[thelist] Online poll issues

Simon Willison simon at incutio.com
Wed Apr 3 04:36:01 CST 2002

Rachel Cunliffe wrote:

>Hi all,
>Would anyone be interested if I wrote an article (yeeks, my first) on evolt
>regarding the issues (read validity problems, potential biases) surrounding
>online polling/surveys?  I teach statistics at a university here and took a
>class discussion recently on this topic.. seems that most online
>polls/surveys could really use a disclaimer and a bit of thought...
Sounds like a great idea for an article to me... I've lost count of the
number of times I've had to explain to people on line forums that, short
of making people register for your site and pay some kind of
subscription fee (which even then is open to abuse by those with fat
wallets) there is no way of preventing people from cheating in polls. It
could probably make a really good article - ways to make cheating
harder, things to log, patterns to look out for in your logs and finally
why you are wasting your time running an important online poll in the
first place ;)

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