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[Plugin: WP-Polls] Suggestions for dealing with poll spam?

  • I started a poll a few days ago. I typically get around 10 votes a day, so when the vote count hit 100 within 2 days, I knew something was up.

    I checked the poll logs and sure enough, I could see 5-vote bursts from the same IP address at the same time, like this:

    Guest 91.217.90.28 / 91.217.90.28 February 8, 2012 @ 7:10 pm
    Guest 91.217.90.28 / 91.217.90.28 February 8, 2012 @ 7:10 pm
    Guest 91.217.90.28 / 91.217.90.28 February 8, 2012 @ 7:10 pm
    Guest 91.217.90.28 / 91.217.90.28 February 8, 2012 @ 7:10 pm
    Guest 91.217.90.28 / 91.217.90.28 February 8, 2012 @ 7:10 pm

    Later the IP would be slightly different, such as 91.207.90.28.

    I’m pretty sure this is where the spammer got his idea:

    http://www.holisticsearch.co.uk/2010/10/20/faking-a-poll-result-the-spammers-view/

    Possible solutions:

    1) Blocking the IP – this is not a good idea because in my example alone, over 10 different IPs have been used, and they’re probably fake anyway.

    2) Blocking bots – the Bad Behavior plugin does a very good job of this, and I only recently disabled it as an experiment to see how much legitimate traffic was being blocked. That also likely explains how I’ve been running wp-polls for over 2 years, and this is the first time I’ve had a spam problem.

    3) Fixing the problem that allows this kind of spam – this might be a design issue, not an easy thing to fix. Lester?

    4) Changing to a different poll plugin – do any of the others have a way around this or do they all suffer from such spam?

    5) Managing the problem – if I could do bulk vote deletes, I would just do that before closing the poll so as to have clean final results.

    Suggestions?

    Jacob

    http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/wp-polls/

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  • Followup question: I just noticed that with this poll – which allows a voter to choose more than one answer – there is now a higher number of voters (348) than votes (310).

    How is that possible?

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