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How to win or cheat ANY online voting contest – Whole Whale
It’s no secret that I’m not a fan of voting competitions, especially ones that are built irresponsibly. That’s why I’ve set out to create the definitive guide on breaking (/cheating) poorly designed nonprofit voting problem with voting competitions is that they pit nonprofits against each other for a prize that usually doesn’t come close to the true cost of the votes that these organizations push to get. What’s more, they run the risk of burning out the supporters of these great organizations.
In the worst case scenario, one organization decides to cheat because the system is designed with flaws by some marketing firm and they see a way to easily game the system to win money for their great cause. I am not justifying or endorsing cheating – I actually believe the only way to win these contests is by not playing. However, in an effort to scare the pants off of people creating these contests I decided to create this Whole Whale does not cheat on behalf of our clients. It is not a service WW offers nor will ever! @WholeWhale just wrote the guide on how to beat most nonprofit online voting contests. Click To Tweet
Step 1: Figure out how it is built
Online voting competitions will use a variety of ways to track votes through a website. Here are the most common building technical:
A Web Form Built with the GET method
This method (low security) means that the form will push the data into the URL and you will see it. e. g. to break: Find that URL and go ham on the refresh button. Hide the cookies and IP address if they are tracking. Post that link anywhere you can and every click will equal a vote. Honestly, no reputable contest will be built this way because it isn’t 2006, but hey, you never know…
A Web Form Built with the POST method
This method (medium security) means that the form will push the data through the body of the request and will not show in the to break: you may be able to use the back button if cookies aren’t being set. If they are being set you can hide cookies with a browser like Chrome with cookies disabled. If they built it correctly you will need a more advanced human assisted tech approach (see step 2 below).
Cookies – contests that don’t require a sign in and allow anonymous votes depend on cookies that may have timers in some cases. To break: clear your cookies, vote, repeat. Use Chrome and a cookie remover to block the cookies of the site, if it still lets you vote you’re all set to click away. The browser has very good privacy protection that will block this type of tracking. Cookie and IP on mobile – if you are using a mobile device you can try switching to airplane mode and using a wifi network to confuse the IP tracking. IP – Some use the IP to determine location voting. You can use a proxy server or a local VPN like Hotspot Account – This will require multiple accounts and a more advanced approach to get enough votes. Depending on how the account is authenticated, it may be not be possible to automate mass confirmation – This is the most common system I see, it requires an email to be confirmed from the inbox with the link to record the vote.
Step 2: Human assisted automation
The following are various tactics which can be combined to break most voting systems with a little help from third party tools. In order to not look suspicious it is important not to show suspiciously large voting counts – I can immediately tell if a distribution of votes is unnatural and violating an expected power law (20% of the contestants getting 80% of the total votes). In one case we spotted this in a contest one of our clients were considering and we advised them not to participate – later we found several articles on the cheating that had Whole Whale does not cheat on behalf of our clients. It is not a service WW offers nor will ever offer.
A macro is a program that you can setup on a computer that goes through a series of clicks and keyboard strokes on a timed interval. If a voting system doesn’t require a captcha or other human test, a macro can be created to go through a voting cycle unabated. Combine these tools with a hotspot shield and cookies disabled on a computer can break most non-email verification process. Some tools:
Macro Express – downloadable software that will let you turn your computer into a bot that is timed to click and enter information as toHotkey – downloadable software that will let you click the heck out of buttons or load pages.
For secure voting systems that don’t have strict email confirmations, there are ways to generate emails quickly. These email hacks can also be used to create accounts for systems the require logins.
Any single Gmail, Hotmail, Yahoo or normal domain email address can be made into thousands of emails by adding a “+” or “. ” after the name and before the “@” sign. For example, can be and the email will still be delivered to your you own your own domain, you can create a bunch of aliases for one email ilinator – this is a site that will generate emails for you on demand and give you a quick inbox that the confirmation link will be sent to. Using a variety of email domains can help make this look less spammy. This is a list of temporary email domains hosted via mailinator:
For a nominal amount of money, an organization can purchase votes or emails through ‘Vote Brokers’. These groups will do your bidding in the same way they translate audio to text or do other simple outsource tasks for companies. Technically it is against the Amazon Turk policy to pay workers to vote – which is great. However you can still hire someone on a site like UpWork to build a script that could use the above tactics.
A proxy vote traditionally means that a voter transfers their right to vote to a third party. Massive lists of proxy accounts can be managed by a single person simply logging in one by one and voting. Imagine if political staffers could collect permission to vote on behalf of voters in a district in perpetuity — not really the will or action of a crowd, but highly best way to win a nonprofit voting competition is by not entering. Click To Tweet
Finally, for the contest creators
This post is meant to ruin poorly designed voting competitions and to scare anyone thinking about building a nonprofit voting competition. I hate the idea of cheating nonprofits and I think that starts when a contest doesn’t use responsible design.
Responsible Contest Design Questions
Can your online system be quickly gamed by the exploits above? (I beg you not to use GET requests or anonymous voting)Can you use a third party authentication to stop the email hack? Is the prize pool large enough to make an expected value equation make sense for all participants?
Expected Value for Voting Contest = Prize amount * (total # winners / total # charities)
Do the nonprofits involved get to keep the voter data that relates to their org? In the case of emails, do they get them? Is there a way to build this so that every participant wins in some way? Is the time frame limited so there is only a small window of nonsense voting requests? Is there a clever way to design the voting process so that it actually produces some positive impact for the nonprofit? e. g. voters have to submit photos they take of the cause that the nonprofit can have access to later for their photo database. Or they must submit 1 idea that they think would improve their work. you use a threshold voting, where nonprofits need to get to X votes to be considered by a panel? This caps the voting nonsense while still getting a bit of the network effect you are hoping for your brand. This pairs well with a social integration.
I hope these questions will spur some more creative approaches to contest design and will add more value to the nonprofits who Whole Whale does not cheat on behalf of our clients. It is not a service WW offers nor will ever offer. Also, please don’t reach out to us to vote for your contest.
So there you have it – our guide to breaking online voting contests so your nonprofit can win. And more importantly, to bring transparency to this one-sided marketing tactic.
Even more awesome resources
To truly leverage the power of Facebook Fundraisers, you and your team need a clear and easy-to-read view of the data. Sound like a lot of work? Thankfully, Whole Whale’s already done the work for you with this Facebook Google Data Studio dashboard! Check it out!
Facebook Fundraiser Dashboard Template
Plus, download this free, simple checklist to make sure you’re covering all your bases when you set up your next nonprofit campaign!
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How to prevent cheating (extra votes) in online contests?
Mitigating Cheating & Voter Fraud in Online Contests…
We run online contests of various sorts that involve users voting on entries (usually one vote per user per day). The prizes range from hundreds to thousands of dollars. Over the last four years we have encountered a number of ways people try to cheat, and have implemented couter-measures in each case. As it stands, we use the following measures:
A user must create an account and authenticate (log in). This rules out anonymous vote stuffing.
A user must confirm their email address by clicking a link in a system email to confirm they own and have access to their address. This rules out creating accounts en masse using random (not necessarily valid) email addresses. It also slows down the process a little for one account, and a lot if you’re trying to create many.
No Gmail Address Aliases
Users cannot use instant alias addresses such as That slows down potential cheaters.
We routinely audit our signups and voting rosters for strings of email addresses that come from the same private domain (,, etc. ). We also look for similar names, usernames, and “local-parts” of email addresses across domains.
We also show voting result updates on a daily basis, so there’s no instant feedback. That way, if someone is trying to cheat, it will take a day to see any results, and unless they went big, they won’t know for sure if their method was successful. We try to be as much of a “black box” as possible.
Needless to say, this is all exhausting and getting harder and harder to scale up. We need an easier solution to ensure that we get a lot closer to “one person, one vote” in our contests, while not burdening the user beyond need in the process.
We have explored the possibility of using SMS to attach mobile numbers to accounts in order to verify the person; the jury is still out on this approach:, and Can SMS text messages be used to verify a person’s unique identity through a short code system?.
Some suggestions have included using credit cards, mail-in verification, reputation points … but these are all much too onerous for our target users.
What more can we do automatically in the back end to 1) identify cheaters, and more importantly 2) prevent them from even cheating?
We decided not to make our fraud protection leak-proof because one of the developers pointed out “the harder you make it for people to cheat, the harder it is to detect cheating. ” Instead, we are utilizing a medieval Chinese hunting technique called a three-sided Battue. By making it very difficult to cheat in most ways, but relatively easy to slip through in other ways, we know exactly what to look for and eliminate before the voting results are updated.
We look for patterns in votes, such as one contestant receiving a string of evenly timed votes, then look at the accounts associated with those votes. If there’s a pattern to the accounts, we eliminate those accounts, and the associated votes disappear with them.
Get online votes fast | votes cheat – Buy Contest Votes
Many of us participated in online contests and wondered how to buy online contest votes or get absolutely free? How to get votes in online voting? All known online voting is quite secure and if you try to vote for one person or even 5, the process takes a long time. However, there are options:How to get more votes by yourself? If you want to get more votes, win a prize or just 1 place, then it is important not to “get busted” that was an artificial increase in ways “online votes cheat”First adviceFirst advice – if the vote binding to the IP of the computer, you can help any anonymizer changing IP addresses. Most often these addresses have already been blacklisted. There is a great chance to disgrace and lose even hope of winning. You can also download a program to vote on some sites and pick up a virus that will harm your operating adviceSecond advice – you need somewhere to get a lot of proxy. You can try to search in Google for requests PROXY LIST, free proxy today, free proxy. It is possible to enter these proxies manually in the browser, that will take a lot of time. And it is possible to use programs like Switcher/FoxyProxy Standard/One Click Proxy IP/Proxy Switchy, such IP addresses often jumps out complicated captcha, that will slow down the process. You can buy a paid proxy server for 1 thousand IP addresses be ready to give from 20-100$ adviceThird advice – to vote in contests you need to change not only the IP address and RUB cookies, but also to change the User Agent. To quickly change the type and version of the browser, you can use the browser extensions for User Agent Override or, for example, user-agent switcher for chrome. It is possible to get 200-250 votes per day using such simple adviceFourth advice – to vote, you’ll need social media accounts or email addresses to confirm your votes. And somewhere need both of them. All of them are sold on the Internet. Look for the stores social networking accounts. The average price for 1 account is 20-50 cents. I think, it will not be difficult for you. Mailboxes can also be bought in such stores the price of mail is 5-10 cents. However, it often happens that a lot of accounts are blocked and the costs adviceFifth advice – do not look for special programs for “how to cheat on online voting polls” to learn how to get votes. All such programs are written by hackers with one goal in mind – to steal important information from your computer, phone or to make bitcoin mining for them. None of these programs work, and your computer or laptop will slow you thought: – “How they steal Bank information and accounts of social networks? ” Yes, there are some guys, who trade crime and steal other people’s information. It is nothing Holy in their life, it`s the lyrics of course. Morality we will not read. You understand the video on YouTube on this topic, there is very clearly shown how everything happens through free cheat programs. All these “free” programs will cost you a pretty penny and shake your nerves. Entrust voting to us we know how to get online votes fast! Entrust voting to professionals who know exactly how to get online votes fast for your polls and votes. We will not make the experts of the contest doubt the credibility of the votes. We offer you a service, where you can get you still wondering how to get votes on any website? You can buy votes in the contest with us! We are always ready to make a test of 20-50 votes. We provide online voting service quickly, efficiently and professionally.