vasárnap, november 19, 2006

Bad Democracy Awards...

... is one of the most cliked-on page on openDemocracy. It is so popular that we reached thousands and thousands of page-views this month after our "bad" team decided to nominate Hungary's Prime Minister Ferenc Gyurcsany as one of the shortlisted candidate. We received a lot of e-mails -some congratulating us, some angry ones arguing against our pick- and people left passionate, lenghty comments on our forums. But what happened last month came as a surprise: our website's server went down when some individuals, courageously hiding behind a Hungarian IP adress, hacked our Bad Democracy page with "denial of service" attacks. In simple terms,hackers have been writing a script placing automated votes on our Bad Democracy poll, hitting the page every second and consumming our server's ressources, thus causing it to crash.

So who's the Bad Democract here? It makes little doubt that the official candidates are guilty, but by pushing us to close the pool down - even momentarily- the hungarian hackers proved they could also be bad-democrats by harming a deliberative process that, even if largely meant to be fun, aimed to promote dialogue and trust between oD readers, contributors and staff.