Yet another competition is embroiled in voting controversy over on Facebook! Over the summer Flip Video UK have been running a competition with a £3000 prize on offer. The competition has been in four stages. Step 1 was answer a few questions. Step 2 required votes.
Step 3 reduced entrants down to the 20 who got the most votes and they were tasked to create a video about their summer. The final part, Step 4, required people to vote for their favourite video and therefore pick the winner. People who voted had the chance to win a Flip Video.
However, controversy began to kick off when the number of votes being accumulated by two entrants raised eyebrows amongst other finalists. This has since boiled over at the start of September when a user spotted a number of ” faceless, non profiled accounts” voting for the entrants. There are also allegations of fake accounts being used to get other entrants disqualified.
Flip UK, to their credit, have posted on their wall and are investigating
We are working with Facebook to identify any fake accounts. You will appreciate it is very important that Facebook can prove beyond reasonable doubt that these accounts are indeed fraudulent before taking action. This takes some time and we are going to have to ask you to bear with us.
This isn’t going to be an easy task and whatever the result the competition has been tainted. Reading some of the comments on Facebook suggests the goodwill of some finalists has gone. This can’t be what they hoped to achieve when the competition kicked off.
Brands love voting competitions, especially via Facebook, as they can help create viral social media buzz which means more likes/followers/friends for them. Their brand is being splashed over walls, posted on forums by people begging for votes and tweeted across Twitter.
However, as we all know in the comping world voting competitions are notorious for controversy. People will do anything and everything it takes to win, including spamming forums and jumping on people when they login to Facebook via the chat facility! There are voting groups on Facebook – some open, others private.
Even if people are playing within the rules there’s always suspicious minds and conspiracy theories usually come into play!
We can only sit and wait to see what happens with Flip’s Facebook competition. Hopefully there won’t be any indiscretions, but if there are then appropriate action should be taken.
Voting competitions are fast becoming a mammoth pain in the backside and it’s about time promoters woke up and started to realise the problems they’re getting into with them. Yes they do create viral buzz, but perhaps not always for the right reasons.
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