“Produce X 101” Also Under Investigation For Suspicions Of Vote Manipulation Beginning In Episode 2

Further questions have been brought up regarding the voting results announced by Mnet’s “Produce X 101,” with suspicions brought up about votes from as early on in the show as episode 2.

On September 17, the news outlet Maeil Business published a report in which it described issues with the first and second rounds of voting in “Produce X 101.” While concerns about the show’s votes potentially being rigged have largely so far been focused on the results announced in the finale, the report explains how there are suspicions that vote manipulation may have taken place as early as the second episode. It’s said that the police are now investigating all voting results after they obtained data about the votes received throughout the show.

The report cites that people in the broadcast and entertainment industries have noticed that the online voting that took place during the airing of “Produce X 101” appears to not have been carried out as normal.

The first and second rounds of voting for “Produce X 101” were set up so that voters had to select 11 trainees in order to submit their vote. However, some of the vote totals that were shared by “Produce X 101” cannot be divided evenly into 11. Mnet held voting online for the first round from May 3 to 25, and the results were shared as accumulated figures in episodes 1 to 3.

The vote total of 223,179 that was shown at the end of episode 1 on May 3 is divisible by 11. Maeil Business notes that therefore there is no issue with the first episode’s voting results. Viewers could vote once a day through both the “Produce X 101” home page and the Mnet&Gmarket app, and Mnet announced that 170,577 votes were submitted via the website and 52,602 were made via the app. Both numbers can be divided evenly by 11.

Episode 1
Vote breakdown Vote total Divided by 11
Realtime overall votes 223,179 20,289.0000
Votes from website 170,577 15,507.0000
Votes from app 52,602 4,782.0000

However, totals that are not divisible by 11 began to show up starting in episode 2. In the episode that aired on May 10, the app votes were announced as 1,366,663 — a number that cannot be divided evenly into 11 (it comes to 124,242.0909). Meanwhile, the announced number of votes from the website came to 3,232,724, which is divisible by 11.

Episode 2
Vote breakdown Vote total Divided by 11
Realtime overall votes 4,599,387 418,126.0909
Votes from website 3,232,724 293,884.0000
Votes from app 1,366,663 124,242.0909

The current website votes announced in episode 3 on May 17 (7,840,987) can be divided evenly by 11, but the app votes (2,889,250) do not produce a whole number when divided by 11 (262,659.0909).

Episode 3
Vote breakdown Vote total Divided by 11
Realtime overall votes 10,730,237 975,476.0909
Votes from website 7,840,987 712,817.0000
Votes from app 2,889,250 262,659.0909

A similar issue can be seen in the results from episode 6, which aired on June 7. Voting for this round began on June 1 and included the Top 60 trainees that were announced in the May 31 episode. The votes completely reset after that first ranking announcement ceremony, and the June 7 episode announced the current vote totals. Again, viewers could vote using the app and website, and they had to select 11 trainees to vote. While the website votes (9,146,918) were divisible by 11, the app votes (3,684,490) were not.

Episode 6
Vote breakdown Vote total Divided by 11
Realtime overall votes 12,831,408 1,166,491.6364
Votes from website 9,146,918 831,538.0000
Votes from app 3,684,490 334,953.6364

An anonymous source told Maeil Business, “There’s no choice but to look at this as the producers having manipulated the votes from round one to round four.” They added, “It appears that their intention was to select the debut members that had been internally decided upon in advance, regardless of the voting results at the beginning.”

The police and prosecution are undertaking an investigation into the suspicions of vote manipulation in “Produce X 101.” The allegations were originally brought up after the finale, which announced the 11 members of the show’s project group that went on to debut as X1 in August. One issue with the vote results announced by Mnet in the finale is that the total scores for all of the Top 20 contestants were multiples of 7494.442 — a statistically unlikely result. Although the producers acknowledged that there were errors in the final vote counts, they claimed that the errors did not affect the final rankings. Questions of potential vote rigging have now also come up for previous seasons of “Produce 101” as well as Mnet’s 2018 survival show “Idol School,” and investigations are also underway on those suspicions.

A source from the police stated, “We are conducting an overall investigation while keeping the possibility open that there may have been manipulation in the online vote results that took place during the show, rather than just the final episode’s votes.” They added, “We’re doing a thorough look at all seasons, including season four.”

A source from Mnet told Maeil Business, “We will not be releasing a separate statement regarding the ongoing police investigation.”

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