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Originally published January 22 2010

Shorty Awards exposed as rigged contest; all NaturalNews reader votes deleted

by Mike Adams, the Health Ranger, NaturalNews Editor

(NaturalNews) NaturalNews has learned that the Shorty Awards are being operated fraudulently and that the voting results are fixed to exclude candidates who the editors at the Shorty Awards don't want to win. In addition, the Shorty Awards, by refusing to police its own contests, actually encourages false and defamatory campaigning while ignoring legitimate complaints of vote fraud.

The Shorty Awards, in short, has been revealed as wholly discredited.

This all started when Dr. Joseph Mercola and myself (the Health Ranger) were nominated for Shorty Awards in the category of health. Although I didn't know much about the Shorty Awards at the time, I thought that winning such an award would have been a positive step towards mainstream recognition of the popularity of natural / alternative medicine. I first wrote about it here:

Within a few days, thanks to the votes of our very large base of readers, myself and Dr. Mercola were leading the health category, having taken the #1 and #2 positions. This was all done with legitimate votes from real people from all over the world who support our work.

I was set to take the top prize, and Dr. Mercola was in a solid second place when some vaccine pushers got word that a couple of "natural medicine whackos" (as they described us) were about to win the award, and they organized an opposition campaign to elect their own candidate -- a virtually unknown doctor from Australia who held a strong opinion against homeopathy and natural medicine while pushing vaccines and pharmaceuticals. They began to call for others to vote for this "pro-vaccine" candidate, even though most people had no idea who she was and had never even read her work.

But the opposition didn't stop there: They unleashed a campaign of slanderous and false accusations against NaturalNews readers, accusing the readers of somehow engaging in fraudulent voting. Without a shred of supporting evidence (because none exists), they accused us of rigging the contest. It's ridiculous, of course. I personally have well over a million readers around the world. We are legitimate producers of natural health content who are both known all over the world, and we have very large numbers of followers and readers spanning well over a hundred countries. The fact that our vote numbers climbed rapidly was merely a reflection of the level of support for NaturalNews and the Health Ranger.

It wasn't really surprising to see the vaccine quacks engaging in their false accusations, of course: Lying and cheating is par for the course for the vaccine and pharmaceutical industries. Their supporters apparently reflect that same lack of ethical behavior. They will apparently do anything to win, even if it means engaging in widespread false accusations and trying to get natural health people removed from the contest altogether.

The voters for the opposition mostly had no idea who or what they were even voting for. They were just doing what they were told by someone else in order to "beat the alternative medicine quacks." Their votes contained reasons like, "I nominate Dr. __ for a Shorty Awards because I was told to."

In addition to the false accusations of vote fraud -- because these people just couldn't stand being beaten fair and square -- the vaccine pushers began tweeting votes aimed at myself and Dr. Mercola in their own made-up categories, some of which use profanity so I won't repeat them here.

A voting competition can be a lot of fun, but when it starts to become a platform for profanity, false accusations and juvenile behavior, enough is enough. So I personally wrote the Shorty Awards editors and asked them to put a stop to these highly unprofessional practices.

In that letter, I wrote:

"If you allow this to continue, the integrity of the entire Shorty Awards will be destroyed. I had hoped this would be a fair, honest competition that highlights the usefulness of short-form content, but thanks to the rogue voters who are supporting Dr. Rachael Dunlop, the Shorty Awards are quickly becoming a platform for defamation and false accusations where those who can spread the most aggressive insults are allowed to win."

I furthermore asked them to disqualify the vaccine doctor candidate because the votes for her were mostly from people who had no idea who she was in the first place. She was merely picked as a puppet to stand in opposition against myself and Dr. Mercola.

Within 24 hours, we received word from our supporters who were confused: The Health Ranger was deleted from the Shorty Awards health category and all the votes from all our supporters were wiped out!

That's right: After pointing out how the opposition was cheating and posting false accusations, the Shorty Awards decided to simply delete the Health Ranger from their contest, thereby nullifying all the votes from NaturalNews readers and handing an automatic win to the vaccine pusher who was dishonestly propped up to the #1 position by voters who mostly had no idea who they were even voting for.

Shorty Awards destroys its own credibility

In deleting, without justification, all the votes from NaturalNews readers and deleting the Health Ranger from the contest, the Shorty Awards has destroyed its own credibility. It has essentially announced to the world that they will decide who wins and who loses, not the voters. If they don't like you as a candidate, they will simply delete you from the contest -- even if you're legitimately winning!

I received no contact from the Shorty Awards. No warning. No accusation of vote fraud. We were never accused of any improper behavior whatsoever. In fact, we conducted our campaign with the utmost professionalism, encouraging our readers to help us win honestly and legitimately, which they attempted to do.

But our success was just too much for the opposition to believe. They couldn't believe that natural health is now so popular all over the world. They couldn't believe that people would actually go out of their way to vote for me because they wanted to support our work. And so the Shorty Awards simply nullified all those votes, slapping the NaturalNews readers in the face by zeroing out their candidate.

That's what the Shorty Awards thinks you are worth, by the way: Zero! Your vote doesn't count, you see. Only the votes for vaccine pushers count.

Shorty Awards come up short

In investigating this issue, I also learned that the Shorty Awards actually encourages defamatory attacks, slanderous accusations and profanity as part of their voting process. They do this by ignoring their responsibility to police and remove such unprofessional behavior on the part of candidates and voters. The vaccine-pushing candidate now "winning" the Shorty Awards in the health category has text on her website that says, "If water has memory, then homeopathy is full of shit."

This is the mindset of the people the Shorty Awards is now supporting to win. They've essentially handed them the victory. In doing so, they have destroyed their own credibility.

In the end, I suppose winning a Shorty Award wasn't really such a big deal. We don't need recognition from some tiny website to legitimize our existence on the 'net. But seeing how the Shorty Awards engages in outright vote fraud while rigging the awards just goes to prove, once again, how supporters of pharmaceutical medicine lie and cheat their way into getting what they want -- ethics be damned!

This contest also goes to show you that vaccine pushers will do almost anything to shut down the opposition and try to silence anyone who has the intelligence to question the so-called "science" behind vaccines. Since they can't win in an honest contest, they are forced to resort to cheating and lying in an attempt to rig the outcome. The Shorty Awards allowed them to do precisely that. You could accurately say, in essence, that the Shorty Awards has conspired with a group of liars and cheats to rig the outcome of their awards competition. That is a factual statement that will stand up in a court of law.

Let the Shorty Awards know what you think

If you voted for the Health Ranger, you should know that the Shorty Awards company has nullified your vote, deleted your nomination and essentially handed an automatic win to a vaccine pusher who has been shoved into the top position by a group of voters engaged in dirty, dishonest campaign tactics.

I'm already out of the Shorty Awards, and as the entire thing has now been discredited as a rigged operation, I don't need your vote anymore (but thanks to all who did vote, as we were winning!). But I would like to ask you to do several things:

ACTION item #1) Vote for Dr. Mercola.
Dr. Mercola and I agree nearly 100% on issues like vaccines and health freedom. Your vote can help Dr. Mercola win this award over the vaccine-pushing candidate that has been fraudulently thrust into the #1 position. You can vote for Dr. Mercola here:

ACTION item #2) Email your complaints directly to Sawhorse Media: Tell them why you don't appreciate your very REAL vote being nullified and your candidate being deleted from the contest:

[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]

ACTION item #3) Link to this article from your website using the words "Shorty Awards voting fraud." This will help this article appear near the top of the search engine rankings any time someone searches for "Shorty Awards."

ACTION item #4) When any other newspaper or website writes about the Shorty Awards, email them a link to this article so they know the truth about how the Shorty Awards have been rigged.

ACTION item #5) Finally, tweet your complaints on this matter to the organizers of the Shorty Awards. Here are their names and Twitter addresses:

Lee Semel

Gregory Galant

Natan Edelsburg

Sawhorse Media

Thank you for your support

Finally, I thank you for your support, and I feel very sorry that this company has decided to treat your vote as worthless. They should be ashamed of their actions. They have harmed the reputation of NaturalNews and insulted us all. They need to hear from you what you think about their actions.

Imagine their surprise when they start receiving a flood of email complaints from thousands of REAL PEOPLE who they offended by deleting their votes. We have been victimized by blatant vote fraud here, folks, and now's your chance to say something about it.

The contest itself doesn't matter that much. What matters is the principle. Don't let them get away with censoring natural health advocates and treating you as if you don't even count.

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