One of the cool things about WordPress is they provide you with all kinds of useful data about your blog; not only do you get an accurate count of how many people are visiting and what they’re reading, but it also lets you know where they are coming from. With one click, I can see which sites are linking to me and how many people visited Darth Mojo as a result of those links. Naturally, if I see an unfamiliar site suddenly pointing hundreds of people my way, I click over to them to see what all the fuss is about (usually it’s someone telling his or her readers to check out a post). Today I noticed a few dozen people had been referred to my blog from a discussion group I’d never heard of, so I clicked the link to investigate. And that’s when I discovered the cheaters.
One of the finalists in my XXL Kirk contest apparently really wants to win, because he created a thread in this forum asking people to check out the contest and vote for him. Not a big deal, really – I’ve gotten plenty of emails in the past asking me to help out a friend and cast a vote in his favor – but there were a few things in this thread that made me sit up and take notice.
First of all, the general attitude of the thread was “who cares which image you actually think is best, just vote for our buddy!” Is winning this contest really so important that people need to betray their artistic integrity for it? What was even more sinister was the pledge of multiple users to find a way to vote more than once. Basically, the polling software only allows for one vote per IP address – so, if one person can get access to multiple computers, they can cast a vote from every computer they can get their hands on. That means if the suspect in question is a student, they could hop onto every machine in school, go to Darth Mojo, and potentially cast hundreds of fraudulent votes for their friend.
While there is nothing illegal about this, it clearly goes against the spirit of fair play and, in the eyes of most people, would constitute cheating. I am therefore left with little choice but to make a public announcement and officially tell the contestant in question GOOD FOR YOU! If Kirk can get away with cheating on the Kobayashi Maru – an act that fans have not only tolerated but applauded – then clearly such action is in the spirit of Star Trek and I wholeheartedly endorse it.
Creative thinking is rewarded here at Darth Mojo and if you can come up with a clever way to secure more votes, I say go for it! Cheat your little hearts out. I may even come up with an extra prize to whomever most flagrantly and obviously cheats in order to win.