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Taylor Swift radio contest ambushed by “creep” friends

Taylor Swift and her sniffable hair

When Boston’s Kiss 108 invited listeners to prove themselves to be Taylor Swift’s biggest fan they didn’t count on a tasteless online ambush from friends of a “39 year old guy creep”.
The prize was to meet Taylor Swift and attend one of her gigs but the contest was cancelled after a campaign to undermine it that began with a chatroom post:

a local radio station has a contest going to give some teeny bopper the chance to meet her. My creepy 39 year old friend named Charles would like to crush all those girls dreams (and then sniff Taylor Swifts hair cuz he’s into that).

The dubious character galvanised support through the 4Chan community, rising to the top of the contest leaderboard.

Creepy Charles on the leaderboard

Kiss 108 determined this campaign was in breach of the contest rules and pulled the plug. They announced their disappointment that the competition’s “integrity” had been compromised and offered their apologies to participants.


What went wrong?

The flaw in Kiss 108’s mechanic was a piece of link bait by which the station encouraged repeated online voting by the friends of the leading contest candidates. That greed for traffic appears to have undone what would otherwise have made an entertaining and engaging radio contest.

This is not the first time a Taylor Swift promotion has faced online subversion. Last year, the artist invited votes from educational establishments who would like her to stage a free gig at their school. After a cheeky online campaign, the competition was won by a school for the deaf.