During the investigations into the Produce 101 series due to allegations of vote manipulation, a related testimony has emerged, stating that one entertainment agency used 100,000 purchased accounts to manipulate the results of the online voting. Because viewers were only able to vote once per day per ID, the agency boosted the votes of its trainees using borrowed-name ID’s.
According to employees who worked at the agency, In March 2016, an executive from the agency in question called in office workers, managers, and even trainees, and then handed out packets listing ID usernames and passwords. They were told to focus their votes on only two of their agency trainees. Office workers were told to vote during working hours, and managers and trainees were told to vote at night.
Every night, I wasn’t allowed to go home until I finished voting with the assigned number of accounts. I would start voting every night at midnight, and wouldn’t finish until 7 am.
The executive who forced us to vote told us that we would get rewarded with the same benefit on the next season.
— Former trainee “B” at the agency
One of the agency’s trainees three trainees that participated in Produce 101 Season 1 was selected to join I.O.I.
Each person in the company who was forced to vote was assigned around 1,400 accounts to vote with everyday. Another former trainee commented on how the process worked.
At first, the executive only had tens of thousands of accounts. But after a few days, he bought some more and he had over 100,000 accounts. Maybe he thought the original amount wasn’t enough.
Had we not voted like this, our company’s trainee might not have been able to place in the top 11.
When trainees would raise an issue with this to the executive of the company, the trainee’s cell phones would be confiscated and they would lock us in an office while the destroy the evidence.
— Former trainee “C” at the agency
At the time, it was also reported that the company installed a program on their office computers that made it difficult to trace IP Addresses. Police investigating the alleged vote rigging on the Produce 101 series have raided a total of 5 entertainment agency offices, including the one in question here.
Regarding the allegations of manipulating vote results by using multiple ID’s, an official at the entertainment agency in question simply said no.
Something like this did not happen.
— Entertainment Agency