Welcome to Las Vegas Baby Magazine!
Our Readers’ Choice Cover Baby Photo Contest has concluded. Thank you!
Our Cover Baby Contest has come to an end. A bit earlier than expected and not the way we wanted it to. We wanted to give an update to those that may or may not know about what happened and how we are moving forward.
We created this contest because we see soooo many adorable kids when we are out at events. Many people have asked “How can my baby be on the cover?” We only do five issues a year and couldn’t imagine being posed with the impossible task of picking a Cover Baby ourselves, so we decided to run a voting based contest. We wanted this to be a fun way for the community to engage and pick the next Cover Baby! For most of the contest, it did just what we intended. Fun mixed with some healthy competition. We turned off email verification as it was difficult for some to vote that way and votes were taking a few minutes to show up. The votes were coming in and there was a fun battle for first place going back and forth. We loved watching everyone so excited over the contest and the support for all of these adorable kids!
Then the last 24 hours before we ended the contest, strange things started happening. Vote counts weren’t making sense to some and so we looked into the voting log to make sure all the IP addresses were unique and they were. We didn’t think anything funny was going on at that point, but at the request of some we put the email verification back on. We then received a screen shot of a Facebook post of someone offering votes for sale and directly accusing some families of utilizing this service. If my face was a cartoon, it would have been one of those where my jaw drops down to the floor in shock. I could not believe what I was seeing. I immediately started reaching out to families and being in the impossible position of having to ask them if they utilized a service for votes. I knew in my heart they hadn’t, but I just had to ask. Votes kept flooding in at an unreasonable rate, so we decided at that point to halt the contest all together. During this time, I was communicating with several families via Facebook, email, messenger and Instagram messenger trying to answer all questions and give updates to families. Then the angry messages started flowing in and my tears started flowing. The amount of anger over a contest was unreal to me. People accusing us of being scammers, accusations of allowing cheating to happen, accusations of the contest being fixed, our integrity being questioned and on and on. Every step of the way, we tried to handle it the best way we knew how and it just kept getting more and more serious, so we shut it down. We are parents ourselves and could feel the frustration of the families through the computer!
As much negativity as there has been, there has also been so much support and positivity. It really means so much to us to hear from people who understand that we are just a real life, husband and wife team, parents and Las Vegas locals that own the magazine and not computer scammers! The bottom line is we truly believe that none of our contestants purchased votes, but we do believe the contest was spammed with votes unknown to ourselves and to the contestants. We got a lot of web traffic in a short amount of time and think we were targeted because of that. We have turned this over to our web person and the app we used for the contest in hopes to help unravel some of this mystery. We have learned a lot and intend to only grow from this and continue to stay positive and provide a magazine for families in Las Vegas that offers valuable information. We thank you from the bottom our hearts for those that continue to support us and help us grow.
We have also decided that there is just no fair way to select a winner. Even if we removed the votes from the last 24 hours of the contest, it might always be questioned given what happened. We are so sad that some internet troll went and spoiled it for everyone. We are working on organizing a get together for any participants that would like to join us and maybe even participate in a group Cover photo! We are still working out all the details and will directly notify the participants. Thank you again to everyone for their patience and understanding through all of this. We love the Las Vegas community and look forward to spreading more love and fun!
Sincerely, Tiffany & Oliver Mitchell (owners of Las Vegas Baby Magazine)
If you have any direct questions, you can contact us at info@LasVegasBabyMagazine.com with the subject line Cover Baby Contest.