The MINI fiasco

OK, I didn’t wanna start my blog by whining and bitching…
But i had to, so either you bear with me or turn to the next blogger!

I am an architect and designer. 7 days ago I participated in a web competition run by, titled:
MINI Space Design Competition 3

I participated using my profile on the website, under the net alias “soberhigh”.

The purpose of the competition was to design a creative background for the MINI space, under the theme “electrified”.
I participated with 4 designs, which rapidly won praise and during the last 5 days my rankings kept going up, until one of my designs ranked 6th 2 days ago with 195 votes. With 4 more days to go, I was expecting certain win in the competition.

My top ranking design (ranking at 6th on Monday 02/02/09)

My top ranking design (ranking at 6th on Monday 02/02/09)

Yesterday, at 11:59 am, I received this message from the site management:

“Our tracking process unfortunately flagged some of your votes as coming from “fake” accounts.
Therefore we had to eliminate these votes in order to give all competitors the same chance.”

With this the management of the site removed 90 votes out of my 6th ranking design moving it back to the 24th position, effectively ruining my chances to win; and this so called filtering was done with the leading design only, the rest which are ranking at 43, 54 and 85, were left alone. Furthermore, this filtering was only applied to my profile.

Aggravated by this turn of events I contacted the site management, objecting to the votes recount, and requesting a list of the false votes, or a list of the accounts that they thought was fake, in order to verify if these accounts were fake or not. (I have the full log of msgs)

Of course their respond was that this cannot be done. Instead they replied:
“as much as we would like to send you the form with all the accounts, that would not be possible because of the way our system filters the votes.”

They also said they are not sure why the votes were eliminated, but they could have been eliminated if they were made by friends because it is not “contest of popularity”, yet their Invite form clearly says: Invite your friends to vote for you!!!

The MINI Space invite form clearly stating that you can invite your friends to vote!

The MINI Space invite form clearly stating that you can invite your friends to vote!

Today MINI space team continued their bias and favoritism,

They have removed my latest entry which i added after the incident, without so much as a notice… probably cause they deemed it offensive to MINI.

My Latest entry in the competition titled "MINI B.S. smels"

The deleted design, titled "MINI B.S. smells"

They are explicitly exercising censorship on my freedom of speech!

Right now I’m left with a grave feeling of betrayal and injustice on the part of the MINI space management, and I don’t know how to go publicly with this incident that reveals unfairness and bias.

Already I’ve sent the details of the incident to many Mr. Gert Hildebrand and many News networks, including BBC, Yahoo!, Independent UK, Gardian UK, Al Ahram Weekly Egypt.

Other than that I don’t know what to do in the face of this unfairness!!!


4 thoughts on “The MINI fiasco

  1. Pingback: More on MINI fiasco - Fascism and oppression « Rants on modernism

  2. Hello Radwan,

    Today I found MINI Space trough Facebook, soon I discover the conquest, and your post on Facebook minispace page. I was shocked.
    I wish I had suggestions, but I can’t see what else it’s possible to do.
    Make sure to be listen. And give news about it.

    Good luck.

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