In a statement on their website on November 9 (KST), Mnet revealed that Twitter voting will no longer be included in the already completed pre-voting and regular voting for the Worldwide Fans’ Choice Award and the Worldwide Icons of The Year.
Previously, fans cast Twitter votes by including a hashtag of the group’s name and #MAMAVOTE in a tweet in order for the tweet to count. Since the voting for these two categories began, millions of votes were cast by fans in support of their favorite idols.
[#2022MAMA] <Worldwide Fans' Choice Top 10> Voting Notice
📍 Voting Schedule
– Pre Vote : 2022.10.24 19:00 – 2022.11.04 23:59 (KST)
– Vote : 2022.11.10 19:00 – 11.24 23:59 (KST)
2022 MAMA AWARDS
— MAMA AWARDS (@MnetMAMA) October 24, 2022
Fans have been justifiably upset as the pre-voting for the category has already ended, and are unable to make an impact on the other areas of judging criteria.
MAMA saw how GOT7 dominated those Twitter votes and decided not to include it rather than focusing on the real problem, which is the bot voting on their website.
MAMA THE WORST AWARD GIVING BODY
— jb’s brother🌴 (@g7FANBOY) November 9, 2022
Really mnet changing rules hours before mama starts… what a headache.
TWITTER VOTES which is 10% in the criteria is REMOVED.
— 양겡 | late replies (@jeonginisaur) November 9, 2022
In their statement, Mnet gave the reasoning as “internal changes within Twitter,” and did not elaborate further.
The internal changes mentioned in their statement may be the result of new Twitter CEO Elon Musk‘s massive layoffs across every sector of the company including those abroad. Starting from his 44 billion USD purchase of the site, Musk (also CEO of SpaceX and Tesla) dissolved the company’s board and made himself the chief executive of Twitter.
Following that decision, Musk then fired nearly half of Twitter’s staff around the world, including at least eight out of the 30 employees of Twitter Korea. Heejung Shin, the former head of communications at Twitter Korea, tweeted that all employees were instructed to check if they were fired from their personal accounts as they would be blocked from logging into their company accounts.
Twitter Korea’s former PR agency Erum also shared that “all members of Twitter Korea’s communication team left Twitter” and that Erum’s contract with Twitter Korea also was terminated on November 4.
Other reports called the Twitter Korea offices a “ghost town,” and estimate as many as 20 employees may have been laid off.
Without a communication team providing reports on official voting stats for the sake of awards, there is no way for Mnet to accurately verify the total and true number of votes cast on Twitter, leading to the announcement of voting changes.
While Twitter has begun to reach out to fired employees in an effort to rehire them, there is no telling if the staff impacted by these layoffs at Twitter Korea will be reinstated, possibly changing how global fans are able to vote for Korean awards forever.