Hacked! Activist claims foreign entities stole his poll

A Fort Greene activist rallying against a controversial megadevelopment in his neighborhood says a survey on his website seeking residents’ opinions on the plan suddenly received international attention — and lots of “Yes” votes — from people who shouldn’t care at all about it.

Ben Richardson, who thinks the proposal to construct a skyscraper the size of the Chrylser building on the border of Downtown, Fort Greene, and Boerum Hill is ridiculous, says most voters in the neighborhood seemed to agree with him until nefarious forces from outside the country pushed the votes in a different direction.

“It is possible,” Richardson said when asked if he was, in fact, hacked by the Russians. “We only got 44 votes for a four- or five-month period. But at 4:50 am last Wednesday, votes start happening at the pace of about two per minute.”

That pace continued for about 24 hours, with votes pouring in from the Netherlands, South Africa, and, of course, Romania.

Believing he had been hacked, Richardson took down the poll — not because it wasn’t going his way, he said, but out of fear that an international incident had taken place.

The plot thickened days later when a pro-development website called him out online for taking the poll down, leading him to surmise that maybe, just maybe, that website had something to do with the hack.

Did it? Well, we can’t tell you the answer right now, but you can hear his side of the story by listening to Brooklyn Paper Radio. We assure you your time will not be wasted.

Brooklyn Paper Radio is recorded and podcast live every Tuesday at 2 pm — for your convenience — from our studio in America’s Downtown and can be found, as always, right here on BrooklynPaper.com, on iTunes, and of course, on Stitcher.

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