Following on from the voting controversy that surrounded the final stage of their “Share Your Summer with Flip” competition on Facebook, Flip Video UK have taken the bold decision to change the judging procedure. They have announced via Facebook the following statement:
We have decided upon the following course of action to ensure the ‘Share your Summer with Flip’ competition remains fair and because we feel it is the right thing to do for our fans at this point:
– Videos will be judged by an independent third party
– The £3,000 prize fund will be split into three equal prizes of £1000 each
– The result will be announced at 2:00pm on Friday 10th September 2010
There’s no indication at this stage whether this change is due to concerns about entrants using some of the methods outlined in our How Do People Get Votes to Win Voting Competitions?! However, as far as we can tell Flip have not disqualified anyone from the finals so that might suggest that cheating, as has been alleged via their Facebook page, hasn’t been proven one way or another.
We do understand that all finalists will receive the new version of the Flip Camera when it’s released in the coming months, and that again seems to indicate that indiscretions may not have been found.
This suggests to us that the decision is based on damage limitation. Flip would like to get the competition concluded with at least some level of goodwill intact. It will be interesting to see if there’s any follow up or revelations about the voting issues once the winners have been announced.
The general consensus from people following the competition is that Flip’s decision is indeed the right one and we have to agree. It should help limit the damage being caused by the air of suspicion hanging over the competition and it should ensure that the best videos win the prize.
Promoters who are using or looking to use voting competitions in the future really should treat this as a case study. It demonstrates why things can go wrong with voting competitions, what happens when things go wrong and how people will react and also how to deal with the problems so that the majority of participants end the competition happy.
We look forward to seeing who wins, and how different the result is compared to the three videos based on votes accrued.