Friday, July 22, 2011

Supernatural - Lying to Win is No Win at All

I'm a big supporter of Supernatural. I can F5 all night with the best of them. I will aggressively campaign and track down Supernatural fans to make them aware of a poll. I can sometimes be overzealous. And I believe that the Supernatural cast, crew, and fandom deserve no less. The people that make Supernatural work very hard and they do not get the recognition that they deserve. There is no question about that.

However, there are some things that I think hurt the show and the fandom. We have a reputation in online polls for being dedicated, obnoxious (sometimes deserved and sometimes not), and never giving up until we win. What we do NOT have a reputation for is cheating. When someone makes that accusation, even our opponents stand up to defend us. That's a powerful testament to this fandom. We may F5 until our fingers are numb, but we do not bot vote or design and post ways to let our fans vote faster. When it's one vote per IP address, we may vote from home and work, but we do not find a way to rig the system so we can vote multiple times from the same computer. We work hard, but we don't cheat to win. It makes me super proud of this fandom.

That's what makes the MTV Teen Choice Awards such a shame for me. Over these last weeks, I've seen fans pushing other fans to lie in order to win, even a big name in the fandom. The rules of the Teen Choice Awards are clear. You have to be between 13 and 19 to vote. Can you lie and say that you are a teenager even when you are in your 30's? Of course you can. But does that really benefit our fandom and is that the example you want to show teens? I think lying to win will ultimately hurt our fandom. For one, it tarnishes our reputation as a fandom that doesn't need to cheat to win. It means that every other poll we are in, people will question whether it is legitimate or not. For example, a fan for Firefly cheated to get Summer Glau to win some rounds in the Character Cup on SpoilerTV last year. This year when Firefly took a huge lead over Fringe at the beginning, I became immediately suspicious and asked Adam to look at the votes. They were legitimately winning but that one poll from last year had me wondering about every poll Firefly was in afterwards. That is not what we want people to think of Supernatural.

Ultimately, if Supernatural wins the MTV Teen Choice Award because we lied to get it people will know. Right now our passion inspires many people to try Supernatural out and it converts some of those people. That's when Supernatural really wins. To lie to win damages that ability and will hurt us in the long run. So if you are not a teen, I hope you don't vote. If you are a teen, hit F5 as often as you can. We all win this way.

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