When both Microsoft and Sony released their next-gen consoles earlier this year, GameSpot put up an international Twitter “contest” to show which console the fans truly favored. Fans could send a tweet containing #GameSpotPS4 to show allegiance for the PlayStation 4 or #GameSpotXbox to show allegiance for the Xbox One. What resulted in the PS4 vs Xbox One battle was an overwhelming advantage in favor of the PS4 (taken some hours ago), including an 89:11 lean in USA, 9:1 in Canada and 91% to Xbox One’s 9% overall. But now the tides are beginning to turn through some dubious means.
As noted by an anonymous poster on 4chan’s video games board, someone is using Twitter bots to spam #GameSpotXbox over and over on multiple accounts. The result: Xbox One now has a 6:4 lead over the PS4 in the USA with ~9,000 new votes in a short amount of time. Additionally, Canada’s vote count jumped from 1,110 to 1,376 and the PS4 now leads only 74% to Xbox One’s 26%.
Update: While the amount of bot voting presently searchable on Twitter doesn’t quite add up to the discrepancy, the page tracking this information on Gamespot states, “We are not storing any personally identifiable data–just hashtags and locations.” Seeing as you can’t view the tweets of private Twitter accounts, that may be one way that the spammers are making up the difference. We will contact GameSpot in hopes of clarity on this matter.
While we cannot confirm who is behind the onslaught of sudden bot-voting in Microsoft’s favor in the “battle of PS4 vs Xbox One,” whoever is responsible for this is committing one of the utterly saddest acts of delusion. Regardless of it being for money or for fun in their spare time, the fact that somebody spent a lot of time to create multiple email addresses required to create multiple Twitter accounts in order to spam a GameSpot contest that has been mostly inactive and forgotten is really disheartening. It’s a poll on the internet! Unless you’re convinced that USA coming out on top in favor of Xbox One over the PS4 on GameSpot will turn the tide in Microsoft’s behaviour, it is a waste of time.
The Xbox One releases worldwide on November 22, while the PS4 will be released in North America on November 15 and Europe on November 29. Maybe then we will begin to see what the consumers truly think of the next-gen consoles.