as the original assertion. Since your original assertion has no logical basis in fact, at least not one that you've yet articulated, your conclusion is in a similar predicament.

Thanks for a reminder that ... (Below threshold)
virge:

Thanks for a reminder that "cheaters never prosper."

Kevin,Thanks for a... (Below threshold)

Kevin,

Thanks for all of the hard work and the increased linkage from polls. I've now jumped 2 spots in the Ecosystem. It's appreciated. Truthfully, I can't believe anyone actually voted for me. Maybe a few beers makes my blog look better, kind of like beer-blog goggles.

What part of "One person, o... (Below threshold)

What part of "One person, one vote" is so hard to understand?

Gerard - I am tiring of you... (Below threshold)

Gerard - I am tiring of your incesant whining. It's my contest. I never said it was one person one vote. There were reasons for that choice all of which will be completly lost upon you. In a nutshell it was to prevent the Instalanche effect. But here is the final word: You obviously forgot to read the FAQ.

Also it is common courtesy to apologize when sending mutliple trackbacks to the same post. That makes extra work for me deleting them. Sending trackbacks to unrelated posts is simply rude. I've been tolerant of this up to this point, but that's over.

But stay tuned this evening I think I know what the real problem is, and I've got the solution...

hi ladies & gents ... (Below threshold)
eugene murphy:

hi ladies & gents
not surprised there is a cheating uproar in an election when lgf is running best of whatever over all and totten is emerging as most liberal. is harris woman near? thought jim baker was on a plane to iraq? is diebold doing the tabulating? doubtless joe lieberman will shortly release a helpful statement.

eugene murphy

I started voting on the var... (Below threshold)

I started voting on the various categories but stopped when I got to "Best Foreign Blog." This Americentric idea of "foreign" is rather strange in the blogosphere, where national boundaries don't apply the way they do in the physical world.

Listen, I hope I didnt scre... (Below threshold)
Don:

Listen, I hope I didnt screw up. I voted when I got home last night and then again this morning figuring you were counting at 12a.m. and 12p.m. Please let me know if this is correct.

Kevin never said one person... (Below threshold)

Kevin never said one person = one vote.
Kevin also said that if you didn't like the way this was run, you were more than welcome to start your own awards.

I think some people are missing the point that this is for fun. Whether you win or don't win, your life will not be forever changed.

hi ladies and gents:... (Below threshold)
eugene murphy:

hi ladies and gents:
michelle ma belle: cheating scandal=fun? lgf is a fun blog? you will be shown to be further incorrect in surmise that its all mere ha-ha, as totten uses results to tout "i am a lib, hear me snore" vichy embossed credentials. do you know mary lott?
eugene murphy

Okay, maybe eugene's life w... (Below threshold)

Okay, maybe eugene's life will be forever changed. I stand corrected.

Dear Kevin, Please accept m... (Below threshold)

Dear Kevin, Please accept my sincere apologies for inadvertently sending more than one trackback. I regret the extra work it caused you. Given the fact that you have been managing this contest I am sure you have more than enough work to do already.

As for the "whining" well I can't do a whole lot about the tone heard in the heads of those who read. But I assure you that if I spoke what I've written to you, whining would not be the tone you would hear.

It's been my experience that those who are the targets of criticism tend to "hear" that criticism through internal filters that apply tones to the content that did not exist at the time of transmission.It is a kind of internal buffer and all too human. Indeed, that's why smilies were born. Perhaps, in the future, when all comments are in audio this little problem will go away.

After some reflection I've decided that everybody here should vote early and vote often and vote without letup until the last ding-dong of doom. I've finally seen this as what it is, a "Way-New Democracy" voting system that even Diebold must envy, if not emulate.

As a service to those who like to vote a lot and in quantity, it might be a good idea to provide instructions on how to set up a fully automated chron job that would make sure the person's vote got in as soon as the system allowed them to vote again. It would save a lot of trouble in having to remember to vote.

Thanks.

It would be really nice to ... (Below threshold)
Tom:

It would be really nice to know what most of your "categories" mean. Maybe it's clear to those who visit this site often, but
"Best Large Mammals Ecosystem Level Blog" means absolutely nothing to me, and makes it that much harder to determine which of the sites listed best fits whatever "Best Large Mammals Ecosystem Level Blog" means.

Next year you should have a... (Below threshold)
Autumn:

Next year you should have a best Libertarian post.
I just found this blog that I love! Samizdata.net.
I am a conservative, but I like the topics discussed and it has a really cool international flavor and discusses UK/EU issues in a way that make you feel like an insider. It's also constructed nicely.

Okay, Gerard, I've h... (Below threshold)
Joni:

Okay, Gerard, I've heard enough out of you. I was happy to sit by and merely read your pithy remarks. But aren't you being just a bit hypocritical here, accusing Kevin of applying internal "filters" to what others say? Whose feathers got in a ruffle when One Fine Jay pointed out some "underhandedly malicious" trackbacks? Why, none other than yourself, sir. And turns out, it wasn't you that he was referring to at all. That would make you extremely self-centered or extremely sensitive. Or both. Take those filters off in your own head. You may be amazed at what worlds then open up to you.

Oh, and thanks a BUNCH for giving all of Kevin's readers your permission to "vote a lot and in quantity." Personally, I wouldn't have dared sally forth without YOUR permission. I mean, it's Kevin's web site and his poll and his contest, but what the hell, right?

That is all. Carry on.

Not to put too fine a point... (Below threshold)

Not to put too fine a point on it, Joni, the "trackback" you key on wasn't malicious, but inadvertant as stated.

very nice and informal comm... (Below threshold)
hans:

very nice and informal comments

great joy being here..... (Below threshold)

great joy being here..




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