Thoughts, essays, and writings on Liberty. Written by the heirs of Patrick Henry.

May 9, 2007

Ron Paul Supporters = Poll Spammers ?

by Doug Mataconis

Back in March, I noted the controversy that had erupted over the fact that Pajamas Media had removed Ron Paul’s name from their online poll. As it turned out, several weeks later they put Paul back in the poll and he’s been consistently coming in first or second almost every week. Now, it’s becoming clear why they took him out in the first place:

In the last several days, in fact since the beginning of the Pajamas Media Straw Poll, PJM has received vastly more messages and phone calls from supporters of Ron Paul than from any other candidate, indeed from supporters of all the other candidates put together.

In recent days – after votes were deducted from Mr. Paul’s total because, among other things, someone voted for Mr. Paul over 229 times from one IP within 72 minutes – these messages and calls have become increasingly rude and abusive, even threatening.

The post goes on to quote from an email claiming to be from  Ron Paul’s campaign threatening more action if PJM continues to deduct obviously fraudulent “votes” from the poll. PJM responds:

We regret that Congressman Paul, a good and decent American with loyal motives and deeply held convictions, seems to have garnered among his supporters a small group for whom unethical conduct appears to be permissible if it gets him elected. We are certain he would disapprove of it.

Still, this behavior must stop immediately, as well as the rude and abusive messages we are receiving from these supporters. If they do not, Pajamas Media will have no choice but to remove Mr. Paul permanently from our poll. The choice is now in the hands of Mr. Paul’s supporters.

Quite honestly, whoever is doing this is acting in an incredibly juvenile manner. Spamming an online poll isn’t going to help Ron Paul get elected President one bit. If anything, it only tends to discredit those of us who support him because of his ideas, even if we recognize he has little chance of winning.

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  • http://www.ronpaulpresshub.com/?p=48 Mike

    I responded to this on my blog.

    In short, some Paul folks may or may not be cheating and if they are, it’s a small minority, Pajamas Media is encouraging detractors to spam to make Paul look bad, and Pajamas Media can easily remove 99% of the spam by fixing their poll.

  • Robert

    What kind of a fool puts up a poll that allows you to vote more then once from the same IP and then cries about it. I thought these types of things were fixed about oh 10 years ago.

  • Michael

    uh, why does their poll allow more than one vote from a single IP address? their complaints are completely bogus.

  • dick

    Neither the MSNBC nor ABC polls allow pollers to vote more than once. The dedication that Ron Paul supporters have is a good thing. It comes from principled convictions and not self serving special interests. Thomas Jefferson: I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.

  • http://idollatree.blogspot.com Cutkomp

    Why is it assumed that Ron Paul supporters are writing the nasty mails? That is a dangerous assumption to make. I know for a fact that there is an active campaign to smear Paul supporters and writing nasty message while pretending to be a Paul supporter is within the playbook of the smearers.

  • http://blog.freeny.org Jim Ostrowski

    Dito this comment:

    “Why is it assumed that Ron Paul supporters are writing the nasty mails? That is a dangerous assumption to make. I know for a fact that there is an active campaign to smear Paul supporters and writing nasty messages while pretending to be a Paul supporter is within the playbook of the smearers.”

    Let’s insist of proof when these accusations are made.

    Remember, our opponents learned their craft at Nixon’s knee.

  • max burke

    You’ve got support here: “Ron Paul supporters prove why online polls suck.”
    http://www.networkworld.com/community/?q=node/14979

  • http://na Flo

    Neo-Cons are spamming the polls to try to discredit real Ron Paul supporters.

  • http://www.hammer2006.blogspot.com Alex Hammer

    See Also:
    SPECIAL MESSAGE TO SUPPORTERS OF RON PAUL: – Pajamas Media
    http://hammer2006.blogspot.com/2007/05/special-message-to-supporters-of-ron.html

  • Martha Martin

    I am a Ron Paul supporter, and haven’t yet had time to cast my “vote”…..I’ve been too busy answering the question that keeps coming to Ron Paul supporters: “Who is this man?” I wonder how many others have not yet even added their vote to the number?

  • vlatro

    Obviously, the polling system is flawed if it allows duplicate votes. What bothers me is how easy it is to fix the system. Anyone who’s taken a high-school level programming class or has 5 minutes to dedicate to a Google search on php scripts could easily fix the problem. Maybe I’m going out on a limb here, but I have to believe the flaw is intentional. If the system were solid, the results would be an undeniable representation of the people who participated in the poll. By leaving it flawed, the results can be questioned, interpreted, adjusted, and editorialized. It’s a lesson well taught by the 2000 election, a lesson that’s been much improved upon. Now the editors of the results can say “We removed invalid votes created by click fraud”, an excuse people will be more willing to buy than the old “hanging chad” line.

    I also wonder if a more publicized candidate would have received the same treatment. Would Clinton or Giuliani have been removed from the poll on account of fraudulent votes? Votes that the pollers seem to admit came from very few, easily identifiable sources. I doubt it. They would only discredit them selves if they left out the names everyone was expecting to see. They’d be accused of favoring one side over the other (which I believe they actually do). If a third party candidate disappears however, most people won’t notice.

    On the off chance the Paul supporter who committed the fraud reads this blog, I would like to address them directly:

    Politics is a game with no rules, no expectation of decency. Normally, I’m all for fighting dirty, especially against political candidates who seek to rape an entire nation, stripping it’s people of their freedom. In this case however, your actions were juvinile.

    The most scared right held by libertarians is the freedom to voice your opinion and hopefully be heard. We can’t claim to have that right if through our actions, we deprive others of it. Even the low-life scum that supports Hillary have their right to speak. By tampering with a poll, you are essentially silencing them. Granted, they will attempt to do the same to you. The movement however can not afford the reputation of preaching one thing and then doing another.

    229 fraudulent votes… Had you simply spoken to people, you could have easily had 229 legitimate voters. People who would continue voting in many polls, and helped the party gain momentum. Yes, it’s more work, but actual progress is always better than th illusion of progress. That’s what separates us from them. Our numbers have to mean something.

  • craig tindale

    Not only does America need him , Humanity demands Ron Paul be heard, i come from Australia those who write him off have never listened to him nor do they understand the roots of the America that the world loves. We need the real America back and we need it now.

  • http://paul4prez.blogspot.com Doug

    I disagree with the “little chance of winning” part.

    The supposed Republican front-runners (Giuliani, McCain, and Romney) are exceptionally weak candidates with little appeal to the party’s base.

    The other second-tier candidates (Brownback, Tancredo, Huckabee, Hunter, Gilmore, and Thompson) are more traditional conservatives, but have little to distinguish them from each other.

    Ron Paul clearly stands out from the crowd of second-tier candidates with strong appeal for anti-war Republicans (a growing segment of the party, and the only politically viable position on Iraq) and strong appeal for libertarians and small-government conservatives who have felt betrayed for the past 7 years.

  • http://www.hammer2006.blogspot.com Alex Hammer

    Ron Paul Website Traffic Explodes Past Giuliani, McCain and Romney: Alexa.com Graph
    http://hammer2006.blogspot.com/2007/05/ron-paul-website-traffic-explodes-past.html

  • http://www.savegoogleanswers.com Gloria

    I don’t think there was any spamming of the polls. The fact that there are 15,000 votes for RP each week and the best they can come up with is at one point, 200 of them were from the same IP is pretty telling. They don’t want him to win their poll and they’re saying they’ll take him off if they keep getting threatening messages.

    I’ve found that Ron Paul’s supporters are some of the most articulate, intelligent people I’ve ever dealt with on the Internet and I highly doubt they’ve gotten some from actual supporters.

    I sent a short message through the Pajamas Media website “contact us” form saying that college dorms and sorority houses, etc., can share the same IP address. That was all I said.

    I got back a personal email FROM THE CEO saying that I needed to “grow up”, that I was “disrespecting my candidate” (hmm, by writing a few sentences in a contact form?) and “tell my people to use intelligence” and that we were making Ron Paul look bad. It wasn’t a form letter, because he responded to my IP address suggestion (with incorrect information, by the way) saying that his IT director is one of the best in the world, from some company in Switzerland. He said something about cookies and “if you don’t understand what that means, ask someone.” I found this very condescending and possibly sexist, because I’m a former IT worker.

    I’ve worked in IT and I’m VERY familiar with cookies, Roger Simon. I came away from this with a very negative view of the site and this “company”– what kind of company would have the CEO answering contact us forms, and what kind of CEO would exhibit such a lack of professionalism in correspondence?

    All they have to do is say “one vote per IP” but then they wouldn’t be able to say cheating was going on, would they? And they don’t want that.

  • Brian

    I don’t believe the spamming or the letter they posted for one second. Their story is made up to make Ron Paul look bad and nobody should fall for it. As others pointed out, preventing multiple votes from the same IP is trivial, so this is obviously a smear from the neocons at pajamasmedia.

  • http://www.myspace.com/lex_rex Alex Wallenwein

    Looks like the Liberty Papers are tainted, as if someone had used them for, well, … tissue, I suppose.

    Since March, I have seen nothing but blog entries casting a pallor of “lameness” over Ron Paul’s efforts to gain America’s attention with his message. The comments to the entries are a far better read, and they reveal far better political judgment.

  • Zachary Anthony

    If all those spam votes came from the same damn IP address then the poll maker had to have been clueless. If it was that easy then I can bet anything that other canidates also had spam voting.

    There are simply more Ron Paul supporters on the internet. Libertarians have been using the internet as a tool for outreach for quite a bit longer then mainstream republicans and democrats, and it is finally paying off.

  • Chris

    I’m a web developer by trade.
    It’s SOP to block multiple entries from a single IP address. These people should not be conducting online polls if they cant even implement the basics.

  • http://www.ronpaul2008.com thewind

    The people WILL be heard…….it doesn’t matter what the media tries this time……..Ron Paul WILL be the next president of the United States of America.

    Ron Paul People Power

  • Pingback: Informed2008.org()

  • http://www.rlc.org Bill Westmiller

    Pajamas Media makes a mistake. They can’t know that “someone voted for Mr. Paul over 229 times from one IP within 72 minutes” because the major internet providers use *dynamic IP address* processing … they assign IPs from a limited pool, rather than the original computer.
    That means that 229 unique (AOL, for example) visitors may have the same apparent IP address, even though they are all from different people.
    There’s no secure way to eliminate this apparent problem, short of validated cookies (records of a poll vote that are checked against an on-line database).
    Most sites aren’t willing or able to do that kind of validation … much less to identify dynamic IP addresses from legitimate visitors.
    Therefore, Pajamas has their pants in a knot for other reasons.

  • NH

    Any poll where you can vote more than once is not valid.

    Ron came out on top of all the other polls that WERE valid.

    ABC’s scandal will follow them forever.

  • Jacob

    What’s interesting is that the above article doesn’t address the fact that the other candadates can fall under the same criticism. In another article Aaron Krane (Technorati spokesman) states that the Ron Paul support on Techorati is for real. See the link below.

    http://www.usnews.com/usnews/blogs/news_blog/070509/ron_pauls_online_rise.htm

  • Seer

    I’ve found that Ron Paul’s supporters are some of the most articulate, intelligent people I’ve ever dealt with on the Internet and I highly doubt they’ve gotten some from actual supporters.

    Half of them are. The other half give a: oh, Ron Paul has changed my life spiel. I wasn’t interested in the election until he came, oooooh. They’re getting annoying, and this is from a Ron Paul supporter.

  • TaoWarrior

    Ok anyone who has spent any time on “the internets” knows that online polls are pretty much worthless.

    However things like google searches, blog posts etc are much harder to fake and yet interest in Ron Paul is soaring there also.

    Pajamas Media is a joke they have shown that they are against RP from the get go and this is just the latest in smear campaigns that will only accelerate as Dr. Paul gains notice and popularity.

    I say bring it on (thanks Bush) the more you try and smear the man the more attention he gets. Attention and notice are the only things Ron Paul needs to win.

  • http://Google Don

    BS, excuse

  • Wacer

    I support Ron Paul and I have never even voted in online poll. I like his ideas. I think the media should give more attention to all the presidential prospects instead of just focusing in on the ones with the largest loads of cash and backing from the corrupt.

  • NormalGuy

    I support the Ron Paul revolution!

  • Lisa Ritz

    I’m not usually this interested in the elections and have voted republican in the past…but no more! I’m tired of our freedoms being eroded by the day. I hope people are waking up!

  • gOOFY

    RON PAUL 2008 – JOIN OR DIE!

    PJ MEDIA SHOULD TAKE DOWN THEIR WEBSITE SITE IF THEY CAN’T FIGURE OUT HOW TO DO BASIC
    ‘STRAW POLL’ SECURITY. THESE LOSERS HAVE NO CLUE AND ARE CREATING THE PROBLEM AND THEN POINTING FINGERS.

    LEARN HOW TO RUN YOUR WEBSITE PJ!

  • Cat

    It’s very possible that the “spam” was coming from anti-Ron Paul people trying to make Ron Paul supporters look bad.

  • http://www.ronpaul2008.com thewind

    Did you ever consider maybe Ron Paul DID change their life…..I have never voted and I am 46…He did change my life, because I had given up on anyone in politics ever telling the truth, until I learned of Dr. Ron Paul…So yeah, we are out there and I am sorry to annoy you, but you had better get used to it, because there are a lot of US and their will be many, many more!
    ——quote Seer——
    “Half of them are. The other half give a: oh, Ron Paul has changed my life spiel. I wasn’t interested in the election until he came, oooooh. They’re getting annoying, and this is from a Ron Paul supporter.”

  • http://www.hammer2006.blogspot.com Alex Hammer

    Please see also:
    Ron Paul’s Online Rise – U.S. News & World Report
    http://hammer2006.blogspot.com/2007/05/ron-pauls-online-rise-u.html

    Ron Paul Website Traffic Explodes Past Giuliani, McCain and Romney: Alexa.com Graph
    http://hammer2006.blogspot.com/2007/05/ron-paul-website-traffic-explodes-past.html

    Thank you.

  • http://groups.yahoo.com/group/CA4RonPaul/join Steve

    If you want to help Ron Paul with traditional grass roots campaigning in your state or local area, please join your local state yahoo Egroup.

    http://groups.yahoo.com/group/XX4RonPaul/join

    where XX is your two letter state code.

    This will put you in contact with other activists to plan grassroots campaigning.

    Join the Ron Paul Revolution

    Thanks,SteveCA4RonPaul Moderator

  • Bman

    All of this is good news. The Bilderberg families have determined what was going to be the official corporate media response to Ron Paul winning the Republican debate, hands-down. Their message is to go after any data that makes Ron Paul appear as if he is winning. The problem with that strategy is that Ron Paul is really winning. With or without the data, people know a good thing when they see it, and Ron Paul represents what people want and what this country needs. The only way to prevent him from being elected is to get rid of the 2008 election, or to imprison the 80% of the country that plans to vote for Ron Paul.

  • Bman

    My feeling is that Ron Paul is going to create such a massive controversy that it will force things to a head.

    The Bilderberg families are hiring corporate security/police to scare and attack those who do not support One World Corporate Government.

    Millions of Americans who want their individual freedoms to continue will most probably fight to the death to maintain their freedoms. This should be no surprise. All living beings want to be free.

    So how is the ill-conceived Bilderberg plan going to ensure they remain in power? Wouldn’t a kind, more gentle, more humanitarian approach to ruling the planet help them to maintain the control they so desparately seem to need (or require, like a baby requires its pacifier or it throws a tantrum)?

    Wouldn’t Ron Paul be the perfect answer to that? Sort of a go-between so that everyone can live together and still be happy? The rich remain rich, and the free get to remain free. What’s so terrible about THAT?

  • tarran

    Wait a minute!

    No way are 80% of Americans going to vote for Ron Paul. Hell, easily 80% of self-described libertarians I know are afraid of him because they think the gold-standard is a kooky idea.

    Most people don’t really want freedom. They want security and stability. While I think there is a strong case that this is only possible in a free society, most people think that freedom means uncertainty and insecurity.

    In the end, most people would happily cast a vote for slavery, if they thought that it would somehow protect them.

  • http://doublethinkblog.blogspot.com Jono

    Seeing as it harms the cause, maybe it isn’t his supporters after all.

    Maybe the headline should be:

    Ron Paul Opponents = Poll Spammers ?

  • Pingback: The Hillary Project()

  • http://www.e-places.net JT Thompson

    I had no idea this same group of kids was doing the same stupid shit on other sites.

    I just posted on this, and read the comments. It’s the same people.

    Good luck Ron! hell he should put restraining orders on these idiots.

    http://www.hillaryproject.com/index.php?/sg_distro/comments/the_truth_about_a_poll/

  • greenrascal

    TO ALL RETARDS WHO DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT HAPPENED, the poll registered ip adresses only allowing you to vote once this is basic technology and theres only one way around it namely through dynamic ips, yet they claim FOXNEWS WATCHING DIP-SHITS!!

  • Pingback: freedomsadvocate.com » In the News…5/9/2007()

  • http://www.x9designs.com Rick Hampstead

    It is a shame that the neo-con canidates simply lack luster.You guys need to do some investigation or journalism work and not just appear to be talking heads.I think network admins who set up the poll made it secure.You should ask a network or system admin about the security for the poll.Any 13 year old with a little computer skills could have made the poll secure.Im amost positive the admins will tell that your statements are false. Google dynamic IP addresses, static ip addresses you will see how they work, even dynamic ip’s do not change often like people think.Ask any ISP Network admin…

  • Dillon Schroeder

    I’ve heard several times that Mormons in Utah are attempting to get each other to vote on the various polls for Romney.

    Apparently no one in the media sees that as any sort of a problem.

    But if Ron Paul supporters try to get each other to vote for Ron Paul on various polls — SOME IN THE MEDIA SEE THAT AS A BIG PROBLEM!

    MAKES NO SENSE WHATSOEVER!

    Just try to conduct the polls to try to prevent people from voting more than once.

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