Monday, September 21, 2009

Vote tampering at JJJ?

News Limited has run with a story today in The Australian, MX (here in Melbourne), Perth Now, and presumably a raft of its newspapers overall, about alleged vote tampering at JJJ in this year's Hottest 100 Of All Time. Specifically, Hack journalists re-analysed the votes and came up with results which were substantially different to the official results. They believe this suggests that results were tampered with, perhaps to ensure the final CD would sell well in stores. ABC Head of Radio Kate Dundas is quoted in The Australian as saying:
So the journalists did not have access to all the data and therefore the algorithm was wrong.
The journalists, James West and Kate O'Toole, apparently were using the base set of 487,000 votes, and were missing up to another 50,000 votes which were submitted outside of JJJ's pre-fab voting system.

Look, it's possible that those 50,000 votes juggled around the bottom, say, 50 songs, and some songs would have dropped out if the journos had included those votes. I saw something similar with my own poll - those bottom ranks are very perilous places to dwell, with lots of hungry, ambitious tunes seeking to knock you off by getting just one ... more ... vote! However, I find it highly unlikely that James and Kate felt they had uncovered something so significant, that would have been rectified by including only another 10%-odd more songs. It just doesn't seem statistically likely. But, until the ABC allow the story to go to air, we just won't know for sure, will we?

Here is the letter to the editor I just sent The Australian:
I'm actually a bit relieved to hear there are suspicions of tampered results with the Triple J Hottest 100 Of All Time. As a big fan of a range of artists, including women, it was so disappointing to see that almost no women appeared in the entire countdown. To think that they may have been edited out to make way for men - well, it's also disappointing, but it does give me renewed faith in the Triple J audience. While we wait for Triple J to release this updated set of results, readers may enjoy listening to the results of another poll, run in the weeks after Triple J's - the Hottest 100 Women Of All Time. This countdown is made up entirely of songs by female artists, as voted by Australians online at Twitter and Facebook. I gathered over 7,000 votes over 4 weeks, and the final countdown can be found (and listened along to) at Hopefully Triple J's next Hottest 100 Of All Time countdown will include more of the songs that appeared in my final Hottest 100.

No comments:

Post a Comment