Voting Pulled – Note from Tomek Dzido

9 comments

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2013 STORGY Short Story Competition

Note from STORGY founder, Tomek Dzido

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Dear All,

Unfortunately, it has come to my attention that voting was manipulated and consequent irregularities are evident in the data and statistics I have analysed upon closure of the deadline. Now, quite clearly, I am extremely disappointed in this. I had hoped that any potential to vote more than once would not be possible, and if so, would not be realised out of respect from one writer to another – and among readers – but clearly this was not the case.

I do not feel comfortable awarding any form of a final prize when considerable questions exist regarding the fairness of how the winner was identified. I realise that this may not be the fault of all writers and/or readers, but the final results are not representative of a fair and just selection process.

I take full responsibility for not identifying any such faults in the software prior to the voting and until I can identify software which does not cater for duplicitous activity, a winner will not be announced.

I apologise to all the writers who submitted and all the readers who participated in reading the stories and supporting the competition, however, a competition which does not award its prizes to the most deserving entrant is not a competition I wish STORGY, or myself, to be associated with.

I will update on this matter once I have further news.

Kindest Regards,

Tomek

Founder, STORGY

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9 comments on “Voting Pulled – Note from Tomek Dzido”

  1. Dear Tomek Thank you. I think that was the correct decision and a brave one. I was wondering how to bring to your attention the possibility of cheating via various algorithms, not just double voting, and I couldn’t believe the huge numbers of votes at the top!

    Perhaps a judging panel is the only way. Good luck in the future and thanks for trying.

    Best Sara

  2. Hello Tomek and all at STORGY,

    I agree with Sara – a brave decision but what other option? On the positive side, I have had comments and emails from friends and family who would not normally read short stories but who have read the short-listed stories and have taken the time to compare, contrast, enjoy and vote for the one they liked the best.

    Thanks on their and my behalf for all your efforts and good luck!

    All the best, Ruth

  3. I would like to point out that not all of the cheating was down to the writer. I know for certain that the ‘winner’ was unaware and genuinely thought they were getting those votes. It is such a shame

  4. Whilst we are aware that the cheating was not performed by all writers and/or readers, there is no doubt that votes were indeed manipulated, and as such, cannot be relied upon to decide the winners. As a result, discussions are ongoing concerning the competition and an announcement will be made shortly. Thank you to everyone who showed an interest in the competition and supported the shortlisted writers.

    1. I think Sara’s suggestion of a judging panel is the fairest way to judge these things. It eliminates the possibility of cheating and creates a level playing field. If an entrant has many friends on networking sites etc then there will be an element of friends voting without even reading the stories. I wish you every luck in resolving these issues and look forward to future competitions. It is lovely to see new talent emerging.

    2. As far as I know, this could be avoided by using a simple online member system where people provide their email address, and each account is allowed one vote. Of course someone with multiple email addresses could still enter multiple votes, but it would be far more time consuming than opening a separate browser or using a dynamic IP address, which can only take a few seconds.

  5. Well done tomek, definitely the right decision. I think it is absolutely ridiculous the lengths certain people have gone to in order to win, especially since it was a cash prize! 4668 votes to 3, wow!
    Good luck in the next competition! Peter

    1. As was said above, the ‘winner’ didn’t even know, it was not down to the writer in that case. It isn’t fair that some people would cheat, but it is also not fair to assume it was all down to the writer. I know Lilly worked hard to encourage people to read all the stories and vote for their favourite, not just to blindly vote for her. I would appreciate if you would reconsider your statement because she is just as saddened as the rest of us!

  6. IMPORTANT NOTE: We would like to point out that no accusations of malpractice are being aimed towards particular writers and/or readers and we would urge such conclusions to be curbed and re-considered. The outcome of the voting was unfortunate and disappointing for all who entered the competition and those who took the time to read the shortlisted stories. This cannot be undone and we are now attempting to finalise a manner in which to proceed to ensure writers and readers are not adversely affected. The competition helped to unearth some fabulous writing and this is the most important aspect of the entire event – the writing. We hope to bring more news shortly and thank you once again to everyone for their show of support and understanding.

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