Louie has been disqualified after receiving a suspicious number of votes from the same IP address.
Louie has been disqualified after receiving a suspicious number of votes from the same IP address.

It has come to the Mercury's attention that someone has been stuffing the ballot box in the most recent round of our Cutest Pet Photo Contest. That's right: Louie, the dog who looks like David Lynch, received a suspicious number of votes from the same IP address. Here's what our tech support folks had to say about that:

Yeah, there is no way for us to know 100% for sure if it’s cheating, but there are a bunch of votes (~1000) coming from the same IP Address, which is definitely suspicious, but it could be someone who sharing a link around their office. We can exclude those votes if you think it’s appropriate.

We think it's MORE THAN appropriate. We think it's necessary! So, to be on the safe side, and to honor the honest participating pets, we are disqualifying Louie from further competition. His competitor, Chauncey, will advance to the next round by default.

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This is not the first time concerns of this nature have been brought to our attention. The specter of cheating was mentioned last week, but our investigations at that point didn't turn up any evidence of foul play.

We take cheating very seriously here at the Mercury, and future attempts to rig our competition will not be tolerated. Also, this is way more effort than we'd planned to put into a goddamn CUTE PET PHOTO COMPETITION, and also why we can't have nice things.

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