Russian bots rigged Voice Kids TV talent show result – News

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Mikella Abramova and Alsou, 11 Dec 18

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Mikella’s mom Alsou (R), from Azerbaijan, is a profitable pop star

The results of a preferred Russian TV expertise present – The Voice Children – has been cancelled after 1000’s of fraudulent votes had been discovered to have handed victory to a millionaire’s younger daughter.

There have been complaints after singer Mikella Abramova, aged 10, gained with 56.5% of the phone-in vote.

She is the daughter of pop singer Alsou and rich businessman Yan Abramov.

State-owned Channel One TV plans to re-run the ultimate on 24 Might. It says it’s now making its voting expertise safer.

A cyber safety agency, Group-IB, was employed to look at the vote for Mikella Abramova, after the ultimate of The Voice Children, which is in its sixth season on Russian TV.

“The interim outcomes of the test verify that there was outdoors affect on the voting, which affected the outcome,” a Channel One assertion mentioned (in Russian).

The Voice Children is a worldwide franchise, a spin-off from the massively standard expertise present The Voice.

Channel One mentioned the voting rip-off “should be the primary and final time that anybody tries to regulate the viewers’s selection”.

Nevertheless, it added: “Kids shouldn’t take the blame for actions carried out by someone else. Every participant turns into a member of the massive Voice household.”

‘Bots had been used’

Within the rip-off, in line with investigators, greater than 8,000 textual content messages had been despatched from about 300 cellphone numbers.

A Group-IB assertion mentioned (in Russian) that sequential cellphone numbers had been used to ship automated votes – in different phrases, “bots had been used on this case”.

“Greater than 30,000 votes got here in for one contestant from these cellphone numbers,” Group-IB mentioned. Rival singers bought not more than 3,000 votes every, Russia’s Kommersant day by day reported.

Bots are automated programmes which may perform a command 1000’s of occasions.

Group-IB is an official associate of Interpol and Europol. In late April, responding to the complaints, Channel One requested Group-IB to examine its voting expertise, which was managed by an organization known as SMS-servisy.

A full report on the rip-off is to be issued later this month, Channel One says.

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