back to article Time-rich netizens marshall ballot-stuffing bots against... Radio Times contest

Internet ballot-stuffing has existed for as long as Rickrolling, if not longer, but it used to be a serious endeavour requiring a certain level of commitment, however misguided. Yesterday a Reddit community sprung up dedicated to the proposition that it's worth the trouble to use bots to skew a Radio Times poll. Yes, the TV …

  1. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Well butter my pooper

    It would be more newsworthy if an internet ballot didn't get stuffed.

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward


    Reddit is the last bastion of true internet heros.

    Never forget.


    May he live on in the hearts and minds of generations to come.

  3. IR

    It's just Tims being mischievous.

    1. Jon Massey


      I think you mean naughty

  4. wolfetone Silver badge

    I bet Nigel Farage has something to do with this, what with losing yet another election but this time as a radio "presenter".

    More like radio c**t.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      All Farage is

      *clap clap*

      A Radio Wanker

  5. collinsl

    Now Brady and Grey are going to have to do another segment about how they "don't approve". Great!

    1. Shardok

      I haven't listened to it yet as I'm saving it for tonight at work, but I am fairly certain they did a segment on this uploaded shortly after the elections finished.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    You can outsource capchas for about $10 per thousand ... so ive heard

  7. 1206549

    We actually like O'Brien!

    This article seems to have been written under the assumption that the Tims dislike O'Brien when a common things Tims talked about during the vote was how they actually liked O'Brien.

  8. Haku

    "It's not as if Star Trek versus Star Wars is under discussion."

    About that, they should just put aside their differences and get along...

    Could be interesting, but I'd watch the crap out of this mashup:

  9. Tim_Foolery

    Tims had nothing against O'Brien. The Tims rallied to vote for Doctor Brady Haran in an earlier round of the poll when he was up against Steve Allen, who tweeted asking for his fans to vote, and that he was up against 'another person I've never heard of '. Allen had in the previous round of voting knocked Dr. Haran's Hello Internet podcast co-host CGP Grey out of the running. This tweet by Allen was taken as a slight by the Tims, who rallied to defend their beloved podcast host's honour. The momentum they generated simply carried their efforts forward to the end of the polls.

    With regards to Mr. O'Brien, the Tims actually found his positions to be largely in line with many of their values, and there was a general encouragement in the Hello Internet community to give Mr. O'Brien's content a try to see if it was to their liking.

    1. 1206549

      Steve who?

      He was up against who?

  10. args

    It's not ballot-stuffing

    if the rules explicitly allow multiple votes from the same person.

    "Why this particular bunch of Redditors dislike O'Brien is a doctrine of faith, not really explained, and frankly, who cares?"

    Also, despite the best attempts of the author to stir up controversy, it wasn't about being against O'Brien, it was about being *for* Brady Haran.

    You could've figured this out with about 10 seconds of detective work; your own article links to /r/HelloInternet, the subreddit of the podcast Hello Internet (, aka the podcast Brady Haran co-hosts and thus was his qualification for being part of the radio/podcast competition to begin with.

    In other words, you were on a fanpage for Brady Haran, watching Brady Haran fans organize a voting initiative for Brady Haran, and you didn't figure out why they were voting for Brady Haran.

    1. 1206549

      Re: It's not ballot-stuffing

      Not only that but if they actually listened to a few episodes and bothered to go to Grey's channel, they'll see that voting systems are a special interest of ours. And this was the perfect storm of "how not to do a poll"

      1. Shardok

        Re: It's not ballot-stuffing

        If they had done postcards with this though... We would have had a real hard time printing out enough postcards.

  11. LadyTim

    How DARE you?

    You accuse me of ballot stuffing? You insult my honor, sir. Good day to you now.


  12. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge

    "Internet ballot-stuffing has existed for as long as Rickrolling, if not longer"

    The first rickroll occurred only ten years ago.

    I would imagine that internet ballot-stuffing has been around for as long as internet opinion polls, which themselves have likely been around for almost as long as the internet itself.

    1. TeeCee Gold badge

      Re: "Internet ballot-stuffing has existed for as long as Rickrolling, if not longer"

      Actually, ballot stuffing has been around rather longer than the internet.

      All the internet has done is make it easier and less likely for the culprits to be caught...

  13. Shardok


    Some corrections...

    The entire point of the vote was to vote as many times as you wanted. We just wanted to vote more often than they did.

    Secondly, they were stuffing the ballots too in response, as did all prior opponents we fought against alongside the much respected Dr. Brady Haran & the posh as cushions CGP Grey.

    Again, that's Dr. Brady Haran.

    Thirdly, we Tims as a whole have no problem with old whatshisname nor did we have a problem with any others. Though that Steve fellow did invoke great wrath when he dared to suggest that Dr. Brady Haran was a small time unknown podcaster who wouldn't stand a chance against the likes of him.

    1. 1206549

      Re: Corrections

      Fourthly, CAPTCHAs to stop the bots were put up at around the 2017-07-24 17:30 mark on this graph We actually shot up at around that time suggesting that yes, there were bots on both sides and the moment CAPTCHA came up, we shot up above 60% suggesting we had more manual voters. The Linux script wasn't in use yet then and we don't even know if it did get through the CAPTCHA.

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