Cheaters waste thousands of dollars trying to win a free wedding from Fiverr

Buying fake votes can get expensive!
Buying fake votes can get expensive!

In my last post I detailed the extreme cheating that was happening in Fiverr’s “Save the Date” contest.  At least 10 desperate couples tried to win a $25,000 dream wedding by ordering or manufacturing tens of thousands of fake votes.  The cheating reached obscene heights the night before the deadline as some entries were gaining dozens of votes every few minutes.  And these last-minute votes weren’t just coming in at 9 or 10PM.  They appeared all night long.  In fact, the cheating seemed to peak around two o’clock in the morning.  Maybe because 2AM Chicago time would work out to be about 1PM in Bangladesh.  Here’s what Fiverr’s Top 9 looked like about 12 hours before the voting ended.

fiverrcontest

Those numbers are absolutely ridiculous.  Obviously I don’t have access to Fiverr’s traffic and activity logs so I can’t say for sure that these folks were cheating.  But the judges must have realized that the voting had been compromised because in the end, those giant scores didn’t mean a damn thing.  The grand prize went to a couple who didn’t even have enough votes to make the top 10.  Here’s the winning entry.

Fiverr’s Grand Prize Winner.  Prize:  A $25,000 dream wedding:



I think it’s kind of funny that Fiverr let all these people waste so much time cheating.  But I do feel a little bad for them.  They didn’t just waste their time; they also wasted a ton of money.  To vote in this contest, you needed to have a facebook account.  Nobody outside of Southeast Asia has access to 8,000 facebook accounts so these people probably had to order votes from a Vote Farm.  And those type of votes aren’t cheap.  If they bought their votes from Fiverr, these people were spending about 20 cents a vote.  So 7,900 votes would cost $1,580!  But sellers on Fiver only do about 25 votes at a time.  So most of these people probably ordered their votes in bulk from a site like buycontestvotes.com.  Their prices are slightly less insane. (They’re listed at the top of this post).  That website sells 1,000 votes for $100.  So that works out to be ten cents per vote.

So let’s do the math:  The videos in Fiverr’s Top 9 had a total of 35,800 votes when I took my last screenshot (the night before the voting ended.)  I know that a few hundred more votes were added the next day but let’s just round up to 36,000 votes.  If they were paying ten cents per vote, these 9 couples spent at least $3,600!!!  Keep in mind that the rules of this contest said that votes would only count for a percentage of each video’s score.  I’m as competitive as the next guy but spending $800 to slightly improve your chances of winning a $25,000 grand prize is freaking bonkers.

 

Fiverr’s “Save the Date” contest turns into a ridiculous cheat-fest

savethedate1

Fiverr.com is a “micro job” site where independent sellers post “gigs” that they’re willing to do for five bucks.  You can find all kinds of weird and helpful gigs on Fiverr but a lot of their sellers offer shady gigs that violate the terms of service for sites like Twitter, Yelp, Google, Facebook and Youtube.  Do you need more twitter followers?  Well for just $5 you can gain a thousand of them over night.  How about Facebook likes?  For five bucks your page will look popular in no time.  Wanna be a viral video star?  Thanks to Fiverr your new video will have 10,000 views by the end of the week.  Sure they’ll be fake but only you and some dude in Bangladesh will know that your view count isn’t legit.

Fiverr also happens to be a popular tool for cheaters.  If you go search Fiverr right now you’ll find plenty of gigs just like this one:

fiverrgig

Basically Fiverr is a one-stop shop for anyone who wants to LOOK popular on the Internet.  So when I heard that Fiverr was running a video contest of their own, I knew it was gonna get ugly.  Today is the last day for entries in Fiverr’s “Save the Date” contest.  It was created to help promote Fiverr’s wedding-related services.  To enter, couples had to share their personal stories and explain what they would do with the $25,000 grand prize.  The rules for the contest state that the winners will be….

“the wedding couple that received the combination of the highest number of votes via the campaign landing page, as well as votes by a panel of internal Fiverr judges and campaign partners.”

Do you see the problem here?  The rules don’t say how important the votes will be.  Will votes count for 5% of an entry’s score?  50%?  75%???  Nobody knows.  So I guess a lot of contestants decided to play it safe and try and get as many votes as possible.  The huge prize, the vague rules and the fact that Fiverr literally sells fake votes guaranteed that the contest would turn into a massive cheat-fest.  With just a few hours left to go before the vote deadline, here are the videos that are in the top nine.


fiverrcontest
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The couple in first place has 7,900 votes!!  That’s awesome.  I’ve seen some really brazen acts of cheating before but I am genuinely impressed by these folks.  It takes serious balls to say screw it, I’m just gonna order myself 6,000 votes.  At this point, I don’t even blame these people for cheating.  The judges are the ones who let this contest get out of control.  No sane human being could believe that a non-famous couple could get thousands and thousands of people to vote for their entry.  Fiverr should have shut down the voting or disqualified people weeks ago.  But they just let the cheating go on and on and on.  So can you really blame these folks for trying to keep up?  To be totally honest with you, if I was in this contest I’d probably order a few hundred votes.  It’s obvious that the judges don’t care so it’s almost like people have to cheat just to have a shot at winning.

Now obviously I don’t have any hard proof that these contestants are buying fake votes.  But I have noticed some pretty hilarious clues.  Most of the people in the top 10 have realized that 4,000 votes will look suspicious if their video only has 500 views.  So when they ordered their votes, they also ordered a fat stack of youtube views.  But if you know where to look, youtube will show you a video’s view history.  So check out this entry that has 1,300 votes and over 7,000 views.

Fiverviews

This video managed to get about 7,000 in one day.  That’s amazing!  And what’s even more amazing is that it’s been getting zero views a day ever since.  What an incredibly mysterious phenomenon.  I wonder what could have caused this weird, random spike in views?

I hope it doesn’t sound like I’m trying to bust anyone here because I’m really not.  Like I said, I can’t exactly blame people for cheating in a contest that’s run by a website that sells fake votes.  In fact, I actually feel sorry for most of these people.  Fake votes are freaking expensive!  If you’re paying $5 for 50 votes, you’d have to spend $600 to get 6,000 votes.  And 6,000 votes won’t even get you in the top 3!  It’s a real shame that Fiverr is letting so many people waste so much time and money on this contest.  I have a feeling that when all is said and done, the judges are just going to ignore the vote counts and pick the video they like best.  But I guess we’ll know how things shake out soon enough.  The rules say that the winners will be announced on July 19th.  So check back here next week to learn the final results.

Post Script: It looks like a ton of fake votes were added while I wrote this post.  The top 3 videos gained a total of 1,000 votes since I took my original screen shot 2 hours ago.  By the way, I’m writing this at 2AM.  Yes, I’m a weirdo but I like to write late at night.  And I guess a lot of “people” like to VOTE at 2AM so maybe I’m not so weird after all.