Sunday, May 20, 2007

Disappointing poll results...

I must admit, at first I thought this poll was pretty interesting. It was also nice to see atheists taking part and voting. However, I think it is safe to say this is no longer the case. It appears that someone is simply running a script to continuously vote Atheism "is the only rational outlook", probably with the intention of hitting 100% or at least 99% at the most. That's quite unfortunate in my opinion. I think simply by us participating in the poll whether we won or not would have said more than faking the data.

I was going to post a pic of the poll, but decided it was not worth it, since it's very obvious it has been turned into a joke. My reason for this?

1) There were at my last check 46,292 people that had voted.
2) "is the only rational outlook" was at 96%
3) Approximately 6 votes were cast every second (approximately 354 votes each min). I determined this by simply taking 2 snapshots 60 seconds apart. At 5:20pm there were 45,938 then at 5:21 there were 46,292.
4) It is simply not logical for this website to get that much participation. And if it did for real, the poll results would be much different.

Based on the above evidence, and the fact that the other poll barely hit 2,000 votes... My hypothesis is someone has turned this into some contest to brag about. Again, kinda sad. I think it would have been a more powerful message to them if we had simply participated. Oh well.....


Abacquer said...

Yeah I noticed that too. Kinda sucks.

Ohnhai said...

I too was watching the numbers through out the polls short but entertaining life.

Though there were indeed times of staggeringly high jumps in vote numbers they were not the norm. The numbers came in fits and starts. Indeed very much in the pattern you would expect as different web-sites ans time-zones discovered the poll.

Also from research as I was watching the poll, i noted that the news of it's existence spread far and wide amongst the atheist network. Many would have popped on to the the Christianity Today site just to see how Christianity Today was 'mis-representing' atheism this week.

TO their surprise they discovered the 'correct' answer had been included and couldn't help but vote for it.

While one or two people might have found the way to vote more than once (the page generally wont allow you to do this) I would not be at all surprised if the VAST majority of these votes were genuine.

these numbers are not unheard of nor even that spectacular if you consider the 'Slash Dot' effect, when sites can collapse under hundreds of thousands of hits (even millions) resulting from a mention on the Slash dot site.

In this light is it really out of all possibility that around 80k people rocked up for a look-see out of simple curiosity, and then voted?

But the BIG story now is that CT have pulled the poll, without comment or explanation. Silly silly people.