Hacking Online Polls

To: Russell Woodford <>
Subject: Hacking Online Polls
From: Carl Clifford <>
Date: Sat, 28 Feb 2009 22:31:43 +1100

You are correct, I was not advocating hacking, I was giving examples of how easy it is to hack on line polls such as the Age's, though I must admit that the temptation to hack the yes vote by several million votes was tempting, so as to make the yes vote look rather dodgy. I believe the Age poll on duck shooting had closed before I posted the hack links, or it certainly seemed to have been when I checked it on it yesterday. The only poll open then was about something called "Oaks Day Debacle" Is that some tree planting thing that went wrong?

Actually, going by some of the posts on B-A, I must be one of the few on the list to have only voted once.


Carl Clifford

On 28/02/2009, at 8:36 PM, Russell Woodford wrote:

I don't think Carl or anyone else was suggesting that anyone should hack the duck hunting poll on The Age website! What we're saying is that online polls are fraught with problems - even those that are scripted to disallow a second vote from the same computer can be hacked by anyone with scripting knowledge. One way of making these polls a little more verifiable is requiring every voter to leave a name and comment - at least that makes it difficult to generate multiple votes from one source, though not impossible.

I maintain my original belief that the poll result was hacked to give a high pro-hunting vote. But the hunting lobby could just as easily claim that the 40% of anti-hunting votes were hacked and that there is a far smaller voice against duck hunting. Who knows?

Russell Woodford

Birding-Aus List Owner

Geelong   Victoria   Australia


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