Since 2016 HEK the Haus der elektronischen Künste (House of electronic Art) in Basel have organised a net-based award for art that employs the "Internet as a platform for artistic activities". In addition to a jury prize, an audience award is voted for by internet users on HEK's website. Votes are cast through Pinpoli, a web-based poll system, that can and has been easily hacked in the past. The poll was hacked in 2017, presumably by one of the artists nominated for the award, with first and second places surpassing other nominations by over 1400 votes. Yet for the 2018 award HEK continue to use the same flawed polling system.
As a consequence, the award is reduced to little more than a fixed popularity contest. It is discussed on social media with derision, users and artists wonder not which artwork will win but instead which hacker or bot will dominate the voting. This is unjust to nominated works and does not raise the credibility or profile of net-based art.
In the last week of voting I deployed a clicking application through TorBrowser to cast over a thousand votes. It raised several of the poorly performing nominations above the winning nominations and arbitrarily selected one to win by an exaggerated number of votes. The intention was to undermine HEK's confidence in their poll, confound the process of selection of the audience award and hopefully sufficiently embarrass HEK to abolish it in coming years.