The organisers of 1 in 360, the San Marinese national selection for the Eurovision Song Contest 2018, have released a statement in relation to allegations of cheating in the online voting, specifically in relation to the awarding of the second wildcard.
Concerns were raised after certain acts managed to receive thousands of votes in a short period of time, leading to some fans to accuse them of purchasing votes in bulk from a botnet operator. In response to this, the organisers of 1 in 360 posted this statement on the official 1 in 360 Facebook page:
We’ve received emails from several 1 in 360 fans alleging fraud in connection with the open process for the selection of wild card no. 2. Specifically, they pointed out that certain candidates gained tens of thousands of votes in a short period of time. We appreciate this may look suspicious.
Going into this, we considered requiring fans to pay a small amount of money in order to cast a vote. While this wouldn’t have prevented fraud, it would at least have made it more expensive. In the end, however, we decided to be as inclusive as possible.
There’s very little we, as organizers, can do to prevent fraud in a free social media vote. Some of the same singers who’ve achieved a large number of votes on our website also garnered tens of thousand of views and/or likes on YouTube. This shows the difficulty of policing the process.
While it’s technically possible to identify multiple votes from the same IP address, it becomes very messy to distinguish legitimate artists from those who, for example, purchase bulk votes from a botnet operator (which is easy to do).
We went into this fully aware that we can’t control the outcome of an internet based vote. That’s why we decided to use a mix of different voting mechanisms, including the fan club vote, the San Marino wild card and a jury vote for the remaining seven candidates.
Keep in mind that ultimately we’re looking for the “internet candidate”. Given that, it’s only natural that one wild card should be decided by the internet, with all the good and bad things that this entails.
If any of you objects to the results, you’ll have plenty of opportunity to do so during the live shows.
In the meantime, we’d ask that you give all candidates a fair chance.
Today was the last day in which votes for the second wildcard could be cast. Emma Sandström was awarded the first wildcard by the fan club vote. She will be joined by nine other acts, two wildcards and seven selected by SMRTV, in the 1 in 360 live shows.
Original article here