MTV’s Wanna Be a VJ Contest was hacked by a New York teenager who gave contestant Jesse Camp (above) thousands of extra votes, the Voice has learned.
“I just wrote a very simple script that allowed me to vote many times in just a few seconds,” says the hacker, who goes by the handle UglyPig. “I did it because everyone else at MTV is just corporate bullshit.”
Camp was named the winner after hours of televised Miss America–like interviews on April 18. UglyPig, who voted for Camp over 3000 times, makes it clear that the two don’t know each other. “I just like Jesse better,” he says. “He didn’t seem like the typical MTV VJ, all corporate and shit, so I made him win.”
Over 4000 aspiring VJs filled out applications to enter the contest earlier this month. From those, MTV chose six finalists to be voted on by viewers via telephone or online. But, says UglyPig, “They don’t have very good security. Usually, they don’t let someone vote more than once in online voting, but MTV was dumb about it, so I just took advantage.”
Sheryl Jones of MTV’s communication department claims the station cannot say by what margin Camp won but defended its handling of the contest. “One person can vote as many times as they want. All the contestants knew this.”
MTV VJ Jesse Camp was unavailable for comment.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 5, 1998