Show of winders of voices on the Internet. Third season


    For three consecutive years, our company, SKB Kontur, has been holding a competition for small and medium-sized business owners with the corresponding name “ I am a Businessman ”. The main stage of the competition is, of course, on the Internet. From year to year, its rules are slightly adjusted, but generally unchanged and quite simple: you need to have an officially registered business, shoot a short video about it, put it on the page of the competition and gain maximum votes.

    To like this video, you need to leave your mobile phone number in the voting form. An SMS with a unique code will come to it, with which you can leave one vote. Only five SMS messages can be sent from one number during the contest.

    The amount of prizes in the main categories of the competition is quite impressive. Perhaps that is why there are certainly participants who are ready, for the sake of victory, to use not entirely honest methods for obtaining votes. Despite all our warnings, there are more and more cheaters, and their methods are more technologically advanced and elegant.
    For three years, we were able to compile a rating of the most popular methods for obtaining votes (honest and dishonest). We hope that someone will help our article to make voting contests more transparent, but for the cheaters there are certain conclusions.

    TOP 5 dishonest ways


    1. Anonymizer + virtual phone number

    This method was especially popular during the competition "I am a businessman 2015". Its essence is to rent several virtual numbers and use a proxy server to maintain the uniqueness of the list of voters IP addresses. We bought virtual numbers in services like onlinesim.ru , receivesmsonline.com , etc. Some competitors frankly came across this:



    Of course, it would be wrong to subtract votes by searching for such manipulations in open sources. Therefore, we carefully looked at the regional affiliation of telephone numbers and IP addresses from which we voted for the video.

    2. Exchanges of tasks for routine work

    Some contestants posted tasks on such sites with a simple algorithm of actions for performers. The tasks looked something like this:



    Sources of such transitions can be easily viewed, for example, in Google Analytics:




    3. Purchase movie views

    Some of the contestants did not pay for certain tasks, but watched their video targeting the whole world. Apparently in the hope that they would vote for the video even without knowledge of the Russian language:



    We also subtracted such voices in the final count.

    4. Messages on social networks with promises to share the prize in case of winning

    Some contestants promised to share their prize or even give it to the people who voted:




    5. Spamming messages on social networks

    Some participants sent messages to a random (or simply unobvious to us) sample of users with whom they had no social connections. Messages contained a request to vote for a specific video and instructions on how to do it:



    According to our observations, even a certain group of “assistants” was formed who found the accounts of participants on social networks and targetedly offered vote wrapping:



    This is what the five most popular ways of cheating votes look like. But it is much more pleasant to talk about how "law-abiding" participants called for voting.

    How to fight honestly


    1. Social networks

    Among honest ways to encourage the public to vote for their video, of course, social networks are leading. Participants posted messages both on their personal and corporate pages, actively reposted and liked information about the contest, and even created communities:






    2. Forums

    The second most popular way to attract an audience were various thematic forums. For example, one participant (father with many children and beekeeper by occupation) created messages in various forums adapted to the audience of the resource:




    By the way, he won the Internet voting nomination, gaining 3,428 votes.


    3. Corporate sites

    Some participants with their own corporate sites posted information about the competition on them:




    4. Support for local residents

    Somehow, some participants agreed with various local regional portals on the publication of news with an appeal to vote for a fellow countryman:




    Controversial issues


    In one of the participants, we found "packs" of 20-30 votes with a difference of 1-2 minutes. As it turned out later, among the supporters of the contestant were teachers who called on their students to vote. Although we do not support such methods, but, according to the rules of the contest, they were not entitled to deduct votes.




    Funny moments


    One of the contestants asked for help in voting on the well-known in narrow circles site leprosorium.ru, and here is what came of it.
    The message itself:



    And user response:



    Total


    According to statistics, during the course of all competitions, 46 participants took advantage of the markup (9% of the total). In total, about 26,800 votes were revealed (almost 22% of the total). According to our rough estimates, the participants spent a total of about 80 thousand rubles and a large number of hours of their own valuable time for wrapping up.

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