Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan will never find out what her hair smells like.
Internet efforts from image and link-sharing sites 4chan and Reddit helped a 39-year-old “creep” named Charles Z. win the contest, beating out a contestant pool full of teen girls and other young superfans. The situation prompted the station to call off the contest.
The online voting contest had been sponsored by Boston radio station Kiss 108 FM, offering a chance for fans to create an application for voting, with the winner getting to actually meet Taylor. But users of the image-sharing board 4chan decided to crash the contest, urging voters to vote for 39-year-old Charles Z.
“My creepy 39 year old friend named Charles would like to crush all those little girls dreams(and then sniff Taylor Swifts hair cuz he’s into that) but winning instead,” the post read.
On Friday, Kiss 108 FM announced that the contest was off due to the vote rigging.
The station announced:
“Disappointingly, we have determined that the integrity of the ‘Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan’ contest has been compromised. In accordance with our contest rules, effective immediately, the contest has been terminated. We apologize to all of our loyal listeners who have participated.”
Charles Z. got some more help in the Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan contest when a Reddit user posted a screenshot of the 4chan thread. The post attracted more than 11,900 user votes and 450 comments within the next 10 hours.
The posts helped propel Charles Z into first place, leading to a second post to the /r/funny board on Reddit that brought 24,100 more user votes and 1,800 comments.
The radio station bore some responsibility in the failed contest. The station’s FAQ page encourages people to “vote for a contestant by visiting their unique link daily (every 24 hours).” Many saw this as an attempt to bring traffic to the site, and it also opened it up for easy vote crashing.
And 4chan took full advantage. A post on Reddit’s 4chan forum showed that a user on the 4chan board /b/ used a script to automate voting from 500 different computers around the world.
This isn’t the first time that 4chan messed with a Taylor Swift voting contest. A previous promotion said Taylor would play a concert for the school that got the most votes, so 4chan and Reddit users teamed up to vote for Boston’s Horace Mann School for the Deaf.
The school won, but rather than play the concert for an audience of deaf students Taylor Swift made a $10,000 gift to the school and each student got a free ticket to her next concert in Boston.
But with the Taylor Swift’s Biggest Fan Contest called off, 4chan may have to find a different way to help Charles Z smell the pop star’s hair.