Over the weekend, the country chose a new Miss Russia. She became a 22-year-old student Margarita Golubeva. The online voting was strange, there were suspicions of fraud, and even the organizers of the competition admitted this. Who benefited from this?
How did the voting take place?
The day before the final, complaints from Internet users who voted for their favorites appeared on social networks. Those making a choice complained about glitches in the voting platform. It allegedly functioned intermittently, making it difficult to submit results.
At the same time, there was no protection from bots on the page, which potentially made it possible to vote multiple times for the same contender for the crown. Some of the voters even made a video of this incident.
The scandal that broke out forced the management to admit that there really were Internet frauds when voting for the participants. According to the general director of the Miss Russia contest Anastasia Belyak, cheating at such events is common. According to her, technical specialists monitor the voting process, identify bots and then remove the results of their activities from the total number of votes. Whether the votes for the contestants were then correctly counted is a mystery.
Who makes money from cheating?
First of all, specialized sites that offer similar services on the Internet make money by cheating votes.
Programmers create bots that leave as many votes as the customer paid for. Quantity is unlimited.
Bot owners are advanced people and can easily bypass various website security systems. Their products are able to imitate a real person and even cope with multi-level protection, and not just some “captcha” (captcha is a special test before loading a page, the purpose of which is to offer the user a task that can be easily solved by a person, but is extremely difficult and labor-intensive for a computer).
In addition, bots cope with the need to authorize a user on social networks to confirm his identity. Moreover, they work even in cases where the target site sends a confirmation code to the phone in the form of SMS or email. Bypassing such multi-level protection, of course, costs much more than a regular click in the window with the target of the scam.
It is not known for certain how much such a service cost this year; it depends on the number of votes needed, on the level of security of the site and even on inflation in the country.
It is hardly beneficial for the contenders for the title of the country’s first beauty to participate in such dubious events. This year the prize fund of the competition is only 1 million rubles, which is quite a bit in the conditions of turbulence in the global and Russian economy. The downside is the cost of promotion and a possible scandal if the scam is discovered, followed by disqualification and reputational losses. If the girls bought votes, it was done by fans and sponsors.
Who holds the Miss Russia competition?
Since 2005, the permanent organizer of the Miss Russia contest has been RSV LLC, formerly known as Russian Standard CJSC.
The founder of the holding is Russian billionaire Rustam Tariko. The headquarters of the 61-year-old businessman is located on Madison Avenue in the center of New York – the parent company of the holding, Russian Standard Vodka Inc., operates here. Perhaps this circumstance still allows the finalists of the Russian competition to have the opportunity to participate in the Western competitions “Miss World” and “Miss Universe”.
Rustam Tariko himself, it seems, breathes unevenly towards the contestants. In 2021, he was greeted in Dubai arm in arm with Miss Russia 2018. Yulia Polyachikhinoth. There were rumors that the businessman and the Russian beauty were in a relationship and even had a child.
Before Polyachikhina, Tariko had an affair with the Miss Russia 2004 finalist Alena Gavrilova – She bore him a son. It didn’t come to a wedding, because soon a new miss appeared next to the businessman – “Miss Russia 2009” Sofya Rudyeva. If you believe the capital’s tabloids, Tariko had affairs with girls from his competition regularly.
What is known about the new “Miss Russia” Golubeva
This year, the winner of the Miss Russia competition was a 22-year-old student from St. Petersburg, Margarita Golubeva. A girl from a poor, large family did not immediately realize her attractiveness, since at school, in her own words, she was bullied by her classmates for her great height.
After school, the girl went to conquer Moscow, where she entered the Russian Customs Academy, and thanks to her good vocal abilities, she got into the show “The Voice”. Despite the fact that no one turned to her, the jury appreciated her abilities and motivated her to enter the IPCC in the field of pop vocals. There the girl studies in Larisa Dolina’s course. By the way, she managed to show off the skills acquired from the People’s Artist at “Miss Russia”, singing a cappella the song “Love has come.”
This beauty contest is not the first for Margarita Golubeva: in 2021 she won the Miss Student Russia contest, and this year she managed to become the first vice-miss of the Miss Europe contest.