Boaty McBoatface & The Top 5 Online Poll Fails
It seems as though The National Environment Research Council of Britain weren’t aware of the previous online voting disasters that they are now on the long list of after giving the public the ability to vote on their new research ship. In an overwhelming victory, the public voted for no other name than “Boaty McBoatface” proving once again that online voting polls are the perfect platform for online trolls, but not so great for the companies that naively use them.
Over the years there have been more than enough blunders to foresee what has happened in NERC’s case. With so many to choose from, we’ve narrowed down the 5 most controversial online voting polls fails, placing Boaty McBoatface at #5.
#4. Taylor Swift Concert For One Lucky School
In 2012 VH1 launched a competition for one lucky school to have Taylor Swift perform a concert in front of and one school gained a tremendous amount of votes: The Horace Mann School for the Deaf. The competition quickly gained momentum over certain corners of the web and before long, The Horace Mann School for the Deaf was leading the competition. The school was soon after removed from the competition for obvious reasons, although Taylor swift made a generous donation of $10,000 to the institution as well as tickets to her next show.
#3 Mountain Dew’s New Name
In a sincere attempt to name a green apple variation of the popular soft drink, Mountain Dew launched a campaign in 2012 , “Dub The Dew” although what followed was anything but expected. Large volumes of votes for “Hitler did nothing wrong” and “Gushing Grandma” immediately led the competition astray, causing it to be prematurely ended. Before it was suspended, the website was hacked, showcasing the interesting names of which the users had chosen, causing even more problems for PepsiCo, who you would assume opt-out of any future online voting polls.
#2 Pitbull’s Exclusive Concert
Walmart held a Facebook competition in 2012 for Pitbull to play an exclusive concert in one of their American stores based on Facebook likes. What seemed like a pretty straightforward competition quickly got derailed with thousands of votes being made for a Walmart in rural Alaska. Unlike the previous compeptions we mentioned, Pitbull held up his end of the deal and went to perform for the small isolated town of Kodiak, Alaska showing that he’s not only a great performer, but a great sport as well.
#1 Name That Whale!
Dating back to 2007, some say this marked the beginning of the end for online voting polls. It was then, when Greenpeace launched an online campaign to name a South Pacific whale in which they tagged in an effort to track the whale and raise awareness of the Japanese Fisheries plan to hunt 50 whales in the region. With many names up for contention including ‘Kaimana’ and ‘Shanti’, both with admirable foreign translations, the people decided on “Mister Splashy Pants.” Wasting no time at all, various communities jumped on the bandwagon and after initial reluctance from Greenpeace, “Mister Splashy Pants” was born.