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Meta: This is why we can’t have nice things

The voting widget, which was removed when we started to have some site instability issues, was recently brought back to EphBlog after quite a few reader demands, because many of our readers felt that it provided valuable feedback. However, soon after we launched it, we started to see some pretty suspicious voting patterns, especially on posts written by David Kane. I was stumped for an explanation, until one commenter explained that it was possible to overvote if you clicked on the up/down arrows really really really fast before the widget had a chance to refresh. David and I were unable to replicate this trick, but some other people confirmed that it was possible – if you had very fast fingers and, I guess, a slow internet connection. Now that the trick is out there, the integrity of the voting implement is compromised, and its value is no longer apparent.

So, the voting widget is gone until further notice (read: until we find a way to do it that is not so easily hacked).

So thanks a lot, random bitter anonymous coward internet person! Your obsessive behavior means that EphBlog readers lose a well-liked way to provide both positive and negative feedback. I hope you’re proud about yourself.

And to all other readers except the jerk who ruined it for everyone else: if you want to provide positive feedback about a post, please please please comment on it. And thank you for your patience with us as we continue to sort out our tech problems.

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#1 Comment By Aidan On December 4, 2009 @ 3:05 pm

what about one man, one vote?

#2 Comment By Ronit On December 4, 2009 @ 3:56 pm

@Aidan: That was the idea. It was one IP address, one vote. But apparently the widget is buggy enough to allow overvoting from the same IP if you’re very fast. I underestimated the dickishness of some of our readers.

#3 Comment By Nathan Sanders On December 4, 2009 @ 4:20 pm

You can also cast multiple votes by opening the post in multiple windows/tabs before voting. Then vote in every window/tab. The widget only seems to care about checking IP addresses for the purposes of loading the widget itself, not when counting votes.

#4 Comment By Parent ’12 On December 4, 2009 @ 4:33 pm

Compulsive negative vote syndrome. I’m sorry to read about it.

As one who’d like to see the widget return, is it possible to add more steps so that one doesn’t simply click on an icon.

For example, to use the curvy arrow in the comments section, one has to first be in the comment area, then click on the arrow, then click on submit before anything hits the server.

@Ronit:

If it’s simple to program in more work to vote, but less than writing a comment, could it be done?

#5 Comment By Ronit On December 4, 2009 @ 4:36 pm

@Parent ’12: We could restrict to registered and logged in users only. I’ll think about other alternatives

#6 Comment By Parent ’12 On December 4, 2009 @ 4:41 pm

As I shake my head slowly back and forth, why would anyone bother to vote, vote, vote…

@Nathan Sanders: on how to vote multiple times, not that you do this

And, why expend the time. I’ve spent too much time on this as it is.

#7 Comment By JeffZ On December 4, 2009 @ 4:55 pm

Some people are just lame … bummer.

#8 Comment By PTC On December 4, 2009 @ 5:00 pm

Is there any way to see how many votes were cast? That would be cool.

My Afghanistan post got killed… man…. if you are going to vote pump, please pump me positive!

#9 Comment By Brandi ’07 On December 4, 2009 @ 9:37 pm

Ronit, can we have a Children’s Treasury of Most Hated posts?

#10 Comment By kthomas On December 4, 2009 @ 9:58 pm

Note: I am experimenting with voting widgets.

#11 Comment By Ronit On December 4, 2009 @ 10:01 pm

@Brandi ’07: not a bad idea. It would be a perfect War on Xmas present for our readers.

#12 Comment By David Kane On December 5, 2009 @ 7:05 am

Brandi: Joke or serious? I would be happy to make up such a listing but it would not be, uh, wildly popular among many of our readers.

#13 Comment By Brandi ’07 On December 5, 2009 @ 3:59 pm

@ronit

If you do that, you’d deserve an “Ipod”. There should be a Blingee contest, also.