April 29, 2008 @ 13:26
I received an email from Gizmo today. Gizmo5 is a wanna be replacement for Skype that, to be honest, doesn't work nearly as reliably as Skype. I still receive email from them because I signed up to use their service many months ago when Vinny and I were having trouble with Skype during our podcasts. We ended up sticking with Skype, and I haven't really given much more thought to Gizmo. To be honest, I didn't like their service before I received this email. Every call I placed with their service had low quality, and it took several attempts to place the calls in the first place.
According to their email, if I install Gizmo5 on my phone or my computer, I can vote 25 times for my favorite American Idol contestant with just one call through Gizmo. Is it me, or are they admitting to gaming the American Idol voting system? If you or I use our phones to call, we register just one vote. How does Gizmo get 25 votes in to the system with just one call? That sounds a little bit fishy to me.
More importantly, however, is the fact that they are actively recruiting international calls, which are prohibited by American Idol. They are actively endorsing cheating while promoting their product.
Do you live outside the United States? Now you can vote too. The show blocks international calls, but by using Gizmo5 your calls will go through and your votes will be counted!
Not only are they gaming the voting system on American Idol, but they are trying to engage international viewers to use Gizmo5 to place their votes and bypass the fact that such calls are prohibited by American Idol. I wonder how the producers of American Idol will view this? I think it's pretty sad when the only way you can promote your product is to encourage people to use it in an unethical way.
While I find it very natural for any company to try and attach themselves to the American Idol popularity train, I also find it disgusting that they are trying to do so by breaking the rules and encouraging people to cheat while doing so.
It's clear they are trying to appeal to the international market by giving international users a reason to try their service. It's also clear where they stand on ethics as a company, and I'm certainly not going to lose any sleep while boycotting Gizmo.
[Crossposted at The Alligator Pit]
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