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Sunday, April 22, 2007

Popularity Contest Rant

Obviously, my work brings me into contact with a lot of models, both new and experienced. As a direct consequence, it seems like every other day I get a message asking me to vote for a model in this or that popularity contest, where the winner gets the most votes.

I'd like to think I am pretty supportive of the modelling community, but that support has limits and these competitions have really started to annoy me. Bluntly, I think a lot of these competitions greatly exploit models and those that would vote for them.

The majority of these competitions involve calling or texting a premium rate phone line. Recent scandals in the UK, show how poorly this is regulated - if Blue Peter can rig a contest do you really think random company is not capable of doing similar, particularly if the vote delivers a result they don't like?

Online competitions often involve you providing a legit email address and being deluged with spam as a result. Even if they don't require any contact details, these online competitions either have no published rules at all or have poor rules that positively encourage vote rigging. Most common fault, you can vote more than once. Why? It maximizes the profit of the organiser.

How is voting more than once in any way democratic? We wouldn't choose our prime minister this way - the winner would be the person who has supporters with the most time on their hands.

I am sure there are a few good and fair competitions out there, but its not particularly
possible to spot them, so model be aware that, if you ask me:-
  • I will not be calling/texting a premium rate phone line on your behalf
  • I will not be supplying my already spam-bombarded email address to a random company
  • I will not participate in a voting system that allows you to cast your vote more than once.

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