A lot of you may be scratching your heads about why the results are going up now and not tomorrow night. The poll was scheduled to close February 15th at 11:59pm EST. But here we are closing it on Valentine’s day morning. I know that’s disappointing to many of you who have been working tirelessly for days, but we posed this question to our Tumblr followers and discussed it among the staff and this seemed like the decision that was fair to the most people. There will be people upset by this decision, but it seems that most will find this fair so it’s what we’ve decided to go with.
Why have we made this decision?
There have been accusations of botting since the start. We had to eliminate Stydia for botting early on, but have defended Sterek pretty passionately against those accusations (see this Tumblr post with an outline of some numbers). The number of hits on our website, the amount of linkbacks, and the comments on our poll generally trended with when Sterek was surging in votes and by roughly how much it was surging by. Unfortunately in the early hours of February 14th these numbers got severely out of balance. While the linkbacks to our poll were still overwhelmingly in Sterek’s favor, the votes no longer matched the hits on our site and the votes surged by more than triple any of the other surges that had occurred for any of the ships on the poll… except for Stydia who was botting.
We are not blaming Sterek shippers for this. We have had several tipsters (on Tumblr, through email, and on Twitter) that have pointed us in the direction of another unrelated group who were actively rallying to throw the poll. Earlier in the poll I foolishly stated that if either Sterek or Destiel was caught botting they’d both be disqualified and a third ship would be declared the winner. This spurred some into action to get them both disqualified so that they could claim the title. My bad. I clearly put far too much faith in people with that declaration. I’ve also witnessed rallying to spite vote and place bots on candidates so that the ship they hate wouldn’t win. They weren’t cheating for their own ship, but cheating to force another ship to lose. It’s horribly mean spirited, but sadly the truth of the matter.
This poll was created to celebrate love, not vote out of revenge and hate. It’s Valentine’s day. Unfortunately not everyone could vote out of love and tried to ruin things for everyone. But you know what? We aren’t going to let that happen. We aren’t going to let a small group of people rain on your parade. The vast majority of shippers have been wonderful and pleasant. Your hard work to push your ships to the top has certainly been noticed. You deserve the recognition.
It’s a SEMI-TIE. Yes, semi-tie. It’s hard to say who would have won. Both fandoms have been jockeying for first place, but Sterek shippers truly deserve some special recognition here (Edit: The person who made this decision doesn’t even ship Sterek so please stop calling me biased). You’ve truly shown how powerful of a fandom you can be and have shown up in full force. Both fandoms have been incredibly hardworking, but the linkbacks (Edit: proof in this screenshot here) show your campaigns as being more popular. Since the lead did swap out between you two repeatedly and you hadn’t pulled ahead by such a large margin until bots were involved, it’s hard to say exactly if you would have won fairly. I’d like to think that you could have. There’s just no way to say for sure. Therefore you can both claim this as a victory and Sterek can get special recognition for proving that they are force to be reckoned with. You should both be proud. I ship both fandoms together right now. You’re both fabulous.
We may hold another shipping poll in the future, but not right away. We’ve had suggestions for making a femslash/lesbian poll and a poll that would allow the smaller ships a chance at claiming the title. Due to the issue on this poll we may even have a Destiel vs Sterek poll only with tougher voting restrictions. All three of these options are possibilities. None of these will happen right away. Frankly, we’re tired. We need a break. But keep an eye out!
Thanks to everyone who voted fairly! You’ve been spectacular!
Edit: A request has been made to see who the other top ships are. Here are the five ships that came in after the top two. Congrats to these ships for working so hard!
Author: Angel Wilson
Angel is the admin of The Geekiary and a geek culture commentator. She earned a BA in Film & Digital Media from UC Santa Cruz. She’s contributed to various podcasts and webcasts including An Englishman in San Diego, Free to Be Radio, and Genre TV for All. She’s written for Friends of Comic Con and is a 2019 Hugo Award winner for contributing fanfic on AO3. She identifies as queer.
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