Explainer: How #RevokeA50Now is secured against fake accounts


is trending. Competing petitions to the government of the UK are going viral. Claims are being made on all sides, we believe  these questions and answers will provide the readers with the context to ensure that its results are really fact-based:

1- How does the site, ensure these are unique signatures? Do they even try?

In a response to an article by the Express a House of Commons spokesman wrote: “GDS [government digital service] use a number of techniques, including automated and manual, to identify, block or remove signatures that are clearly bots.”

These techniques include checking for signatures made using disposable email accounts, looking out for large number of signatures from single IP addresses and comparing actual signatures from predicted numbers.

Given the focus on making the site accessible and easy to use, most of the checks for fraud appear to be curative (removing false signatures) rather than preventative (carrying out rigorous checks before a person is allowed to sign).

The team involved have chosen not to disclose more precise details but have made it clear that, yes, they do try.

2- And what are the rules for people who don’t reside in the UK? Do they check IPs? It would be good to know given all the rumours that are going on about this.

 “Anyone who is a UK resident or a British citizen can sign a petition. This includes British citizens living overseas (emphasis added)

The site collects the IP address you use when starting or signing a petition in order to ensure, among other things, that no person votes more than once and that every voter is eligible.

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