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Old 02-09-2019, 10:39 PM
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Can Mods or Admins see how you've voted on anonymous polls?

I'd like to ask because I'm curious how secure my votes are.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:45 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I asked the same question one tine. As I recall, a Mod said maybe -- a BIG maybe -- they could if they could figure out how to do it but that it was doubtful.

Of course, they would say that, wouldn't they?
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:49 PM
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I am a mod on a different forum that also uses vBulletin. It's a different version of vBulletin, and a lot of the options are set differently. But fwiw, mods cannot see how a poster voted on an anonymous poll on that board.
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Old 02-09-2019, 11:51 PM
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(Mods can change both the wording of the questions and the number of votes, though. I've never done it, so I don't know if there's any indication they have been edited.)
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Old 02-10-2019, 12:01 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
I'd like to ask because I'm curious how secure my votes are.
At least as secure as in the most elections?
  #6  
Old 02-10-2019, 01:53 AM
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Originally Posted by puzzlegal View Post
(Mods can change both the wording of the questions and the number of votes, though. I've never done it, so I don't know if there's any indication they have been edited.)
I have edited polls to correct errors. There is no indication on the thread or the poll that it was edited. I always add a note in a post to the thread indicating what was done.

Similarly, if we edit the thread title or sticky/unsticky a thread, there is no indication of that either.

I can edit anything in the poll and can edit the number totals, though I can't think of any reason why I would ever edit the poll totals. I'm very reluctant to change anything in a poll that might alter its outcome, so I consider anything other than an obvious typo or error to be off-limits, even though I have the capability of editing much more than that.

While nothing is visible to regular users, admins and other mods can see what changes we have made. There is also a field on the edit screen where we can leave notes or an explanation, though usually whatever we are editing is obvious enough that we don't need to bother filling it in. If anything we do is ever questioned (poll-related or otherwise), we need to be able to justify what we did and why we did it.

If there is a way for moderators to view who voted for what in an anonymous poll, I am not aware of it. I also can't come up with a good reason why I would care to view that information even if it were available to me.
  #7  
Old 02-10-2019, 02:53 AM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
....
If there is a way for moderators to view who voted for what in an anonymous poll, I am not aware of it. I also can't come up with a good reason why I would care to view that information even if it were available to me.
Question answered. Thank you.
  #8  
Old 02-10-2019, 12:35 PM
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I've never understood the concern people here have about voting in public polls. I'd get it for a vote like "have you ever been the victim of sexual assault?" Or similar, but the vast majority of threads here are something like "Pizza: cheese or pepperoni?" Yet I've seen people in threads like that complaining about the poll being public. Who cares?
  #9  
Old 02-10-2019, 03:32 PM
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The majority of polls are indeed generic and mundane, however occasionally one comes up where it might be embarrassing for people to know how one has voted.

I was just curious if voting in such a poll was visible to mods or Tuba, I guess.

I mean I'd probably stay entirely away from polls like "Have you ever inserted a butt plug?" or such.

I haven't, BTW.
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Old 02-10-2019, 11:28 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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I've never understood the concern people here have about voting in public polls. I'd get it for a vote like "have you ever been the victim of sexual assault?" Or similar, but the vast majority of threads here are something like "Pizza: cheese or pepperoni?" Yet I've seen people in threads like that complaining about the poll being public. Who cares?
For me, it's just policy. I don't vote in public polls, period, regardless of how mundane they may be. Maybe I'll change my mind in the future, or maybe I ticked the wrong choice accidentally. Best just to avoid the whole thing.
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  #11  
Old 02-11-2019, 06:46 AM
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Originally Posted by engineer_comp_geek View Post
If there is a way for moderators to view who voted for what in an anonymous poll, I am not aware of it. I also can't come up with a good reason why I would care to view that information even if it were available to me.
Rather like a notice I saw on a bulletin board way back in the days of stone skins and bear knives: Why, yes, as an Admin I can read your stuff, but I'm not that bored.
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Old 02-11-2019, 07:17 AM
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In another voting system I have found, accidentally, that I could temporally remove a poster and find how it effects the poles, then replace them this was done to remove a embarrassing typo, it was better to remove it ASAP, then correct it. There would be no notification, however if someone checked at that moment they would see that posting removed.
  #13  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
The majority of polls are indeed generic and mundane, however occasionally one comes up where it might be embarrassing for people to know how one has voted.

I was just curious if voting in such a poll was visible to mods or Tuba, I guess.

I mean I'd probably stay entirely away from polls like "Have you ever inserted a butt plug?" or such.

I haven't, BTW.
Just curious, who did you get to do it then?

Last edited by Sparky812; 02-11-2019 at 07:23 AM.
  #14  
Old 02-11-2019, 08:30 AM
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Originally Posted by Leaffan View Post
I mean I'd probably stay entirely away from polls like "Have you ever inserted a butt plug?" or such.

I haven't, BTW.
Why avoid such a poll if you have, er, nothing to hide?
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Old 02-11-2019, 08:45 AM
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Originally Posted by Siam Sam View Post
For me, it's just policy. I don't vote in public polls, period, regardless of how mundane they may be. Maybe I'll change my mind in the future, or maybe I ticked the wrong choice accidentally. Best just to avoid the whole thing.
But... why? If you changed your mind about cheese vs pepperoni or whatever or if you accidentally checked the wrong box -- who cares?

Ah well, agree to disagree I guess. Maybe I should post a poll asking whether you'd vote in a public poll or not :P

I'm not trying to change your mind and get you to vote in public OR private polls. I rarely vote in either. But I just don't get this particular reason to avoid public polls, but it seems to be a very common one.

Last edited by Babale; 02-11-2019 at 08:46 AM.
  #16  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:10 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Babale View Post
I've never understood the concern people here have about voting in public polls. I'd get it for a vote like "have you ever been the victim of sexual assault?" Or similar, but the vast majority of threads here are something like "Pizza: cheese or pepperoni?" Yet I've seen people in threads like that complaining about the poll being public. Who cares?
If you were a veteran of the New York/Chicago Pizza War you might feel differently.
  #17  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:18 AM
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But... why? If you changed your mind about cheese vs pepperoni or whatever or if you accidentally checked the wrong box -- who cares?
In general, I don't vote in public polls because there is usually no reason for them to be public. So I wonder why the OP chose to make it public - what info are they trying to gather on posters? Maybe the OP is a PETA militant and is going to come after all the pepperoni voters.
  #18  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:20 AM
Jonathan Chance Jonathan Chance is offline
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I'll join the mod chorus and say that I just fooled around with it a bit and haven't found a way to view a private poll voter's record. I'd bet it's less a matter of 'privacy must be protected' than the developers not giving a damn about putting the functionality in.

And I'll also join the 'don't know, don't care' cadre about posters voting on polls. It's your problem and vote, not mine.
  #19  
Old 02-11-2019, 10:28 AM
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Originally Posted by TroutMan View Post
In general, I don't vote in public polls because there is usually no reason for them to be public. So I wonder why the OP chose to make it public - what info are they trying to gather on posters? Maybe the OP is a PETA militant and is going to come after all the pepperoni voters.
Hmm, interesting point. The board I moderate allows posters to have multiple accounts, so it's pretty common to make polling public to avoid "alt bombing". I suppose that's not a significant concern in this board.

Still, I find it interesting to see whether liberals or conservatives favor candidate X, or think the VA governor should step down. And whether it's Americans who like some food, or... In general, I'm often interested in who voted how in a poll.
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Old 02-11-2019, 06:36 PM
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In general, I don't vote in public polls because there is usually no reason for them to be public. So I wonder why the OP chose to make it public - what info are they trying to gather on posters? Maybe the OP is a PETA militant and is going to come after all the pepperoni voters.
That's really a thing you worry about?
  #21  
Old 02-11-2019, 07:23 PM
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No, it's not something that keeps me up at night. But as a general rule, I don't give people information if I don't know why they want it or how they will use it, even if I don't see an immediate risk.

(The PETA thing was a joke, though.)
  #22  
Old 02-11-2019, 08:56 PM
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I kind of like it when polls are public, it allows some more weight to the replies. If the majority of the people are voting option X, but a much higher proportion of the dopers voting for option Y are those whose opinion I generally respect, it allows more consideration over what the poll results mean.
  #23  
Old 02-11-2019, 09:43 PM
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For me, it's just policy. I don't vote in public polls, period, regardless of how mundane they may be. Maybe I'll change my mind in the future, or maybe I ticked the wrong choice accidentally. Best just to avoid the whole thing.
Hmmm, then it looks like someone is hacking your account. Because a "Siam Sam" did vote in these.

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=536537

https://boards.straightdope.com/sdmb...d.php?t=541752
  #24  
Old 02-12-2019, 11:16 AM
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In a private poll, each poster has a choice to make their vote private (by simply voting) or public (by voting and posting what the voted). In a public poll, there is no choice--if you want to vote, it must be public. Making a poll be public is imposing your privacy preference on any would-be voter. Making a poll be private is allowing would-be voters to control their own privacy.

For myself, I stop reading once I see a poll is public. I feel if the poll-poster doesn't care enough about my privacy, I don't care enough to participate. If a poll is private, I at least consider responding. But I don't vote in any poll that I'd be embarrassed about. Each vote is recorded on the server and I don't think it's encrypted, so someone can view it.
  #25  
Old 02-13-2019, 06:42 PM
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I kind of like it when polls are public, it allows some more weight to the replies. If the majority of the people are voting option X, but a much higher proportion of the dopers voting for option Y are those whose opinion I generally respect, it allows more consideration over what the poll results mean.
This is also true. I generally find poll results more interesting if I know who voted.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Pleonast View Post
In a private poll, each poster has a choice to make their vote private (by simply voting) or public (by voting and posting what the voted). In a public poll, there is no choice--if you want to vote, it must be public. Making a poll be public is imposing your privacy preference on any would-be voter. Making a poll be private is allowing would-be voters to control their own privacy.

For myself, I stop reading once I see a poll is public. I feel if the poll-poster doesn't care enough about my privacy, I don't care enough to participate. If a poll is private, I at least consider responding. But I don't vote in any poll that I'd be embarrassed about. Each vote is recorded on the server and I don't think it's encrypted, so someone can view it.
Serious question -- are there many polls here where there is any privacy concern? I get that a poll about whether you were raped, or whether you smoke pot might be sensitive. And there are certainly topics where I wouldn't vote in a public poll. But every time you post anything, you are giving strangers information about yourself. If the poll is about "what do you call this kind of road?" or "what is your opinion of this suit's plaid?" I honestly can't imagine what the privacy concern might be.
  #26  
Old 02-13-2019, 07:42 PM
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This is also true. I generally find poll results more interesting if I know who voted.

Serious question -- are there many polls here where there is any privacy concern? I get that a poll about whether you were raped, or whether you smoke pot might be sensitive. And there are certainly topics where I wouldn't vote in a public poll. But every time you post anything, you are giving strangers information about yourself. If the poll is about "what do you call this kind of road?" or "what is your opinion of this suit's plaid?" I honestly can't imagine what the privacy concern might be.
I'll ask it back of you - why do you want to know how specific posters voted? What insight to do you gain into someone if you know Poster X prefers plaid?

There must be something you learn about a poster, if it's of interest to you to know who voted which way, and people have their own reasons for not wanting someone to know some tidbit of info. I'm sure there are people on this board who think that someone who wouldn't wear plaid is a stodgy old fuddy-duddy, and there are other people who don't want to be thought of as such.
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Old 02-13-2019, 07:51 PM
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Well, why do you want to learn any poll results? If there's value (of some sort) to be had in knowing that 73% of Dopers prefer plaid to polka dots, then surely there's the same sort of value to be had in learning what each individual Doper prefers.
  #28  
Old 02-13-2019, 07:58 PM
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Well, why do you want to learn any poll results? If there's value (of some sort) to be had in knowing that 73% of Dopers prefer plaid to polka dots, then surely there's the same sort of value to be had in learning what each individual Doper prefers.
That's obviously untrue. Why are election ballots secret?

There is great value to knowing how people as a group vote. If 73% like plaid, I can see how I fit in with everyone else. The reasons I would want to know individual results could be nefarious (e.g., targeting them for their beliefs), or so I could categorize them in some way, or just idle curiosity. But in a public poll, I can't decide that only the last category gets to see my results.
  #29  
Old 02-13-2019, 08:47 PM
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That's obviously untrue. Why are election ballots secret?
Because they’re important, they want as much participation as possible, and making votes public will dissuade potential voters. You could even argue that making polls public effectively disenfranchises certain groups. There is also the potential for real life problems resulting from others knowing how you voted.

Polls on this board are silly things done for entertainment, to spur conversation on the subject, and/or to satisfy curiosity. They aren’t important and most people are posting on this board using anonymous identities anyway. There’s not nearly as much of a need for privacy.
  #30  
Old 02-14-2019, 10:12 AM
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If you're trying to understand why some people don't participate in public polls, I'm happy to continue to try to explain my view. If your goal is to convince me that you don't see a problem with it and therefore no one else should, then there's not much sense in more discussion.
  #31  
Old 02-14-2019, 11:02 AM
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Serious question -- are there many polls here where there is any privacy concern? I get that a poll about whether you were raped, or whether you smoke pot might be sensitive. And there are certainly topics where I wouldn't vote in a public poll. But every time you post anything, you are giving strangers information about yourself. If the poll is about "what do you call this kind of road?" or "what is your opinion of this suit's plaid?" I honestly can't imagine what the privacy concern might be.
Yeah, I wouldn't vote in even a private poll for either of the first two questions.

The key thing is that voting in a private poll is not posting on the forum. So I can contribute statistically to a question without revealing anything about myself. But that's not an option in a public poll.

We each have our own lines for what we wish to keep private. Public polls do not respect those lines, while private polls do. Even if it's a question I don't mind publicly answering, a public poll preempts my privacy choice.

It's okay for others to create public polls, but everyone should be aware that some fraction of posters here avoid them. If maximizing responses to your poll is important, you probably want to make it private. If accounting for everyone's response is more important, then make it public.
  #32  
Old 02-18-2019, 03:56 PM
Siam Sam Siam Sam is offline
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But... why? If you changed your mind about cheese vs pepperoni or whatever or if you accidentally checked the wrong box -- who cares?

Ah well, agree to disagree I guess. Maybe I should post a poll asking whether you'd vote in a public poll or not :P

I'm not trying to change your mind and get you to vote in public OR private polls. I rarely vote in either. But I just don't get this particular reason to avoid public polls, but it seems to be a very common one.
Just my policy. Policy is policy.
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