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Voting for your favorite entries in contests Answered

Instructables members can vote for an entry during the contests plus 3 days after the contests close, which helps the Instructables staff in selecting few of the finalists.

This has lead to many of the contest entries carrying out "Vote for me" campaign even before the entry is accepted in a particular contest. Entrants also send personal messages to other members asking for votes for their entry and also seek votes in reply to comments.

Almost all of the contests carry huge prizes for the winners, which no other DIY website other than Instructables is offering. So, everybody wants to win contests and spend so much of their time and money to produce outstanding DIY projects.

However, due to the voting system to decide part of the finalists, somebody may exercise some unfair means to get selected as a finalist.

What if a member has garnered considerable amount of vote bank and every time gets a fair amount of votes for their entries in the contests?

What if a member has created few fake accounts and vote for themselves through that fake accounts?

Is there a way to keep a check on this kind of unfair means?


Fake accounts are checked for, and eliminated.

If a member has a lot of followers, that is usually because they have consistently produced projects worth following, so would get those votes anyway.

I haven't seen any full-on campaigns for quite some time, several years, in fact, but there is nothing wrong with that happening. On-site, the worst it can be is annoying (which will cost the author votes). Off-site, if they are pulling in folk from Facebook, Twitter etc, then they must join the site to vote, so it's likely that the project is worth the vote anyway.

What would you consider to be a 'fake account'. Is it an account that hasn't posted any 'Ibles, or an account that is very inactive?

If an account doesn't have any comments, projects or a low number of logins it raises red flags for us. :)

Personally, I would say it's an account operated by, or for the benefit of, another member. They're sometimes called "sockpuppet" accounts.

The boffins at HQ have ways and means of identifying and dealing with them.

Hopefully this will make contests a lot more fair, one can hope.

We do have a system in place to check votes!

I keep an eye on it and take it into account when selectting finalists. :)

We are able to do this via checking the number of logins for each account that voted and also their IP. If we see many new accounts with low (1-2) logins on an IP, that is a sign that someone's being a sketchy bird.

Also, folks are not very good at being sneaky about it, so we tend to check usernames as well. Very often the person doing the vote spamming is just creating the same account with different numbers at the end. ;)

Though, with all that said, cheating is VERY rare around here. I've been contest manager for over a year now and I've only seen a few instances.

Sounds like you've aquired a lot of experience over a year! :-)