We’ve recently made some changes to the popular page so that it reflects the number of people who’ve favorited the track in the past three days.
Shortly after we made the change, we were alerted by the Sweet Touch blog about an artist (or their team) potentially altering the charts. We then started reviewing account activity across the entire site and were able to confirm this and find other bands and blogs engaging in similar activity.
We found several artists (or their representatives) and blogs creating numerous accounts on the site and favoriting their tracks to get higher visibility in the charts. 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 found doing this and suspended tracking blogs we’ve detected contributing.
We’ve also taken some extra measures to prevent this in the future. Some of these techniques are used by sites like IMDB or Rotten Tomatoes so they’ve stood the test of time. If you have more feedback on how to make them better, feel free to write using our contact form. The integrity of what ends up on the Hype Machine is paramount, so we welcome more ideas and constructive criticism.
Finally, here is a list of artists (or their managers, promoters, interns, determined fans, there is no way to ultimately know) who we believe have attempted to alter the charts on the Hype Machine. We thought we’d publish this list to let everyone make their own judgments about quality, integrity and marketing strategies:
[Update 07/07/2009: List of artists removed, see this post for details]