More on MINI fiasco – Fascism and oppression

A follow up on The MINI fiasco, Yesterday I received this message from the “MINI Space Team“:

“Dear Soberhigh,

Thank you for your continued interest in MINI Space.

We are glad to provide a forum for designers to showcase their artwork and interact with each other in a positive manner.

We need to make sure that the content that is on the website is not offensive to anyone.

Backgrounds or posts that are slanderous or violate our terms of use will be removed.

The MINI Space Team”

I immediately fell to the ground laughing! what the hell are they on about?!
Anyhow, knowing that it is “rude” to leave their message unanswered I wrote them this:

“More jabbering from “The Team”
I honestly don’t think they understand the stuff they write (if indeed they are the ones who write it), now what does that last post mean?

“Backgrounds or posts that are slanderous or violate our terms of use will be removed.”
Slanderous to whom?

Are they implying that my last design “MINI BS” was slanderous?
To whom? The Lord MINI almighty?
Did I insult all the MINInian believers out there? (like the Danish Cartoon incident, looooooool)

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

My Deleted entry in the competition titled "MINI B.S. smells"

Is it slanderous to you?

Supposing that it was in fact Slanderous and blasphemous to the MINI religion (which it wasn’t); does that give them the right to delete it?

Where is the Freedom of artistic expression?
Are the management team living in China?!
Isn’t this the essence of Hypocrisy itself?

They give you a space and then they say you can only do what we permit you to do with it…

Dear TEAM, The MINI cell, is a more realistic and accurate name for this community of yours… and I suggest you only let those who follow your MINIrialism to join…
And if you don’t like my ranting… well delete me, cause I intend to keep on ranting!

P.S. why do you guys send me the same message you posted to the wall? Is this some kind of failsafe policy of yours? To ensure that I “get it”?!
If so why was the messages telling me that my votes have been “eliminated” only delivered in my inbox? was it because it’s a more private and intimate topic?
Nehow, stop it! It is really annoying! Stick to one way of communication either by wall or messages!!!

P.P.S. BTW, how come “The Team” can delete our posts and we can’t delete the post we don’t want from our own wall?
Isn’t it our wall after all? so it makes more sense that WE have the same control over it the “The Team” has, if not more!
Just a thought… ”

My new MINI design

My new MINI design

Anyhow as a form of a more civilized respond to what they are saying and doing, and the deletion of “MINI BS” twice, I designed this new entry and posted to both, MINI Space and DeviantArt.
Lets see if they consider it “Blasphemous” too!

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!!!