LAST EDITED ON 10-Jun-99 AT 08:18 AM (GMT)
LAST EDITED ON 10-Jun-99 AT 06:22 AM (GMT)
I've noticed that the votes for Irek have really taken off since last Sunday - to the point where I thought I had better look in the log-files and see what was going on.
My feeling was that perhaps I would find some multiple voting going on. Well there is a little, but not much at all.
However the number of hits we are getting from Russian address has effectively gone through the roof. Now the logs don't say how people vote, just the domain (service provider) they come from. So I suppose all of these voters from Russia may have been really routing for David Bintley! But I suspect not in reality. The other noticeable thing is that until Sunday there are no votes from Russian domains and then there is a very steady stream - there is a real step function in this which leads me to conclude that a few emails have circulated or that news of our poll is on some Russian dance site.
If we were to assume that all the visitors from Russia vote for Irek then about half of his votes are effected.
I see no other particular distortions in voting. But going through 10Mb of log files is no fun I can tell you.
Shortly the RB AD poll will stop, but we will be bringing it back from time to time - how we stop or handle such distortions in the future needs to be considered.
Edit - some of you may be interested in what the log files contain. Well not so very much as it happens. Here are 3 lines from the log. For clarity I've stripped out the stuff about what page was being interacted with to just leave the domain information and time of access detail. At the time of writing there are 50,000 such lines in our log file and the file was opened last Monday. Next Monday another one starts. If you didn't know all web sites have log files like this and as you can see the information is not really enough to identify users - yet alone what they may have input. Here are the 3 lines....
access_log(42466): dialup40.bancorp.ru - - <09/Jun/1999:15:41:43 0000>
access_log(43113): spider-wa063.proxy.aol.com - - <09/Jun/1999:17:56:00 0000>
access_log(43872): bearhub.bear.com - - <09/Jun/1999:22:01:24 0000>