The Shorty Awards is a fraud and a scam, not only because it chose to selectively enforce its rules against me, but also because it waited until I had already promoted the contest before pulling my nomination.
What are the Shorty Awards?
The Shorty Awards is a goofy award company owned by Sawhorse Media. Sawhorse Media markets the Shortys as the “Oscars of Social Media.” It’s essentially a nothing contest. In fact, I had never heard about it until someone nominated me for a Shorty Award.
The Shorty Awards purportedly gives awards to people who are the best at social media:
Twitter users nominate six finalists in each award category, and a panel of expert and celebrity judges choose winners. An awards ceremony is held each spring and streamed live on the official website. Each award recognizes the entire body of work of the content creator, rather than an individual tweet or post.
A few weeks back, some of my Twitter followers began nominating me for a Shorty Award in the Healthy Living category.
I knew the Shortys was a scam, but I went along with it to see how much “Twitter juice” me and my merry band of merrymakers had.
Could we win a nomination? There’s only one way to find out.
I won a Shorty Award nomination in Healthy Living, fair and square.
My Twitter followers began nominating me for a Shorty Award and I began retweeting them in earnest. I can be a competitive man, even if the competition is about nothing.
The Shorty Award rules state:
Unless otherwise noted, each Official Category will have 7 finalists. These include 3 with the most nominations from the public, 3 selected by members of the Real-Time Academy of Short Form Arts & Sciences which is comprised of luminaries from advertising, media, entertainment and the internet, and 1 Wildcard Finalist.
To obtain a nomination, either Sawhorse Media can nominate you, or else the public can.
As you can see, Sawhorse Media has an interest in having people with large social media followings promoting its contest. They use the online presence of me and others to draw attention to its popularity contest.
I received enough votes to be number 3, which means I earned my Shorty Award nomination in Healthy Living fair and square.
(Michael Cernovich was among the top three vote getters in the Healthy Living category of the Shorty Awards.)
I expected Shorty to have some integrity. I can be a controversial person and I would have had no issue with the Shorty Awards pulling my nomination before the nomination period ended.
Yet Sawhorse Media decided to commit fraud on me and my Twitter followers.
The Shortys were fine with having me in their contest when I was promoting their contest. When the nomination period ended and I was no longer of use to them, they deleted my nomination and removed me from their website.
(After winning enough votes for a nomination, my official Shorty Award page was 404’ed.)
The Shorty Awards did not give me any reason for its actions.
They simply deleted my page, pretending as if I did not win a Shorty nomination by using my considerable social media presence to promote the Shorty Awards.
The Shorty Awards will likely come up with some excuse for its fraud.
Milo Yiannopoulos, a leading conservative journalist, was also disqualified from the Shorty Awards.
Nominated in the journalism category, Yiannopoulos was an automatic winner of the Vox Populi award, as he received more votes than any other public nominee:
Separately, whoever receives the most nominations from the public in each Official Category will be honored on ShortyAwards.com as the Shorty Vox Populi winner, a special distinction for the people’s choice.
Yiannopoulos’s Vox Populi award and his Shorty Award nomination were stolen for him on the grounds he “promoted pornography” by retweeting the non-pornographic tweets of adult film actress Mercedes Carrera.
Mercedes Carrera stars in adult films. She is also educated, intelligent, thoughtful, and well-spoken. I, too, have had many interesting conversations with Ms. Carrera.
Perhaps my e-friendship would be given as grounds for disqualifying me?
Yet Shorty’s justification fails under scrutiny.
James Franco, a Shorty Award nominee who was not disqualified, had produced films about pornography.
James Franco has done far more to “promote pornography” than Mr. Yiannopoulos or I.
(In fact, I even wrote an article telling men how to stop watching porn.)
Yes, Sawhorse Media is a scam. The Shorty Awards are a scam.
Again, if Sawhorse Media a/k/a the Shorty Awards had disqualified me early on, they’d have been honest. I would have had no issues with Shortys.
Yet the Shorty Awards allowed me to promote their contest, only removing me from their page after they had obtained my valuable promotional services.
I would like to say I’m mad, but it’s no big deal. I thought the Shorty Awards were a fraud from the get-go, and Sawhorse Media’s conduct confirmed it.
Sawhorse Media cheated me, and now the world knows the Shorty Awards are rigged.