Joe Biden Wins Nickelodeon Kids’ Vote Despite Bot Interference Attempts

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As it turns out, interference is a serious issue even in mock elections. In a press release, Nickelodeon revealed that more than 130,000 bots attempted to cast votes in the network’s “Kids Pick the President” event, an annual initiative that gives young viewers a chance to exercise their rights. Despite the pernicious effort to sway the election, former Vice President Joe Biden emerged victorious with 53% of the overall vote, while President Donald Trump earned 47%.

According to Nickelodeon, almost 90,000 fans cast virtual ballots in this year’s Kids Pick the President poll from October 20 to October 26. The event allows one vote per household device, which gives multiple children or individuals in a home a chance to voice their political opinions.

However, despite the relatively strict voting guidelines, Nick discovered that certain users were attempting to sway the Kids’ Vote with fraudulent entries. According to a press release, the network first detected cheating attempts on October 21, when users in online forums began discussing corrupting the Kids Pick the President website with fraudulent votes. “Nickelodeon utilized a voter certification tool to identify these votes and to remove them, ensuring that only individually placed votes counted toward the total,” says the ViacomCBS-owned network.

“Though kids are not of an age to vote, Kids Pick the President is a platform where their voices do count, and they deserve to be heard,” the statement continues. “And just as kids value honesty and fairness, so do we at Nickelodeon. Therefore, out of respect for kids everywhere and in the spirit of civic responsibility, we present the name of the winner based on votes cast fairly and within our stated guidelines of one vote counted per household device.”

Nickelodeon’s Kids Pick the President campaign has been held for the last nine presidential elections. Since the first Kids’ Vote in 1988, Nickelodeon viewers have correctly chosen the next president in six out of the last eight elections, a success rate that FiveThirtyEight could only dream of.

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