The infamous Oscars “Fan Favourite” and “Cheer Moment” awards felt doomed from the start but they’re about to get even more controversial. According to a new report from The Wrap, the inaugural “Fan Favourite” and “Cheer Moment” may have been rigged. The awards went to the Zack Snyder films Army of the Dead and Justice League, chosen through a Twitter poll run by The Academy before March’s ceremony. 

The Wrap says that all wasn’t fair in the voting however: the publication claims that the Twitter polls were fixed by automated online bot accounts voting in favour of Snyder’s films.

The report cites two findings from the hashtag analytics tracking tool Tweetbinder, which determined that the most active contributors to both polls were autonomous web programs which seemingly cast thousands of fake votes for Snyder’s works.

Surprising trends were noted as a result, including a massive single-day spike on February 27th that saw over 25,000 votes cast, an increase from the usual daily average of between 4,000 and 15,000 votes.

The report even cited a university professor, David Kirsch, who insists that the activities of the accounts voting for Snyder “certainly do not look like they were generated by a human user.”

The polls were run by the tabulation firm Telescope and were supposed to be limited to just 20 votes per Twitter handle. They also weren’t supposed to allow accounts that were less than 24 hours old to vote.

Perhaps this all shouldn’t be that surprising. Zack Snyder fans have always been fiercely active on social media, with their support leading to the director’s cut of Justice League being released by HBO Max in the first place. They’ve also advocated for the restoration of the SnyderVerse, which would see him make his previously-planned sequels to the film.

Love Film & TV?

Get the latest Film & TV news, features, updates and giveaways straight to your inbox Learn more

This also isn’t the first time Snyder-loving bots have been detected online agitating on his behalf, TheWrap learned. Two years ago, an Israeli company called Cyabra discovered that around 25,000 Twitter profiles agitating on the internet for the release of Snyder’s re-edited version of Justice League were actually fake accounts.

If you want to see if the automated online bot accounts were actually right, Army of the Dead is currently streaming on Netflix, while Zack Snyder’s Justice League is available on HBO Max.

For more on this topic, follow the Film & TV Observer.

Get unlimited access to the coverage that shapes our culture.
to Rolling Stone magazine
to Rolling Stone magazine