A competition site that uses Twitter has had an interesting few days! Scramble asks entrants to post items on it’s site and then these are retweeted by other players during the day. The item with the most tweets wins a prize with another prize awarded randomly to those who tweeted. This weekend, however, a gaming group decided to use their collective powers to balance the competition in their favour.
This has led to calls of unfairness and cheating from compers across Twitter. The key to the issue is that the gaming community involved not only were planning to set up a rota, therefore taking control of who and what will win on each day/week/month, but some members were making claims of using false accounts.
Interestingly the original thread for this plan was deleted from the Playstation Community Forums before resurfacing some time later on the A2 Network. Despite the original thread being deleted, incensed compers managed to collect screen grabs of the content and also find it via Google’s Cache.
To highlight the issue even further a low value prize was added to today’s competition. By retweeting for today’s prize of a 35p pencil sharpener the user’s of Scramble wanted to reach out to the organisers to make sure fair play was at the heart of the competition. The prize is currently the top item and the “protest” has worked as Scramble have announced that they will be looking into the matter.
The gaming community, however, state they have nothing wrong although the owner of the A2 Network has issued an apology to Scramble and a thread on the EU Forums suggests to people their that Scramble is on to them. Ultimately it’s down to Scramble to determine any wrongdoing, but in Competwitions opinion they do need to assess the mechanics of their site.
Voting competitions online by there very nature are flawed.
They are never actually about “the best” but who is “the most popular”. The same applies for Scramble! By being organised and having the most friends it’s actually quite easy to influence the daily winners. This may well be a “fact of life” but it will soon mean disenchantment from those people who aren’t in the group, and it’s a difficult situation for Scramble to consider.
To be fair Scramble have reacted very quickly and issued messages via their Twitter Account. They say that they “have no problem with people getting together to tweet for a good cause, we can’t abide by fake accounts to massage vote counts!”. As yet they’ve not commented on people forcing the competition by setting up a rota and it’ll be interesting to see what measures they can or do take to keep their core users happy.