I’m just making a quick post in reference to a little skit that you may have seen tonight on Mad as Hell. The sketch simultaneously interviewed reporters from five different News Limited publications, asking if the concentration of media left us with too few voices. They all supplied the exact same response in unison, claiming that they were all unique publications, and did not all say the same thing.
Whether you’re polling the opinion of your reader base, taking votes for an award or running a competition on your website, you probably have some concerns about your system being abused by the hate machine we call the internet. Someone may skew a poll to sway the public perception of popular opinion; Some prize pig may spam an online competition to hog all the prizes. If you’re running any form of online submission system, the measures to prevent abuse need to increase proportionally with the incentive to break them. Why do I say proportional? Because there’s a trade-off, and it’s a bit of a balancing act.