On Sunday, bdnews24.com asked people to vote ‘Yes’ or ‘No’ on: “Jamaat-e-Islami, which opposed the 1971 Liberation War, has no right to be part of politics in Bangladesh. Do you agree with Prime Minister Sheikh Hasina's comment in light of countrywide demand seeking ban on Jamaat?”
Bdnews24.com says that in the poll for the English edition, as many as 85 percent of the 7917 readers wanted the Jamaat outlawed. Its Bengali site poll had 90 percent of 19732 participants backing the Prime Minister on the issue.
A recent report it published on the site says that unidentified callers said the online poll was being “manipulated”. The report termed these calls as being threatning in nature, quoting a deputy news editor. There were also numerous emails to different bdnews24.com addresses.
Surfing the online arena opened a Pandora's Box. Various facebook pages claimed manipulations in the poll which the news agency had used to write a full blown article on its readers standing on their heads in their eagerness to ban Bangladesh Jamaat-e-Islami, arguably the third largest political party in Bangladesh.
Clear discrepancies were pointed out by enraged online activists who have been circulating screenshots of the poll which they claim flipped over like a previous poll at banglanews24. Its is observable that at a clear trend of "No" votes had been ongoing at 8:10 and 8:18. The voter list was showing at 13206 and 13337 respectively. However, at 8:53 pm, the poll "flipped" to a 87% of "Yes" votes vs. a 13% of "No" votes.
bdnews24 has tried to explain via a spokesperson said there was no scope for any manipulation in the automated poll who said that,“There is no way an online opinion poll like this can be manipulated. This poll is conducted every day to get the readers’ opinion on an issue based on a news report published that day. The poll’s result is determined automatically. There was no human intervention from our side. When we detected many votes from one single IP address in many instances, we imposed the one IP- one vote rule, which has been the international practice."
My question to the "marauding" bdnews24.com manipulators is that, if that is the case, then why is the poll voter base still at the same trending level, such as 14016 voters?