[thelist] Online poll issues

Simon Willison simon at incutio.com
Wed Apr 3 07:31:00 CST 2002

Josh wrote:

>First of all what can we keep track of.  Computer name and IP?  I
>realize this starts to break down when you consider Computers with
>multiple users.
>What about a timing mechanism.  Still... Yeah... Come on, there should
>be a way to do this.
There isn't, plain and simple. If someone wants to cheat in your poll
they will - be it by deleting their cookies, changing their IP address
(for example dialling up to another connection on a modem), using a
different web browser or even goign to a seperate computer and voting again!

You can make it "inconvenient" for people to cheat in your poll using
cookies, IP address and so forth, but you can never completely stop
someone who is determined to cheat. The most you can do is log the
details of every single vote made so that if you suspect foul play you
can go back through the logs and look for patterns that suggest someone
has been cheating the system.

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