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Hype Machine Outs Artists For Chart Manipulation

Hype machine Music blog aggregator Hype Machine (no relation) has blacklisted more than 40 artists after discovering that they or their representatives had tried to manipulate it's "Popular" song ranking page.

"We found several artists and blogs creating fake accounts on the site and favoriting their tracks to get higher visibility in the charts," Hype Machine editors wrote on their blog. "Because we’ve only recently switched to a chart based on the number of favorites, their efforts were not fruitful, however.  We’ve locked the accounts we detected as fraudulent and suspended tracking blogs we’ve detected contributing to this."

Hype Machine has taken steps to make chart manipulation and named the offenders.

A full list of artists named by Hype Machine for abuse:

607
Alexander Technique / Princess Superstar
Audiofun
Big Dope P
Burns
Caroline Reese
Death to the Throne
Decimals
Destructo
Disco Ruido
Emil & Friends
Flapsandwich
fragglerock
Foulhouse
Gareth Pearson
Girl Problems
Hot Knives
John Roman
Kid Legit
Kids at the Bar
La Zebra
Master Shortie
Meech
Messkid
Mustard Pimp
Religion
Richie Jamz
Sikki Kidz
Sonic Truth
Star Guitar
Streetlab
Super Milkmen
The Constellations
The Grenade
The Knocks
The Muscle Club
The Pragmatic
The Vanish
Three Fingers
VIKING
Weekend Warriors

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8 Comments

  1. Everywhere you go someone will always try to game the system. Thankfully the Hype Machine has the integrity to weed them out when it gets the chance.
    Ironically this doesn’t seem much different from the majors gaming the physical distribution charts buy distributing hundreds of thousands of unsold CD’s to gain a platinum status.
    I guess we have morals online..

  2. This sort of think happens everywhere! After all, the site is called ‘Hype Machine’. On many of these sites there is usually no way to know (for sure) if you are dealing with a real person or not! A good percentage of profiles on all of these fan sites are fake (I know from my days at TagWorld/Viacom), so expect any score/trending or rating system based on “fan favorites” is simply going to reflect that. Welcome to the web!

  3. Outing artists Scarlett Letter style? God knows who or what entity manipulated their charts in whatever fashion, there could be scrupulous reps, media outlets, ambitious artists or rabid fans? Not exactly fair to paint everyone involved with the same brush, “guilty until proven innocent” banning artists & blogs a like with no prior warning. There’s is too much room for error and uncertainty here, and this is a heavy handed way to alienate well-intentioned bloggers or artists from a very important media outlet.
    If artists ask their fanbases to boost them up and hundreds of HypeM accounts are created by fans just to boost up those numbers then who’s fault is it if the site isn’t sticky enough to keep those user accounts active into their service? So what it looks like is a ton of artists have been voted up by users who’s only action was to vote for their favorite artists or song at the bequest of some artists call to action on twitter or facebook.
    This is a site which generated a large share of traffic for some hard working blogs and to think some asshole artists screwed it up for them. Vice versa, some artists work real hard to get on outlets like the HypeM and they are being punished for the ill intentions of some manager, agent or completely unrelated blogger.
    Ultimately HypeM needs to engineer a much better system which artists can incorporate with their social networking promotions & is increasingly difficult to manipulate. Both of those technologies aren’t revolutionary.

  4. Via The HypeM Blog: The Debate is getting interesting in there: http://blog.hypem.com/2009/06/on-chart-integrity/
    June 30, 2009 @ 12:42 pm
    # Ben says
    Mark,
    I didn’t call them “lazy programmers”, I called this a “lazy approach to fixing a problem.” Back in March I created around 40 fake accounts to promote Emil & Friends (I am not in the band…I have only been promoting but the band takes the fall). Since March I have not done this, but Emil & Friends (not me) has ended up on this list. I explained this to Anthony and how it was unfair to place the entirety of the blame on the artists without even showing which songs were altered. However, he has been incredibly stubborn and has refused to amend this list even after I came forward as the responsible party. So either, he truly believes the artists are to blame based entirely upon their association, or he is lazy. I am coming forward as responsible for getting Emil & Friends on this list. Also, I should note that they have been in the top 10 since March without any manipulation.

  5. That’s a badge of pride, though. Any artist who takes internet promotion seriously should be looking for angles to exploit, distort and cheat like crazy.
    As the great man once said, “Playing by the rules has a higher chance of losing.”

  6. Any artist that is serious about doing music as a their livelyhood should take promotion seriously (and consider all angles to get ahead). If record labels have people out their gaming the system, why shouldn’t the independent artist? I would venture to guess that some companies (that accept pay for rankings) turn a blind eye to the labels/marketing teams that do it, and don’t publicize that it’s going on, because they are fattening the company coffers?

  7. As Malcolm McClaren once said…
    Bad Publicity is good publicity..
    and there is a good chance he is tipping “Alchemists of Sound” for the top!!
    They have gained a huge fanbase at DJ gigs and from the debut Album.. and an ultra rare 7″ they deleted called “On the Horizon”

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