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Self-Voting Problem
by Cactus/Oxyron/Padua

My previous opinion poll concerned the problem of signing compo entries: "to sign or not to sign" - that was the question. Though Credo/Resource had drawn my attention on the different problem, which is vaguely relevant to the discussed one. He noticed that: "Unfortunately nobody follows the non-selfvoting rule these days which I find a bigger problem". I would like to know what's your opinion on this matter. Do you feel that non-selfvoting rule is so much violated nowadays? Does really *nobody* care to uphold it? And should it actually be a serious problem of our small scene? If you had known that someone deserved to get the first place, would you mind if he voted for himself? Or maybe it's just the matter of fair competition? What are your thoughts on this subject? And here come opinions.

ANONYM/PADUA

The question is, will this not limit voting even more? As hard as it is to gather votes for charts these days, I find picking what to vote for is even harder. Of course it is not quite fair to vote for your own production, but let's look to the "real" world. Politicians vote for their own party. That being said, I am not quite sure if looking to the world of politics for an example is something we should be doing. :)

Why do I hardly fill out any voting sheets? I have a hard time to come up with 10 people/groups/etc. to vote for. So will it be the Top 3 only for me?

So what's my conclusion? I am undecided at this point time. But maybe my comments above will help get some more discussion going. Then again, maybe we should be working on demos instead of discussing theories. ;)

BUGJAM/THE DREAMS

I am not really sure if it is a problem, but actually I don't think so. I always do it that way: if I participate, I never vote for myself. If I think that I really deserve a place, I leave the according place blank on the votesheet, but that does not happen very often. If it is a voting system with e.g. school grades, I also leave it blank for my pic.

CACTUS/OXYRON/PADUA

I never vote for myself, but I also don't complain about how others vote... If you feel that self-voting is okay, it's your personal choice. The most important thing is that the person responsible for counting votes will follow particular rules: if they say "no self-voting", you can still feel free to vote for yourself at the top-spot, but this vote should not be counted then.

COMMANDER/ROLE

Personally, I do not care if people vote for themselves. If they really think that they deserve it, then it is their own honest vote!

DECOMPRACID

I usually vote either blank, or a six when I *have* to make a vote or else the votesheet will not count. Giving yourself a high grade seems unfair to me, and kind of lame to do. I think most serious people keep their votes blank, at least I hope, so I guess it isn't that much of a problem.

HCL/BOOZE DESIGN

I think self-voting is not a problem. As long as it is possible to do it, people will do it. So if everyone does it, it's equal. I don't see any real difference in down- or up-voting yourself than doing it on your friend or enemy. The real problem with all voting systems is that some people don't vote honestly, and I don't know how to avoid that.

JAZZCAT/ONSLAUGHT

Regarding self-voting and anonymous-voting. Both should not be done. What is wrong with the scene? If someone deserves a place, they will earn it, they need not vote for themselves, own group and own productions, as doing so means you lose your pride. When I was compiling the charts of both "Vandalism News" and "Domination", anyone I caught self-voting would have their vote not counted at all. The people who did this foolishly wasted their time. Regarding those scared cowards who vote anonymously on CSDb and the "down"-voting rule in general - it is total lame and some PC-scene concept that has no place in our society. It should be abolished.

LEONARDO/PADUA

Hmm... Difficult question. I have voted for myself before. However I don't think that this single vote is usually the one deciding if you reach the first place. In other words: everyone picks their own choice.

NAFCOM/P.O.L.

I don't know how about the other, but for sure all my CSDb votings are all votes for others and not my members, my productions or me. This rule is also valid for party compose, and yes, I think this way is more healthy for the scene. I also hate the attitude saying "We are a small scene". Man, this is so negative! It annoys me to read and hear such "all is bad" attitudes! Be sure, I am enjoying being in the C64 scene! :)

PUTERMAN/FAIRLIGHT

If you care so much about compo results that you actually bother to vote for yourself, you're probably a pretty sorry character. And well, complaining about how others vote won't exactly earn you my respect either.

RICHARD/TND

To be honest, whoever thought of the self-voting scheme, must have a self opinion about themselves. Generally speaking, voting your own group, voting yourself, etc., is a sin of the C64 scene. Those who vote for themselves or their own group are lame.

If the self-voting had been abolished, or strictly forbidden within the C64 scene, I think it would probably make the scene and other groups feel a whole lot better. Self-voting is just plain selfishness.

RRR/OXYRON

Traditions may be kept alive if they represent something useful. The rules to prevent self-voting make any sense in the world, otherwise groups with a huge amount of (active) members could easily start a mission to take over all charts by storm. You can spot the problem of self-voting and placing strategic votes (read: downvoting) at CSDb. Nobody is really pleased with the situation.

Self-voting has been banned in a time when magazines received hundreds of votesheets for each single issue. Due to the fact that just a very few sceners dare to vote these days self-voting would have a much higher impact on the results. Does this behaviour support fair and objective charts? No, because a lot of people rate their own work higher because it's supposed to suit their very own taste.

Who is in the position to define if someone deserves a top spot in the charts? The voter and the majority of votes. It's definately a negative aspect when the authors' personal vote has any form of remarkable influence the results. Normally I'd throw in that the sweet taste of victory may taste sour, but some focus their attention to the result or to reach their target only.

Nothing against the guys producing "Scene World". I appreciate the hard work they invest in producing a magazine and I really enjoy to see them going their very own way without letting any form of feedback correcting their course. However I felt pretty amused to spot "Scene World" being ranked #2 in their own magazine charts. Immediately terms like self-deceiving, self-pleasing, self-respectful and self-reverent spoiled my mind.

In order to find a conclusion the answer to all those questions is quite simple. There is a jury or a person in charge counting the votes and this institution is responsible to filter out any form of invalid votes. It depends on every single publication or organisation to develope a set of rules to guarantee a fair competition. Make sure all participants play by the rules. Problem solved.

SKATE/GLANCE

It is not easy to follow all parties, but as I know so far, self-voting is not allowed and nobody votes for himself/herself, group members or any production of his/her group. But of course there can be some exceptions, but I don't think that self-voting rule is violated that much.

But maybe, non-selfvoting rule can cause other problems in some special cases. If a group organized/joined a small party and if most of the people at the party are from this group, then there will be a voting problem, especially "total point" system wouldn't work effectivly. Assume that there are just 25 people at the party and 15 of them are from X group. X group's products will have 10 votes and other products will have 20-25. So even X group's points are high, by using total point system they won't have a chance. Maybe using average system can solve this problem. I'm not sure.

You've pointed out a very important problem, which could arise from non-selfvoting rule. If you can't vote for yourself and you vote for your opponents, you've got little chance to win the compo, even when your production is better. It makes me confused, is this a good rule or not? Do you think you've got a better chance to win when you're not attending the party, but you submit your entry for example via email?

Well, this is hard to answer because there are other factors which affects the voting system. One of these factors is the previous poll subject "unsigned entry rule". If this rule is violated, people would vote for the scener who is at the party place. I mean they wouldn't specially vote for a scener who has sent his/her product by e-mail. But if the compo entries are not signed, I think email entries has an advantage.

As you know, I'm also one of the main organizers of 7DX Demoscene Party series in Turkiye. So, I have very long discussions with other organizers on this and this kind of subjects. We specially focused on the competitions.

- How many entries are allowed from the same scener to the same compo?
- We have 4kB Demo and Game compos. What should we do if we recieve a 4kB Game entry? Should we count it as a 4kB Demo or should we accept it as a standard game without size limitation?

And a lot of details like these are discussed. Do you wanna know the result? Just try to come to the 7D5 Demoscene Party and you'll see *our style*. :) This is our 4th year in party organization and I believe we still have a lot of subject to discuss.

TCH/BRUTAL/OXYRON

Is voting for yourself truly happening on such a large scale? And if so, do people always put themselves on the no. 1 spot, or elsewhere? Maybe it would be interesting to publish the ballots of compos as I have absolutely no idea if they are being manipulated in this way. I have counted many votesheets years ago, and it occasionally did happen. Our policy was to simply omit the self-votes and adjust the lists. But I have never voted for myself (or my group) as I think it is a shame to have such a lack of honour. If people like my work, cool!, but I'd hate to see myself rated 1 point higher in the ranks knowing that I gave myself 10 points. Anyone conducting in this sort of actions are:

- cheaters
- bumptious, inflated little kids.

It might happen that you take part in a compo where you think all the other releases are plain bad. Keep your honour and abstain from voting, but don't proclaim yourself to be the winner! Others will decide if you are worth the title.

Ps. Damn, I gave Graham a 10 on CSDb when I was in Brutal only. Should I delete that vote now?

I have to add that I voted for myself only once in my life, and later I got proved that this single vote was definitely not the one deciding about the final place of my production in the compo. Although my own vote wasn't actually a deciding one (I received 18 votes in total, the second place received as many as 10 votes less), I would have never repeat this self-voting behaviour, because it caused some lamers to start shouting loudly and crying like little babies about my lameness. I don't care much about their cries, and I would have never slam anyone else for self-voting (except for ignoring those "unfair" votes). It's definitely your own decision, how you vote. I suppose it's more important that you feel your votes are honest.

An interesting general conclusion can be inferred from this opinion poll: elite sceners & members of elite groups seem not to care so much about how people vote and have no major objections to self-voting, while sceners & members of, how to call them, retard (?) groups are the ones who shout the loudest about the dishonesty of self-voting.

Regards,
CACTUS/OXYRON/PADUA.

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