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Do the BBC understand how online polls work?

Do the BBC understand how online polls work?

In the current broo-hah surrounding the BBC and “faked” competitions and votes, apparently Richard Marston (the former Blue Peter editor) was sacked because he was advised that the poll to name the Blue Peter cat had been rigged by outside voting, and therefore decided to choose the top result before the online rigging started.

If this is true, then this is frankly amazing. Online votes of all levels have been deliberately rigged by outside parties since the dawn of the Internet, from naming a cat to voting in a UK political election. Surely if you had evidence that a vote had been rigged, you’d take steps to counteract that rigging, and deal with the result – or make it clear that the vote will only influence the decision, not decide it outright.

If this is what happened with Mr. Marston and he’s been sacked as a result of taking a proactive effort to restore balance, that’s positively wrong.

But it’s oh-so-British, isn’t it? To flog yourself silly and beg for forgiveness from a public who either don’t care or are just laughing in the street.

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