Thursday June 23, 2011
Manipulation suspected in online poll on rally
PETALING JAYA: On Monday evening, The Star Online put up a poll on the proposed Bersih 2.0 rally on July 9.
The poll asked respondents for their opinion: should it be cancelled or should it be allowed to go on.
In less than a day, it drew more than a million responses, which caused the online team to suspect that the results were being mani-pulated.
Typically, the online polls at-tract an average of about 30,000 responses over several days.
Furthermore, the total number of unique visitors to The Star Online is about 400,000 per day, lending further credence to suspicions that there was manipulation.
This could be done in several ways, for example, through scrip-ted routines or “bots” that come in to a site to perform the same task multiple times.
Indeed, an initial examination of our site logs showed up to one million submissions to the poll page from just one IP address.
Therefore, acting upon the belief that the poll results were tainted, we decided to take the survey offline just before noon on Tuesday.
We have lodged a report with the police and Malaysian Com-munications and Multimedia Commission.
We regret that our effort to give the public a voice has been tainted by this act of manipulation.
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