The 2017 Mnet Asian Music Awards, also known as MAMA, is implementing stricter policy as the controversy over voting fraud broke out. The annual music award claims to be the biggest and the most credible music award in Asia, and the recent controversy is igniting conflicts amongst various fandoms.
On November 2, a representative at Mnet stated that technical adjustment is underway to subtract the illegitimate votes that had been reported. According to the official statement, the online polling that involved participants from over 180 countries around the world showed signs of fabrication in poll numbers. A sudden surge in the number of vote counts had been reported over the past week from October 27 to November 1. Mnet, therefore, undertook inspection from 4 to 8 a.m. KST on November 3.
Outbursts of angry fans flood online comments.
The online voting for MAMA requires a participant to vote in all of the categories which include Best New Male Artist, Best New Female Artist, Best Male Group, and Best Female Group among others. In other words, the total number of votes should be identical in every category.
However, there was an observation that the total vote count differed per category, and sudden surge in polls at certain hours suggested rigging in the system. Fans demanded an explanation for the anomaly.
Mnet confirmed fraudulent addition to the poll numbers and some artists suffered a reduction in the votes as a consequence.
EXO benefited the most from the correction. The correction in the vote counts allowed EXO to reclaim its place as number one in the Best Male Group category - and BTS(Bangtan Boys) was relegated to second place. The SM Entertainment’s all-boy group is ranking number one in a number of other categories as well.
The chart below shows the changed ranking before (left) and after (right) the voting fraud inspection. After the subtraction of illegitimate votes, EXO took BTS' place as No. 1.
However, complaints are pouring in as the results changed drastically, and some are requesting that Mnet disclose its revision process. 450,000 votes have been subtracted from one certain group's total vote number as a result of the correction.
Mnet explained that “although [the music channel] does not ban participants from making multiple accounts, only one vote is permitted per user ID.” “In the revision process, fraudulent voting activities had been detected and illegitimate votes have been deleted accordingly,” added the music network’s representative.
2017 marks the 9th anniversary for MAMA, which is hosted by the South Korean media company, CJ E&M. MAMA 2017, which will take place in Vietnam, Japan, and Hongkong for an entire week, aspires to consolidate its place as the biggest music award ceremony in Asia. The controversy over its voting procedure, however, is expected to harm its credibility.
By Gothesun and Arin Kim firstname.lastname@example.org