After the final votes and the debuting members were announced on PRODUCE X 101‘s final episode, netizens began collecting alleged evidence that Mnet rigged the final votes.
Many pointed out that the difference between the ranking members’ votes equaled the same number multiple times and the number were multiples or sums of each other.
“Explain this, Produce 101” essentially the gap between the voting is too similar to not be rigged pic.twitter.com/PI817pBL3m
— 𝙢𝙚𝙜 / 𝙝𝙮𝙚𝙤𝙣𝙜𝙟𝙪𝙣 #4 𝙟𝙪𝙣𝙝𝙤 #9 (@starstohyungjun) July 19, 2019
When netizens demanded that Mnet explain whether it was a coincidence or manipulation of the votes, Mnet claimed that it was unnecessary to respond to such rumors.
It’s even weird for us to confirm or deny rumors about rigging the votes from a live broadcast.
We have no reason to manipulate the votes. We decided to not make an official statement because we feel that in itself will cause more issues.
As a result, mathematics and statistics specialists were called in to give their opinion on the numbers. Overall, they claimed that “there are reasonable doubts, but the amount of sample and data is insufficient when viewed academically.”
Professor K, a professor of a research institute in mathematics, looked over the voting results to claim that it was indeed “strange.”
It’s true that the voting numbers in the list are strange. It’s too strange to say that the results were purely taken from public votes without any outside factors.
— Professor K
He referred to Benford’s Law, which is used to identify artificially manipulated numbers when analyzing the validity of statistics. To quickly sum it up in relation to the votes, the frequency of the similar numbers appearing in the votes could suggest the results weren’t collected organically.
However, Professor K made a disclaimer that “the given sample size was too small to make a definitive statement about the votes.”
A statistics professor of an unidentified university, named Professor N, also claimed that “the given statistics of the votes were reasonably suspicious.” However, he agreed with Professor K that the data was too small to make a definitive statement and suggested that raw data is required for more testing.
The given statistics of the votes are reasonably suspicious. However, in statistics, more data is needed to validate any statistical error.
Obtaining the raw data is one of the most important actions in these kinds of situations. If you simulate the raw data under the same conditions but acquire a different result, you can suspect manipulation took place.
— Professor N
When the netizens and press reached out to Mnet about the raw data, they firmly stood their ground with their original statement and did not reveal the raw data to the public.
We haven’t changed our stance that we will not be making an official statement about the rumors.
We have not been instructed [to release the raw data].
— Mnet Representative
A community of PRODUCE X 101 fans has reportedly gathered in preparations to take legal action against Mnet. They revealed that they will seek to obtain the raw data from Mnet and discover the truth.
We have confirmed 585 people who will stand with us in petition against Mnet.
Our primary goal is to receive an official statement from Mnet about their stance and acquire the raw data to test if the suspicions are true. If we discover that they had manipulated the results, we will get Mnet to apologize and take the corrective measures.
— PRODUCE X 101 Fans