Batman's trusted Butler, Alfred, once told him that "some men just want to watch the world burn." In the digital age, while some use this technology for good purposes, others are able to inflict carnage from the comfort of their computer screens. This a lesson that countless companies, marketing agencies, and even countries learned the hard way by taking polls on the Internet. Over the Internet's storied 25-year history, there has been several a survey hijacked by the web in truly incredible ways. You could almost say that poll trolling has become as much of a time-honored internet tradition as celebrity hacking at this point.
If the marketing geniuses behind the following 21 online poll fails actually honored their end of the deal, Justin Bieber would be stuck in North Korea, there would be a Canadian girl named “Cthulhu All-Spark," and a $287-million-dollar polar research ship would be named "Boaty McBoatface." If Ghandi were still alive today, he'd probably look at the results of all of these hijacked internet polls and say, "Be the change internet trolls want to see in the world."
A Sinking Ship
Boaty McBoatface is the mother of all Internet poll riggings. A British government agency decided it would be a good idea to let the Internet suggest a name for a 287-million-dollar polar research ship, and the result is the greatest boat name in history.
Nancy Upton Upstages American Apparel's "The Next Big Thing" Contest
The undisputed king of the $30 plain white t-shirt, American Apparel thought they could trick people into thinking they cared about size-12 models with their "The Next Big Thing" contest, and they got properly trolled by Nancy Upton. Nancy submitted photos of herself taking a ranch dressing and chocolate sauce bath, and easily received the most votes. American Apparel didn't allow Nancy to win the contest because... well, because American Apparel sucks.
Just Dew It
In 2012, Mountain Dew created an online poll to help them name their new green, apple-flavored drink. The tragic poll called "Dub the Dew" was quickly shut down once they realized "Gushin' Granny" was competing with "Hitler Did Nothing Wrong" for the top spot.
Turning A Deaf Ear
Papa John's and Chegg thought it would be a great idea to create an online contest where Taylor Swift would perform a free concert at the school that received the most votes on Facebook. 4 Chan and Reddit jumped at this once in a lifetime and crowned the Horace Mann School for the Deaf as the winner.