Teenagers on Twitter nearly caused a meltdown of the social media site at the weekend with claims that popular awards ceremony The Teen Choice Awards is “rigged”.
The annual awards show, which hands out gongs for the best teen movies, music and this year – web stars, enjoyed its 16th instalment on Sunday and it is usually fairly innocuous – bar one pole-dancing routine by Miley Cyrus in 2009.
But the ceremony’s officials may be kicking themselves for including the new category this year, after impassioned fans of losing ‘Web Stars’ nominees claimed that the whole thing is set-up.
The Teen Choice Awards board appoints its winner after tabulating the 165million votes cast by teenagers across the US.
According to its voting rules, which are published in its website’s fine print, “Teenasaurus Rox reserves the right to choose the winner from the top four vote generators.”
The latest furore started when Cameron Dallas, an 18-year-old Californian with 5.5million followers on Vine, publicly denounced the process.
He won the award for ‘Choice Viner’, but was so incensed that he didn’t get the presumably more prestigious award of ‘Choice Web Star: Male’ that he took to Twitter to reveal how he had been made aware of his win days previously.
“It’s funny how they told me I won the Viner award 6 days before the voting ended and made the runners up still vote to tweet for them,” he said, before deleting the tweets.
The ‘Web Star: Male’ gong was instead handed to 25-year-old YouTuber Tyler Oakley.
Another Viner, Matt Espinosa, also said to his two million Twitter followers: “Basically they picked the people almost 6 days before voting was done and used all of us for promotion,” according to the Washington Post.
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It led to the hashtag #TeensDontHaveaChoiceAwards trending on Twitter, with a number of self-appointed sleuths unpicking parts of the awards that seemed fishy to them.
One user contrasted two pictures of One Direction, the first of which shows their appearance at a launch of their perfume You & I in New York last Tuesday, in which they are donning the same clothes as in the video of their Teen Choice acceptance speech aired on Sunday.
As reported by Perez Hilton last year, it could be that the ceremony’s producers will consider their winners depending on who is and isn’t available to attend.
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