Yesterday we brought you news that Justin Bieber might be disqualified from the Triple J Hottest 100 after a betting company started a campaign supporting the singer, seemingly in contravention of new "no trolling" rules. Today, it seems poll favourite Major Lazer might be booted too, thanks to the very same company.
The betting company (who we're still not naming) started the campaign last week, Tweeting out #Bieber4Hottest100 and encouraging fans to place bets on the result of the poll. The company's campaign might be in breach of new rules, under a heading of "Play Fair" on the voting rules page:
- Don’t troll the poll. Votes made as part of a competition that promotes a song or artist, or a campaign that undermines the Hottest 100 may be disqualified or ignored.
- We want genuine votes, from genuine listeners. If we feel something’s preventing that from happening, we’ll look into it for you and take appropriate action.
Triple J's acting manager Meagan Loader said the station was aware of the Bieber campaign and was closely watching it.
"We want genuine votes from genuine listeners. It isn’t fair to triple j listeners or artists whose songs could be undermined when campaigns try to incentivise votes or troll the poll," she told The Huffington Post Australia in a statement on Monday, in response to the Bieber campaign.
"We’ll keep an eye on it and if we feel the outcome of the Hottest 100 has been manipulated votes may be disqualified or ignored."
Today, seemingly in an attempt to fix the mess it created -- but possibly creating an even bigger mess in the process -- the same betting company announced it was going to "square the ledger" and start a campaign supporting current Hottest 100 favourite Major Lazer's track 'Lean On.'
“We’re hoping to achieve parity here by getting behind Justin Bieber’s good mate Diplo (Major Lazer) with the #MajorLazer4Hottest100 campaign," a spokesman for the company said.
“For Triple J to blacklist Bieber, despite actually playing his Grammy nominated collaboration with Diplo and Skrillex (‘Where Are U Now) back in April, is baffling.”
They also took aim at Triple J itself for Loader's comments.
“Triple J state they want genuine fans only, but we’d be interested to know what characteristics define a genuine Triple J fan? Is it that they’re not allowed to like Justin Bieber, Taylor Swift or other artists they deem to be a threat. Even if said artists have been played on the station?” the spokesman said.
“It’s quite elitist really and frankly, goes firmly against being the ‘Worlds’ Greatest Music Democracy’.”
Triple J have not yet responded to the Major Lazer campaign, but we have contacted them for comment.
Triple J's stance on the Bieber campaign, and their response to HuffPost Australia, seemed based on the fact a big corporation was promoting one artist. Far from squaring the ledger, as they claim, the betting company may have actually torpedoed the chances of the current Hottest 100 favourite.
The betting company are currently paying $3 odds for Bieber to be disqualified, seemingly oblivious to the irony that they are almost sure of Bieber's disqualification due to their interference yet making that same interference regarding another artist at the same time.
If Bieber gets booted from the countdown, few Triple J fans would likely care. If Major Lazer, with one of the most popular songs of recent years, get the same treatment? That'll be a different story.