The results of a recent poll over at the Orlando Business Journal have led to some to cry foul, claiming that the results, which are overwhelmingly in favor of the park, are a bit "fishy." The poll, which was posted on Dec. 31, asked respondents: "Has CNN's 'Blackfish' documentary changed your perception of SeaWorld?" And despite the recent backlash sparked by the film -- which details the 2010 death of a trainer at SeaWorld -- the results of the poll were staggeringly one-sided: as of midday Dec. 2, roughly 99 percent of respondents voted in favor of SeaWorld.
The reporter who posted the poll, Richard Bilbao, thought the results were just a little too hopeful for the marine park, and decided to take a closer look at the identities of the online respondents:
But imagine our surprise when we noticed that one single Internet Protocol Address (IP Address) accounted for more than 54 percent of the votes, or about 180 of the total 328 votes. IP Addresses are typically unique Internet identifiers given to a computer or series of devices - say a multi-computer network in your office.
That IP address, it turns out, belongs to none other than SeaWorld.com and SeaWorld Parks & Entertainment. At first, Bilbao speculated that the park had used a computer algorithm to mechanically vote in their own favor. But the poll, which had only 509 votes on Thursday evening, was likely not large enough. And the results became slightly less skewed as time went on (in fact, the results would have been in favor of SeaWorld even without the votes from the park's IP address):