Dear Talenthouse members,
There has been a lot of discussions on buying votes amongst the community and we would like to thank everyone for their feedback.
From now on buying votes will result in immediate disqualification and removal of the corresponding entry. We built a platform to provide opportunities to creative talent around the world and want to keep this a fair environment.
If you encounter fraudulent behavior please report it to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will look into the issue. All cases will be carefully reviewed but in the event of insufficient evidence, the ruling will go in favor of the participant.
The Talenthouse Team
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We live in a world where filmmakers are given opportunities via the Internet,
however it’s not always a fair and regulated platform.
A couple of months ago I entered into a Talenthouse short film competition for
the Playboy/Bombay Sapphire competition, the winner to be screened during
Sundance with a first prize of $3500, and 3 prizes for the top three voted of
the amount of $500 As with any competition I read the rules, paying particular
heed to forbidden use of third party content, not using subjects under twenty-
five years old.
Talenthouse for those who don’t know is a crowd sourcing internet site that
offers creatives the opportunity to enter competitions to create for world
famous names, and through a method of voting by members, facebookers,
tweeters. Sounds democratic, sounds great?
What if you were to make a film, regardless of content, enter the competition
and employ microworkers.com to vote for you. You pay 5 cents per vote and if
the prize money is $500 for the first three places, $3500 if you get first place;
then this is good business, right? But it completely subtracts the operative
word TALENT from the hosts, Talenthouse.com
I became aware of fishy patterns in one particular competitor, whose voters
were predominantly from the Far East, who, instead of leaving the usual
genuine comments of support, were just leaving their date of birth. Then I
noticed one of the only human comments was a talenthouse member
commenting, ’ buying votes is really working’. It was obvious that there was
something seriously wrong.
I looked at the film in question and not only was there dubious voting issues,
There was blatant use of third party content, a featured scene from Requiem
for a Dream, Phil Spector’s ‘she’s my baby” and subjects clearly under 25
A fellow competitor brought voting concerns about another finalist. We had
both nurtured genuine support. On this information we contacted Talenthouse,
alerting them because this potentially could undermine their whole system.
They seemed genuinely concerned assuming they would get back to me.
Several days later Talenthouse were still broadcasting this film. By this time
quite a few Talenthouse members had spoken up about this.
The result for the competition was announced on the 14th of December; to my
disgust and horror this guy who had apparently fiddled the votes, flaunted the
rules won!!! Many members including finalists started being vocal, astonished
that this was allowed to happen.
Asked what I think they should do, ‘strip the guy of his Title?’, at that point it
was obvious they were not going to do that. And for good measure they T/H
threw in that they didn’t care about third party content because the
spokesperson said he himself nicked stuff all the time back in the day.
Corporate, glossed announcements came from Talenthouse and The ‘Winner’
that failed to satisfy the ever growing questions from a restless community.
So I looked long and hard at the hard evidence, a document showing the
winners vote purchasing site. I looked long and hard at the statement from
Talenthouse which stated that they found “nothing illegal or untoward ‘ in the
winner of the competition. And they went on to say Talenthouse is run by
artists for artists. I looked long and hard at the alleged artists statement saying
he was set up, that someone created this account to make him look bad.
With this in mind, I began posting statements all over the site, encouraging
people to buy votes at microworkers.com as T/H think this is acceptable. And
the purpose of this was to highlight this issue.
Somehow someone took that statement on face value, and invited me into a
clandestine group on the internet that deals in votes, offering any number of
votes in trade! I created a dialogue and discovered that two people have won
T/H competitions by these means and they even have a widget to subtract
votes from other competitors.
I knew that it was a matter of time until they realised that I am protesting
against devious means of acquiring votes. So I had a good look around their
site and their wall, their members and took a few screen shots. Astonished to
discover that a Talenthouse managing director was a fully-fledged member of
I have met some wonderful and sincere artists on Talenthouse, who really
believe that they are on a level playing field. I trusted their talent would be the
basis of the competitions run. However it’s patently not. Its system
fundamentally flawed with serious issues regarding its government . This
suggests Talenthouse interest with internet activity, without any care of the
source. Talent does not equate to how many friends you have on facebook or
twitter, or purchasing votes. It appears that Talenthouse are more interested
in the amount of hits they accrue on the Internet than the integrity of their
Looking at things from a business context this competition so far has reached
1 million users for an initial outlay of five and a half grand. That’s good news
for the sponsors. Is there a reason for this state of denial?