How To Deal With Vote Fraud

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If you run a popular voting contest where the stakes are high, chances are some people might try to cheat to increase their odds of winning. At its core, the internet is an anonymous protocol so there's no easy way to verify voters identity.

Our algorithm takes into account the IP address and uses cookies to ensure that participants can't vote twice. If a participant votes with a previously used IP address, the application will validate their Facebook profile ID.

Even with these checks in place, fraud can be quite common. A quick Google search shows how easy it can be to buy votes from the Internet to rig a contest.

With that in mind, here are a few tips to spot voting fraud:

  • Check participants' IP-related countries. If you have a surge of votes coming from a foreign country, this can reveal a fraudulent activity.
  • Look for the same IP address used repeatedly. Sort your Excel spreadsheet by IP address and see if some participants share the same IP address. If you have more than a few participants with the same IP address, this might be a sign that someone is using multiple Facebook profiles to vote.
  • Look at the "Time To Complete" column in your Excel spreadsheet. Votes that are done under 2 seconds or so might be done by an automated voting script.

If you have identified fraud on a large scale and would like to bulk delete answers, you can do so on the Participants section. Click the Add filter link and search participants using a criteria such as country or IP address. A red Delete answers link will appear on the right side of the search box.

Voting fraud is a tricky problem with any open online voting platform. We are constantly working on improving our voting system to address this issue. You may also want to take a few preventive measures, for example by enacting a zero-tolerance voting fraud policy in your contest rules and informing contestants they will be immediately disqualified if they cheat.