imarcos

Bots vs. iMarcos - E! Online Poll

So obviously anyone who’s been involved in the e online poll the past couple of days has seen all of these rumors about cheating using bots and I wanted to clear the air about it a little. Just a little background about me, I’ve been a web designer for 5 years with some web development experience and I’ve dealt with CAPTCHAS and spambots a lot with my job and I wanted to explain what a bot is versus imacros.

Bots

So bots or spambots is a script or computer program designed to attack a website by continuously filling out a form with nonsense and “spamming” the websites email. These things can continue doing this for as long as the program wants and they can submit nonsense automatically. However, when a CAPTCHA is used on a web form it prevents these bots from being able to submit. Because the CAPTCHA uses an OCR (optical character recognition) the bot can’t read the word(s) and therefore every time it tries to submit to the form it won’t validate. You’ll notice when you filled out the CAPTCHA screen if you typed a letter wrong you had to do it again right, that’s because it won’t validate unless the word is correct. There’s really no way around a CAPTCHA for bots, which is why even though everyone hates using them (because they tend to frustrate the end user) it’s the most secure way to prevent spam.

iMacros

So iMacros is an extension for a web browser used to record repetitive actions, its commonly used by web designers and developers when they want to test a web site. This is the Chrome extension that people have added to their browser to save time with voting. Basically it will open tons of tabs with a quick keyboard command and it can even open a website in the exact same spot (so you don’t have to scroll.) However, unlike a bot a human being still has to select the radio button, fill out the CAPTCHA and click submit, you’re just speeding up the process. This information has been ALL over tumblr and anyone could easily have done it so it’s not like this was only available to the SC fandom.

Now I’m unfamiliar with OUAT (never seen an episode) and their fandom so I can’t really comment on the size of the CS fandom (though it does seem large.) I can comment on the SC fandom though and while people may think we are small it’s actually grown quite large in the past couple of months because the Stefan and Caroline relationship has been a major focus on the show this season. I also noticed throughout the poll on twitter and tumblr, SCers have never given up in all of the rounds, they constantly set goals to reach certain percentages and many people haven’t slept much the past few days (I am not one of these people.) From what I’ve seen they used a strategy, set up a chat room to motivate each other and had such a vast global fanbase that they were able to have tons of people voting 24/7.

SC was very much the underdog throughout this entire poll and that motivated a lot of us. We are constantly belittled in the TVD fandom and called “Sterolfuck” “Sterocest” people say our ship is forced, it’s incest, the characters are OOC because who knows and honestly we’re all just really sick of it. I’m sure no matter what I say people will always say we cheated and that’s fine, I really don’t care, but for anyone who wanted to know the truth about the bots and the SC fandom strategy here it is.