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Fixing Polls: An Open Letter to MSNBC.com

This letter was sent to the management of MSNBC. In light of
the blatant poll-fixing at MSNBC, I would suggest you do the same.
The letter was sent to [email protected], [email protected],
[email protected], and [email protected] –Kevin Reichard

Check out:


http://linuxtoday.com/news_story.php3?ltsn=2000-09-15-008-21-OP-CY-MS

At least we were open about asking our readers to vote for
Linux, but to rig an online poll is something that MSNBC should
worry about: someone with a pro-Microsoft agenda is clearly
unleashing a bot to manipulate the results of the online poll. As
an impartial news-gathering organization, you have a responsbility
to present an unbiased forum. It strains creduility that 50,000
votes were tallied SOLELY for Microsoft 2000/ME on a Saturday
morning.

As you know, Microsoft has a track record of rigging online
polls; those attempts have been well-documented at Linux Today and
other Web sites. I actually expected more from MSNBC. It also casts
a pall on the credibility of NBC; getting into bed with Microsoft
probably was a bad move, but for NBC to allow Microsoft to alter
the news when it is not flattering to Microsoft is truly
saddening.

As one of our readers pointed out:

> > Something is wrong with the poll.
> > Linus is dramatically dropping.
>
> Linux is in 3rd place with 18%.

Someone is definitively ‘fixing’ this poll. We’ve had a total of
nearly 30,000 votes in 2 days. This morning, in a few hours we’re
reached almost 80,000 votes. Initially this surge was almost 100%
in favor of NT/W2K which had at some point 48% of the total. Now
the vote is being distributed to every OS but Linux. I’m amazed by
the scale of this manipulation. I guess we should have seen it
coming.

—-

And as another reader pointed out:

How can it be?

Four hours ago I looked, and linux had 38% of around 37000 votes
and Windows NT had only 19%.

Now 4 hours later there are almost 100,000 votes and Linux is in
last place. For two days the voting had been slow and all of a
sudden Windows votes sky rocket. There is definitively someone
manufacturing the percentages!

—-

–Kevin Reichard
Managing Editor, Linux/Open Source Channel
internet.com