Did YouTube hackers cause Susan Boyle’s defeat?

June 4th, 2009 - 2:41 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Jun 4 (ANI): A new controversy has emerged regarding Scottish singer Susan Boyle’s defeat on Britain’s Got Talent, after claims were made that she missed out on vital votes due to an alleged phone scam on YouTube.

Complains came in from hundreds of fans that the voting line numbers posted on the video-sharing website during the final’s on May 30 were incorrect.

Fans said that the clips, which were posted unofficially after Boyle’s performance, were tampered with, and rather than showing her vote line finishing with the digits 08, the clips showed either 07 or 09.

Diversity, the winning dance group, was eventually given the number 07, while third-placed saxophonist Julian Smith had number 09.

A theory has emerged that hackers could have manipulated the digital footage in a bid to win extra votes for Boyle’s competitors, and fans of the 48-year-old singer are questioning whether her chance of grabbing the top prize was ruined because of the incorrect numbers.

But YouTube and broadcaster ITV have vehemently denied the claims, with a YouTube spokesman saying that he had “no idea” whether irregular numbers had been displayed, adding that ITV had “complete control” over footage posted on the website.

“Any broadcaster can use our copyright tools to identify any footage they own on YouTube and ask for it to be removed if they so wish,” the Daily Express quoted the spokesman as saying.

“Bear in mind, though, that it takes time to record something, time to upload it and time for it to be processed by our systems and for the video to be found by searching on YouTube,” he added.

ITV, who reportedly raked in an estimated 5million pounds from phone and advertising revenue from the show’s final week alone, said that it was “not responsible” for material, including phone numbers, posted on “unofficial websites”.

“The voting lines for the finalists were clearly displayed and read out after each act had performed in the final, with further calls to action for all of the acts at four further points in the evening,” a spokesman said.

“We are satisfied viewers had ample opportunity to know which voting numbers to call,” he added.

But hundreds of other viewers have complained that they could not get through to Boyle’s voting line because it was continuously busy. (ANI)

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