Rumours that one of TheSpoof.com writers has actually rated his own story have been confirmed as true.
The Lowton Brothers, who are the owners and editors of TheSpoof! website, admitted that the present system permits anyone to rate his or her own story or get someone else to do it for them. As a result, shares in TheSpoof! tumbled in London and New York.
The news initially emerged from a leaked memo by one writer, calling himself whinger, which said:
"I believe that some writers are rating their own stories by giving them 5 stars and getting their mates to do likewise. It's quite clear they're doing this because stories that are shite are getting lots of marks while my stories, which are bloody brilliant, are getting Sweet Fanny Adams."
Rating one's one story is seen as unethical in some quarters, just as bad as an actor paying to see one of his own movies or a musician buying one of his own recordings.
Critic Rufus Livesinanotherworld said:
"It's bad form. It just isn't cricket. The Lowtons should make it impossible to rate one's own story or get a friend to do it. One idea would be to block out the ratings buttons when reading one's own or a friend's story. I don't know how to do this but I'm sure that if they invested a couple of million dollars into finding out, they could get an answer."
However, other writers on the website were anxious to play down the story. One said:
"I always kickstart my own stories by giving them 5 stars, then logging in as someone else and giving them another 5 stars."