Regarding the Results of Round 6
02 March 2012
Dear Spark the Rise Community:
Thank you all for your enthusiastic participation in Round 6 of Spark the Rise. It’s been an incredible journey thus far and we’re very excited for the Grand Finale.
There have been some concerns expressed on our Discussion Forum and Facebook about the results of Round 6.
Let there be no doubt: We re-assure you that the results announced yesterday are accurate and were arrived at after a thorough verification process. We are completely dedicated to making this voting process as democratic, fair, and transparent as possible. In consultation with our process partner, Ernst & Young, we devised a thorough process at the outset of Spark the Rise to ensure that the results of each round are accurate and genuine.
Throughout this process, and before the results of each round are published, we engage in comprehensive and exhaustive security checks to ensure that only valid votes are counted in the final tally. Specifically, we follow several parameters when looking at voting trends:
1) Duplicate votes. It has always been our policy to ensure that people can only vote for a project once. Thus, if a project receives a vote from the same user from two different email IDs, we only count one of them. As an example, we will either accept firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com; we will not accept both.
2) Fake email accounts. Votes from highly suspicious email IDs (firstname.lastname@example.org, for example) are discarded. In the event that we cannot clearly establish whether an email ID is genuine, we will email the address for a verification.
3) Votes from doubtful email domains, like mailinator.com. While these domains by themselves are not problematic, the fact that it is easy to create multiple email IDs through these domains make them vulnerable to misuse. As a result, we delete all emails from these domains; we have made this clear before on the site and this has been our policy throughout every round of Spark the Rise.
4) Collusion. The voting process is designed so that project champions must make an honest, individual effort to promote their projects and to convince the community that their project deserves a vote. As such, we do not accept collusion between unrelated projects: this is against the democratic spirit of Spark the Rise. All colluding votes are not included in the final tally and, in circumstances where the proportion of colluding votes is unacceptably high, we reserve the right to disqualify any projects involved in such activity.
5) Pay-for-votes. We do not allow participants to procure votes through online paid marketing campaigns; all such votes are not included in the final tally.
It has been encouraging to note that, throughout these six rounds, only a small percentage of votes have been identified for further review. The vast majority of activity has followed the true spirit of Rise.
Above all, it is important to remember that Spark the Rise is a community and, in such a community, mutual respect is of paramount importance. We have to work together to ensure that everybody abides by the rules.
We created this platform to allow you – every project champion and entrepreneur out there – to share your ideas and to support each other. As we enter the Grand Finale, provide a word of encouragement to your fellow project champions. We’ve made it so far; let’s keep Rising!
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