Monday, 18 June 2007

More manipulation of ninemsn online poll

After exposing the manipulation of ninemsn's online poll a couple of weeks ago I sent an email to ninemsn pointing out that their polling software had issues and was being tampered with to favour left wing issues. They sent a response a few days later saying it had been forwarded to the news department for review.

The latest poll to suffer this attack is "Should school corporal punishment be reintroduced?" This time, the manipulation has been in favour of what would be considered a right wing position - the yes vote. I would have a fair bet that the same people manipulating previous polls to favour left wing positions are using this one to try and show there's an 'other side' doing the same thing.

The following are the initial, mid point and last screen captures through the first 30 or so hours of the poll.

16-June: 9.22AM - Yes 1,084; No 505 - Y/N ratio 2.147


16-June: 11.12PM - Yes 39,209; No 17,216 - Y/N ratio 2.277


17-June: 4.58PM - Yes 52,498; No 23,210 - Y/N ratio 2.262


As can be seen, for over 30 hours the polling is consistently running 2:1 with the yes vote. When I checked ninemsn this morning the following was the poll status:

18-June: 8.51AM - Yes 261,122; No 33,832 - Y/N ratio 7.718


Between late yesterday afternoon and this morning the votes have been: Yes-208,624, No-10,622 - Y/N ratio 19.641.

I estimate that there are around 185,000 fake votes in this poll calculated as: 208624 - (10622 x 2.2).

Is the fact that people are manipulating ninemsn's poll serious in the grand scheme of things? Not normally. However, in the current highly charged political climate leading up to the election at the end of the year, the manipulation of polls is clearly aimed at influencing public opinion.

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