Friday, December 09, 2005

 

MDE, "Erik", and Freeping.

From Wikipedia: Freeping is ... the act of directing the members to influence an online poll. See Influencing polls.

Don't know if you've been keeping up with MDE lately; however, I just wanted to inform everyone of an interesting little side note in his recent attacks against Steve Kelley. In
this post "Erik", a commenter, has his own blog with a link to the poll in the Duluth Superior. Under normal circumstances, one thinks "oh, a link to the poll...I'll go vote." Warning - don't use this link.

http://forums.duluthsuperior.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=kr-duluthgenera&tid=634&vote=2&submit=Vote

The link above, which "Erik" so kindly provides, automatically votes for taking down the sign. Take a close look at the querystring, and where you see "vote=2".... 2 = "Take down the sign." So while you technically *can* change your vote, most readers are going to click to the poll, see that they've already voted, perhaps wonder "hmm, why did that happen" and go away. This is an underhanded and slimy way of spiking polls.

I'm not saying that MDE had anything to do with this. However, getting this backhanded Freep into this poll is pretty low, and I'm of the opinion that this comment should be removed. If MDE claims to have reality-based information about Minnesota Democrats, the least MDE could do is provide a clean link to the poll to let true opinions show through instead of allowing commenters to sleaze their way to unscientific poll victories. Slimy.

As it stands, the newspaper is being informed of this error, and hopefully their poll security will be a bit better in the future.

[Update]: Erik has changed the link in his blog to something a bit more benign, in response to a comment. Frankly, I'm inclined to believe that it was more than a simple and honest mistake - if you want people to see a poll, it's neither difficult nor uncommon to link them to the initial poll page instead of the complete page which happens to contain a "Yes" vote in the url. Weak.

Comments:
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Blogger Minnesota Democrats Exposed said:
I would have removed the link if I knew this was occuring.
 
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Blogger lloydletta said:
I noticed that Michael Brodkorb/MDE has now removed the comment.
 
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Blogger MN Campaign Report said:
MDE - I believe you. It's Erik I'm not sure we can trust. Caveat Blogtor.....or something like that :)
 
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Blogger Erik said:
I apologize. It was an honest mistake. I did check the site when I saw your comment and saw that you were correct. However, it was a simple process for someone to change their vote once they were directed to the site.

Once again, it was a mistake. I voted in the poll and made a mistake of linking to that page. That is the 'conspiracy'. Check my blog, I haven't been doing this for that long, and am learning as i go.
 
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Blogger Erik said:
as you see i have posted all your comments, even the ones you assumed i wouldnt.
 
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