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Old Dec 15, 2009, 09:48 AM
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quintin3265 quintin3265 is offline
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Default Competitors: should IP addresses be released?

After the Composition Combat voting concludes, we plan to release the entire voting results, vote by vote. The reason for such excruciating detail is so that nobody questions the integrity of the calculations, and so that any allegations of cheating will be available in the public sphere for everyone to review. Columns available include rating, song ID, date and time, IP address, and other data which is personally identifiable and can't be released.

I want to put a question to the competitors: should the IP address column be released along with the vote totals?

If IP addresses are released, it would be possible for people to more thoroughly inspect the results and attempt to make associations between possible duplicate votes. However, there is a very small chance that the anonymity of voters could be compromised, because it's theoretically possible that someone could do a reverse lookup and find out where a vote is coming from. In practice, however, providers usually allocate IP addresses dynamically, so it would be nearly impossible to prove that a particular user, rather than someone else using the same provider, cast a vote, and we also won't release the information that links usernames to IP addresses.

What is most important to contestants? Is the additional security provided by withholding addresses important? Or, is it more valuable to have an accurate and complete record to analyze for potential cheating? If IP addresses are not released, then allegations of duplicate votes will almost always be invalid.

Offer your thoughts by the end of today.
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