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Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan Contest was an online voting contest by the Boston radio station Kiss 108 FM giving away a chance to meet the American singer-songwriter Taylor Swift. In July of 2013, the contest became the target of an online raid by users of the imageboard 4chan.
On July 5th, 2013, the Kiss 108 radio station launched the “Are You Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan?” contest, in which contestants submitted a 137 character essay describing why they should be considered Swift’s biggest fan. Profiles were subsequently created for each applicant, which could then be voted upon by other Internet users. The contest rules indicated that a winning contestant would receive tickets to a Taylor Swift concert where they would be able to meet and take a photo with the pop star. On July 15th, an anonymous 4chan user submitted a thread (shown below, left) urging other users to vote for 39-year-old Charles Z. on the contest voting page (shown below, right).
On the same day, Redditor LouReddit submitted a screenshot of the original 4chan thread to the /r/4chan subreddit, receiving over 12,900 up votes and 770 comments in the following 24 hours. On July 16th, Redditor burnafterreading91 posted a screenshot of the contest voting results showing Charles Z. in the lead (shown below) to /r/4chan subreddit, where it garnered more than 11,900 up votes and 450 comments in the next 10 hours.
Four hours later, Redditor Capwnski resubmitted the screenshot to the /r/funny subreddit, announcing that 4chan users succeeded in voting Charles Z to the first place position. In the first six hours, the post gained upwards of 24,100 up votes and 1,800 comments. On the same day, the news blogs Gawker, The Daily Dot and Baeble Music published articles about the rigged contest.
On July 19th, Kiss 108FM announced that they had cancelled the contest for being “compromised” on their official website (shown below, left). On July 20th, a Facebook page titled “Justice4Charles” and a Change.org petition were launched, urging the radio station to allow Charles Z. to meet Taylor Swift (shown below, right).
On the same day, Charles Z. tweeted that while he was sad he did not win the contest, he was still proud of those who orchestrated the raid.
taylorswift13</a> thing has me down, but all you kids have been awesome champions. <a href="http://t.co/sFdBwG0PLT">pic.twitter.com/sFdBwG0PLT</a></p>— Charles Z. (cgz79) July 20, 2013
Selena Gomez Contest
On July 21st, 4chan users launched a raid targeting another contest by the New York pop radio station Z100 to help Charles win a chance to meet performer Selena Gomez. However, on the following day, Z100 shut down the contest without an explanation, presumably as a result of 4chan’s vote-rigging campaign. Shortly thereafter, Redditor CharlesHook submitted a screenshot (shown below) of the announcement to the /r/4chan subreddit, crediting 4chan users for derailing the contest.
Jonas Brothers Contest
On July 22nd, 4chan users shifted their focus to rigging Z100’s Jonas Brothers contest in favor of Charles Z. The contest was cancelled the following day, leading Redditor CharlesHook to post a screenshot to /r/4chan (shown below) boasting that they had successfully ended yet another contest.
On July 24th, a series of greentext stories chronicling the events of the Charles Z. contests were posted to 4chan, foreshadowing that the raid will continue with the British boy band One Direction as the next target. Later that day, a screenshot of the original post was subsequently submitted to /r/4chan, where it accumulated over 4,900 up votes and 200 comments in the first 24 hours.
The Daily Dot – 4chan rigs a contest so a fat old creep can meet Taylor Swift