Dear Fans of the Soup Challenge,
Thank you for your enthusiasm! This year’s Soup Challenge™ is roaring … and with less than 18 days left, we are expecting a rousing finish!
We have a problem about which we want to make you aware. The issue is the manner in which folks are voting. We are addressing this with a refinement to the Official Rules (see below).
A fundamental tenet of our Soup Challenge has, and always will be, “this needs to be ‘a fair fight’”. To be worth your time, energy and talent, this competition needs to be fair between entrants, equal in presentation of the recipes on the Soup Challenge website, and an equal voting opportunity for each recipe. And that’s where we think we have a problem.
We have had a couple of instances where we believe, what we are calling, “robo-voting” has occurred, i.e. votes are being placed from multiple inauthentic e-mail addresses (URL’s) from the same computer using the same “IP” address, within minutes of each other.
The intent of the current Official Rules governing the Soup Challenge is clear: “Everyone may vote every day, though only once per day … Online voters will need to register their email address.”
We have revised the Official Rules as follows (we have highlighted the changes in bold to make it easier to follow):
- Voting will be active from November 1, 2012 through February 17, 2013 (11:59 PM EST).
- Everyone may vote every day, though only once per day, either by U.S. Postal Service or at www.soupchallenge.com
- Online voters will need to register their email address the first time they vote. The registration form requires a single, valid email address, first name, and zip code. Only one valid email address per voter is allowed. The validity of each voter’s single email address is subject to verification. Use of any device to automate the entry process is prohibited, including but not limited to, the use of any robotic, macro, automatic, programmed or like voting methods. Use of any such device will void all such votes in support of any entrant. Voters will also have the option to sign up for emails from Sponsor. (emphasis added)
Please note that we are continuing to closely monitor all voting. We have and will contact any individual(s) who we suspect are undermining the integrity of the Soup Challenge™, essentially compromising the fun of the contest. We will prohibit any individual from participating in the contest or winning a prize if, in (our) sole discretion, (we) determine that said individual has attempts “to undermine the legitimate operation of the contest by cheating, jacking, deception, or other unfair practices”, violated the Official Rules or has acted “in an unsportsmanlike or disruptive manner at any time during the Contest, with the intent to annoy, abuse, threaten, or harass any other person”.
Many thanks for your continued enthusiasm for a good old fashioned, fun cook off. We are so impressed with all your good work! We look forward to a great (and fair) finish and spirited regional competitions between the five finalists in the Northeast, Southeast and Midwest.
Then, once we finish all the arrangements for the three winner’s fabulous foodie weekends on Martha’s Vineyard, we wait for the stories, anxious to share in their wonderful adventure!