It's also pointless (the post about this thread) because chances are lots of people in that contest are doing the same thing.
Yeah, I tried explaining what was going on a few posts back, but I think that post keeps getting missed and this debate about what does and doesn’t constitute cheating keeps re-surfacing.
I’ll just repeat it all anyways for the purpose of an update.
We saw someone post “need votes? Buy likes!” on their (the other contestant's) wall and posted a link beneath. I followed the link and this person was advertising that they own “over 1000 facebook accounts, with pictures of nature, astronomy, etc.” and offering to sell facebook likes in packages of 250, 500 and 1,000. They had even listed a voting schedule posting the time that they vote.
Two weeks later we noticed that a certain entry was getting votes in increments of 40-70 likes from the hours of roughly 2:00am-5:00am. This was happening every Wednesday night for about 3 weeks, then mysteriously didn’t happen this Wednesday after a certain other event that I posted about.
Wondering who these mysterious late-night voters were, I clicked on their accounts to check it out. These accounts had open profiles, no friends, and the only activity from these accounts was liking hundreds upon hundreds of facebook pages. The times they voted also matched the “schedule” from that person’s website. We put 2 + 2 together, contacted the company to double check if this was against the rules, and that was that.
Very different from getting help from gaffers (who are actually real people).
I also find it kind of disheartening that we didn't report/complain about them to the company because I didn't want to cause any un-necessary drama or hostility (or cause them any uneccesary embarrassment) and yet a gaffer, for whatever reason, decided to go through the trouble of going to the company website and telling them to disqualify us on the basis of this thread.
Still, the second place may not necessarily be buying votes. There are whole forums and websites dedicated to this stuff. Soccer moms sit around all day and work on those forums. It's possible those profiles exist for that purpose.