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  #1  
Old 02-19-2013, 02:12 PM
undeadcow undeadcow is offline
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Default Editing Polls - Deleting Votes?

Is it possible for a poll creator to delete specific user votes from a forum poll?

This week there are a number of shill votes in the Game of the Week poll from users with accounts created within 3 days that have 0 posts significantly impacting the standings. I am aware there are some ethical considerations with deleting votes (as in GOTY 2012 poll) so am also seeking any advice from the community about how to best mediate suspect fake votes if not deletion.
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  #2  
Old 02-19-2013, 02:27 PM
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Eli Eli is offline
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What's tricky about dealing with these kind of issues is where do you draw the line on what is and isn't a valid vote? I mean, if it's a TA forums user poll, shouldn't people who just lurk be allowed to vote on their favorite games just like people who incessantly post would? We ran into this issue with the game of the year stuff in that there wasn't any clear definition on who can and can't vote. How do you know for sure these are shill votes? I mean, if you don't want to do an open poll that's cool but a thread with an actual poll in it is probably the wrong format if you only want to allow certain people to vote.
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  #3  
Old 02-19-2013, 02:41 PM
undeadcow undeadcow is offline
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Academically I understand this debate; but practically if there is to be any fair polling there should be a guideline/ettiquette. I infer (from "...a thread with an actual poll in it is probably the wrong format...") that you suspect polls should not be utilized at all or that there is a a better format; do you (or anyone else) have a suggestion?
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Originally Posted by Eli View Post
What's tricky about dealing with these kind of issues is where do you draw the line on what is and isn't a valid vote? I mean, if it's a TA forums user poll, shouldn't people who just lurk be allowed to vote on their favorite games just like people who incessantly post would?
That is an insightful response. There's no clear answer and I would not presume to know the solution so I am hoping for some feedback from other TA users before voiding any votes. I would like to udnerstand the community consensus.

On one hand we could allow open polls be lead by whatever tactics anyone employs to vote for a game. This would allow innocent lurkers a voice or feverish fanboys to create an account to elevate their favorite game. However, on the other hand it would be unfortunate if an unpopular developer resorted to a questionable tactic of creating fake accounts resulting in dethroning an otherwise worthy worthy game.
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We ran into this issue with the game of the year stuff in that there wasn't any clear definition on who can and can't vote...
GOTW rules, published in the first post (originated by EchoSeven, the GOTW guru), specifically state developers can not vote for their own game or rally external votes. My concern is that the landslide of votes that occurred within one day may have been corrected directly to that developer; granted there is no definitive proof.
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Originally Posted by Eli View Post
How do you know for sure these are shill votes? I mean, if you don't want to do an open poll that's cool but a thread with an actual poll in it is probably the wrong format if you only want to allow certain people to vote.
There's not way to know for sure if these are shill votes, but if a game launches from no votes to within hours having the majority of votes there is a suspicious due to atypical pattern of activity. Other imperfect indicators might be users who created a new account just during that time and have 0 posts. I can say there appears to be a concensus these votes were fraudulent; for exaple (from GOTW thread):
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Originally Posted by awp69 View Post
For shame, we've got a huge number of 0 post votes for Redneck Revenge.
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Originally Posted by DustCloud13 View Post
I actually liked the game and voted for it, but it appears that mine was the only legitimate vote.

Last edited by undeadcow; 02-19-2013 at 02:48 PM..
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  #4  
Old 02-19-2013, 02:58 PM
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I guess in the future you could tally the votes manually in the first post and require people to post the game they want to vote for (and why) similar to the GOTY nomination stuff? You might get lower participation, and it might be a bit more work, but the thread could also be a decent read as people post their reasoning for their preference. As is, these GOTW threads are largely just a popularity contest, or at least, that's kind of how they seem to outsiders.

That'd completely negate "shill" votes, as it'd be totally obvious if you had someone with one post dropping a response like, "I vote for ______ because it's the greatest game ever!" Most shills, in TouchArcade forum history, have been very low-effort affairs. This could also allow for a greater level of transparency so everyone can see who was voting for what and why without needing to dig through the poll results and looking at user profiles to see who does and doesn't "count."

Maybe?
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Old 02-19-2013, 04:18 PM
undeadcow undeadcow is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli View Post
I guess in the future you could tally the votes manually in the first post and require people to post the game they want to vote for (and why) similar to the GOTY nomination stuff? You might get lower participation, and it might be a bit more work, but the thread could also be a decent read as people post their reasoning for their preference. As is, these GOTW threads are largely just a popularity contest, or at least, that's kind of how they seem to outsiders.

That'd completely negate "shill" votes, as it'd be totally obvious if you had someone with one post dropping a response like, "I vote for ______ because it's the greatest game ever!"
That is a fair suggestion although it would require more work. EchoSeven does the GOTW polls so might ultimately be the one to decide which format is best in successive polls. Another "lower maintenance" possibility might be to require users have at least X number of posts before voting in a specific poll (but that would be to assume "invalid" votes can be manually deleted and require work in itself).
Quote:
Originally Posted by Eli View Post
Most shills, in TouchArcade forum history, have been very low-effort affairs. This could also allow for a greater level of transparency so everyone can see who was voting for what and why without needing to dig through the poll results and looking at user profiles to see who does and doesn't "count."

Maybe?
With the exception of last year's GOTY poll there hasn't seemed to be a lot of controversy surrounding this issue save for this week's GOTW. It's true the GOTW polls can be popularity contests because they are entirely subjective but although not definitive it would seem spiteful if a developer were to tamper with GOTW as a "bad sportsman."

I'll be curious to hear more opinions and will give it some thought but am leaning towards suggesting Redneck Revenge be disqualified altogether from GOTW. In this case it has only 1 vote from an active member originating before this week so is not a contended aside from suspect votes. Future polls should benefit from having better safe guards and clearer rules.
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  #6  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:48 PM
KennyK KennyK is offline
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This is a tricky issue isn't? On one hand, like Eli mentioned, some of the votes may be completely legit, made by "lurkers" who thoroughly enjoyed a game and made an account and voted for it.

On the other hand, TA GotW and GotY gongs to a certain game is extremely prestigious. There's no stopping a developer creating multiple accounts and voting for their one game to get their votes up.

Eli's suggestion for people to post their preferences does make sense. It allows for greater transparency between the legit and the "shill" votes. In addition, posts can distinguish the legit posts from the invalid ones. As Eli mentioned, many of the "shill" posts have been made with very poor efforts.
[I am reminded by those posts made in game threads, where the developer appears to have a conversation with him/her self ]

Perhaps another suggestion would be for such votes to be only counted as a half vote? Clearly, it's not the ideal option, as the line between whether a vote is a full vote or half vote would have to be clearly distinguished. But factors such as join date, and post count would have to clearly come in to consideration.

Undeadcow, I'm in favour of you that RR should be removed. I think that the lesson that should be learnt from this, is to encourage regular members to vote for their favourite game, so that this issue never becomes a problem.
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  #7  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:54 PM
sink_or_swim sink_or_swim is offline
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Votes should only be allowed for people with more then, let's say 50 posts and/or people who are member in the forum for more then 6 months.
All the 0posters on RR should not be counted. I think it's not the first time something like this happens with a bulkypix game.
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  #8  
Old 02-19-2013, 04:55 PM
KennyK KennyK is offline
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I'd like to conclude by saying that I support Eli's option and believe that the best way to handle this is for votes to be tallied up via the number of posts made in favour of a particular game.

Although this may diminish the number of votes made towards a particular game, if one feels strongly towards it, then posting your vote (with a little added reason why) should be a non-issue.

I see why this may require more work. So perhaps this option should only be left for the GOTY award? Otherwise, I'm more than happy to help in any way possible to make this achievable.
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  #9  
Old 02-19-2013, 05:01 PM
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The reason I don't like just looking at people's post count or registration date is because neither of those two values mean you're a good or contributing member of the community. It's easy to be like, "Well just only allow people with over 50 posts vote!" but in actuality someone with 5 really solid well thought out posts is way more valuable than someone with 50 "wow looks good can't wait" and other similar zero content posts.

Anyway, just something to think about. I sort of think this only further sways things into it making more sense to just have people post in the thread. If you're willing to argue for your game, that seems way above the effort threshold of your average poll sabotaging shill.
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  #10  
Old 02-21-2013, 04:05 PM
Connector Connector is offline
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I personally think it should just be open to members or higher. Then we would have almost no problems with shill accounts or developers influencing who wins with tweets. Why can't we just exclude jr members? If it is a rule, no one would question it.

Anyway, my 2 cents worth...
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