Another big brand has taken on board concerns from compers and changed their stance on a voting competition. Jeeves Unansweables from Ask Jeeves are offering 10 Apple iPads to the people who provide the best answers to 10 impossible to answer questions. The winners were to be chosen by public vote.
As we all know voting competitions now attract a lot of interest. For example, organised voting groups can take control of the competition and insure that someone in their group wins. Everyone else has no chance. This competition had an added bit of spice as you could thumb down other entries – carte blanche for people to push down their rivals (of course they wouldn’t do that would they?).
Anyway, as you’d expect problems have occurred and thankfully Jeeves has taken action. Discussion about the competition can be found on the Ask Jeeves Facebook page, but the main changes are as follows:
An important change to Jeeves Unanswerables Rules. Following your feedback and some serious breaches of my original terms & conditions I have done all I can to restore fairness and keep everyone happy and will now be taking control of picking the 10 winners of my Unanswerables Competitions.
The breaches of the original terms aren’t explained.
The announcement will be seen by many as a good thing. The promoter is dishing out the prizes, so they should be in control of how the prizes get distributed. If there’s underhandedness at play then that needs to be dealt with.
Unfortunately it only takes one bad apple to ruin everything for everyone else and inevitably those people who have acquired votes fairly now feel a tad aggrieved. Even more so when according to one of the comments that suggests that Jeeves’ were made aware of potential problems regarding voting competitions, but chose to ignore them!
All may not be totally lost though for those who have acquired votes fairly. According to the new set of rules..
Numbers of thumbs up / thumbs down received by a particular answer may be taken into account by the panel and/or judge but will not necessarily be the factor that determines any winner
It may well be though that the whole competition is judged and we think that is the way it should be! Unfortunately those who were in the lead are going to have to accept that if these kind of competitions are going to be made fair then the actions of any cheats will effect them when rule changes are made.
It will be disappointing, but the question is do you let the cheats take advantage just so you can claim a prize? Or do you look and try and get promoters to sort out their competition mechanics so that they’re fair to all long term?
Ultimately the way competitions are run, whether it’s via Twitter, Facebook or on their own website, is in the gift of the promoter. If people who enjoy competitions can work together to help promoter’s understand problems that occur then that can only lead to better and fairer competitions. That can’t be a bad thing? Can it?
Thanks to the Help Ban voting competitions on facebook! for the news about the Jeeves changes.