UK’s Next Model search: Why Internet polls are a (hilariously) bad idea

next-model-search-roland-bWe’ve all seen it before: A legitimate organization launches a competition that relies upon the opinions of the Internet at large to decide the winner. Quickly, the online poll is hijacked by a group of rascals, and any semblance of fairness is swiftly flushed straight down the crapper.

Well, UK clothing retailer Next apparently didn’t get the memo, because its 2011 Next Model search, which allows anyone bold enough to enter, has officially been commandeered by the merry pranksters of Football365.com and Reddit.com.

The fiasco started first on the forums of  Football365.com*, but picked up full steam on Wednesday afternoon, when Reddit user “chaosdestro0” posted a link on the r/funny subreddit to a Next Model entrant’s page, that of one Roland Bunce from Belfast, Northern Ireland. In place of high cheek bones and round eyes, Roland instead has the jolly rotundness and complete lack of a neck generally reserved for line backers and patrons of all-you-can-eat buffets. In other words, there is nothing remotely supermodel-like about Roland.

Roland-B

What Roland lacks in classic good looks, however, he quickly made up in votes. The 24-year-old rocketed to the No 1 spot on the list of Next Model wannabes. And now he’s so far ahead of the competition that it seems unlikely that anyone else stands a chance. Of course, we don’t know the actual number of votes Roland has so far received. But there are a wide variety of other connected factors that give us a good idea.

For starters, the Reddit post has so far received nearly 13,000 upvotes (and 10,800 downvotes) from Redditors — a massive number that kept Roland at the top of Reddit’s front page for hours. And Roland’s Next Model page has been Tweeted at least 2,845 times, according to the Tweet button, and shared on Facebook more than 17,000 times. Compare that to looker Emine K, the next closest entrant, whose page has been Tweeted only 10 times, and shared on Facebook 319 times. Poor girl…

The shenanigans don’t stop there, however. More aspiring models are constantly entering the site, and it looks like we have some hangers on, hoping to catch a ride on Roland’s tail feathers. Like this guy, for instance.

During the time it took to write this article, at least one “joke” entry had been removed from the running (see “Matt S” in the image at the top of this page), so it remains to be seen whether the suits at Next will allow the very un-model-like Roland to actually win. Either way, he’s got our vote.

Godspeed, Roland. Godspeed…

*Edit: A gracious reader has correctly pointed out that Roland’s Next profile was actually first posted to Football365.com, not Reddit.com, which came later. The third paragraph has been updated to reflect the new information.

Computing

USB drive issue blocks some PCs from receiving Windows 10 May 2019 update

A USB drive error resulted in some PCs being blocked from receiving the Windows 10 May 2019 update. Microsoft decided to block eligible PCs with USB drives or SD cards attached from getting the update until the error is fixed.
Gaming

25 awesome indie games you should definitely be playing right now

These days, some of the best video games are made by independent studios. Here are 25 of the best indie games, whether you prefer grueling dungeon crawlers or otherworldly, meditative adventures.
Gaming

Your PlayStation 4 game library isn't complete without these games

Looking for the best PS4 games out there? Out of the massive crop of titles available, we selected the best you should buy. No matter what your genre of choice may be, there's something here for you.
Gaming

These are the must-have games that every Xbox One owner needs

More than four years into its life span, Microsoft's latest console is finally coming into its own. From Cuphead to Halo 5, the best Xbox One games offer something for players of every type.
Movies & TV

The best shows on Netflix right now (April 2019)

Looking for a new show to binge? Lucky for you, we've curated a list of the best shows on Netflix, whether you're a fan of outlandish anime, dramatic period pieces, or shows that leave you questioning what lies beyond.
Photography

Free your digital memories, and frame them, with the best photo printers

Printed photos are experiencing a revival at the moment, but you don’t need to go to a special lab. Here’s our favorite options for making quality prints, from pocket-sized printers to wide-format photo printers capable of spitting out…
Product Review

Still waiting for a new Mac Pro? Corsair’s mini PC has all the power you'll need

With a modern 12-core Intel Core i9-9920X processor, Nvidia’s RTX 2080 Ti graphics, and 32GB of RAM, the Corsair One Pro is designed to woo creatives who demand more power from Apple’s Mac Pro. Like the Mac Pro, the best part of this PC…
Cars

Nvidia agrees with Tesla’s take on self-driving cars, but corrects specifics

Nvidia vice president Rob Csongor agreed with broad statements by Elon Musk at Tesla's April 22 Autonomy Investor Day. Csongor then took exception to what he termed were inaccuracies about Nvidia's self-driving car chip.
Computing

Tablet or notebook? Our favorite 2-in-1 PCs give you the best of both worlds

If you can’t decide if you need a tablet or a notebook, then don’t bother. The best 2-in-1 laptops are both, and they can provide all the power you need. Check out our list for the best 2-in-1s for any user.
Computing

Amal and George Clooney want to change the world. Can Microsoft help?

Microsoft and The Clooney Foundation for Justice (CFJ) unveiled the TrialWatch app Thursday morning, a new tool in CFJ’s ongoing TrialWatch effort to shine a light on injustice in courts around the globe – which too often are simply…
Computing

These are the best 13-inch laptops you can buy right now

With so much choice out there, how do you know which are the best 13-inch laptops? They should have beautiful screens, long battery life, and remain light and portable. This is a list of our favorites.
Computing

These gaming monitors will transport you to another dimension

What are the best gaming monitors you can buy right now? We select five that are all priced under $900 packing premium technologies like G-SYNC and FreeSync, high resolutions, and fast refresh rates.
Photography

Luminar Accent A.I. can now recognize faces for more natural instant edits

Want to edit faster? Skylum Luminar's latest update enhances the Accent A.I. to use machine learning for instant enhancements. The tool now recognizes faces for more natural skin tones along with other enhancements.
Computing

Intel’s 10nm desktop dreams may be dead — new road map pushes them beyond 2022

Intel may never release a competitive 10nm CPU on desktop if a new roadmap is to be believed. It suggests that Intel will rely on its 14nm process to at least 2022 and perhaps even beyond.