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Was SeaWorld “Stuffing” the Digital Ballot Box?

More bad press for SeaWorld.

On December 31, the Orlando Business Journal posted an unscientific poll asking, “Has CNN’s ‘Blackfish’ documentary changed your perception of SeaWorld?”

Surprisingly, By midday Thursday, the paper reported, that 99% of respondents said no, their opinion of the park had not changed their perception.

Upon a closer look, the Journal discovered that 54% of those 328 votes had been cast from a single Internet Protocol (IP) address.

Further investigation showed that the IP address belonged to Sea World.

“Not sure if this will become another belly flop for the theme park giant, but this surely couldn’t have been part of its public relations campaign,” the Journal’s Richard Bilbao wrote in a story exposing the vote.

The survey results have since gone the other way.

By midday Friday, 70% of the poll’s more than 1,700 respondents had said “yes,” with only 30% saying no.

SeaWorld spokesman Nick Gollattscheck said in an email to CNN “It’s important to note we have more than 6,000 team members in Orlando, between three parks and our company headquarters, “I think anyone would expect that an Orlando publication would be read and responded to by some of those team members. …

“Our team members have strong feelings about their park and company and we encourage them to make their opinions known. If a poll is posted regarding SeaWorld, our team members have as much a right as anyone else to vote and express their opinion. We’re unsure why that’s being questioned here.”

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About David

David Killingsworth is the son of the founder of DisneyDining.com. As such, he might know more about Disney World Parks and Games than any other 17 year old. David is a technical genius and when he is not writing for our Disney sites he is a video game designer and avid gamer.