For the first time ever, now that DJmag is wholly independent again, the votes in this year's poll have been collated in-house, and while in previous years we've relied on technology to weed out suspect votes, this year it's been proved that there's nothing more effective than the naked eye.
With 345,000 votes cast by email, publisher James Robertson has spent a ridiculous number of man-hours going through each vote. His discoveries have resulted in several DJs being disqualified from this year's poll.
Roberston explained: "This year, I made a decision to investigate votes where the same IP address appeared over 50 times for the same person. The chances of the same person getting voted for by 50 different computers each having been allocated the same IP address within a week would be billions to one."
The biggest DJs at the centre of our investigation were US stars Christopher Lawrence and DJ Dan. Both shared the same marketing manager.
"In both their cases, a script was used to bypass our security system," said Roberston. "Not only did we get multiple votes from the same IP address, but we got multiple votes from multiple IP addresses - in other words, we received in excess of 50 votes from the same IP address on over 20 occasions.
Both Lawrence and Dan vehemently denied any involvement in vote rigging. "I take this matter very seriously," said DJ Dan. "My assistant and I confronted my former marketing manager via telephone. He strongly denied any wrongdoing, but had no credible explanation for the improper voting. Christopher Lawrence, who used the same marketing person this year, reported similar voting problems.
When I discovered the common link was our marketing person, I immediately terminated him."
Lawrence's lawyer Kent Liu said: "My clients are willing to declare under oath that they themselves did not purchase or use a script, nor did they instruct any person in their employ to do so."
Chinese cheat DJ Tiesmi admitted paying cash for votes. "Tiesmi explained to me that it cost 4000 Yuan (£260) for 100,000 votes. He had paid a software engineer to create a script to by-pass our security code," said Roberston. "However, it became apparent very quickly that Tiesmi was cheating when he raced to the No.1 spot within hours of the voting starting.
"His friend Yutise, who seemed to appear on the same bill as Tiesmi, as the second DJ, was also investigated. He explained that it was not him cheating, but his crazed fans who he had no control over," said Robertson. "It's funny though that the world's biggest DJs, like PvD and Tiësto, don't seem to have such problems."
More voting irregularities surround the Flash Brothers from Israel - we detected over 1300 votes from the same IP address. They blamed "friends and family".
In a statement to DJmag, they said: "It appears that some of our friends and family simply wanted to surprise us at all costs and help our cause. We certainly do not condone such behaviour. We feel very distraught about this whole affair. We accept full responsibility for this affair but are quite adamant it boils down to sheer stupidity and oversight."
Hong Kong DJ Erick Junior has been dubbed "the fastest cheat in the East" after a four-day avalanche of votes saw him shoot to third position in the poll. Like the others, he has been disqualified. DJmag Editor Lesley Wright commented: "It's outrageous that DJs should attempt to cheat. It shows a blatant disregard for the Top 100 poll, for DJ Magazine and, most importantly, for their fellow DJs. Shame on them."
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