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Social Media Elections On Foursquare Just As Corrupt As Real World

Having just completed another exhausting political election season, it seems at this point in time we're pretty much jaded by corruption and the number of scandals that seem to surround many of our political figures on the state and federal levels. However, who would have suspected that corrupt mayors also existed on the nation's favorite location-based social network - Foursquare?

Ironically, on election day, a Foursquare spokesman noted that the network has decided to allow proprietors to oust 'cheating mayors.' Long a staple in Foursquare's toolbox, mayorships have been an envied position to assume by Foursquare frequent users.Tallying more check-ins than competitors is so popular, one has only to search on Twitter for 'foursquare' to see how many mayors have tweeted about ousting a previous mayor of a popular pub or bistro.

Unfortunately, where there is competition, the dark side of human nature will prevail. And if there is a way to beat the system, you know there are folks who are going to try. So yesterday, Foursquare took matters into their own hands, and noted in an interview with TechCrunch, that they will not allow this type of activity to persist:


According to Bianca Bosker at the Huffington Post, she notes "this is hardly Foursquare's first attempt to curb cheating." Deceitful "armchair mayors" who have claim check-ins from the comfort of their homes or offices were introduced to a "cheater code" earlier this year that considers a user's location when he or she checks into a venue. To detect the legitimacy, back in April, the location-based social network used their GPS feature to verify users' locations.

When only bragging rights was the major incentive for earning mayorships, corruption of this type was overlooked. But know that establishments have initiated discounts, deal offerings and other perks, these 'geolocation posts' are worth a lot more to users today.

One of the more hotly contested eateries in New York City is the Chipotle on St Marks Place. In this YouTube video, these two Foursquare employees (Mike Singleton and Nathan Folkman) show how tense the competition for mayorships at this venue can get.



Pride in mayorships has turned the mundane task of "going to lunch" into a fun activity. So, it seems appropriate that Foursquare should take infractions like this seriously and seek to distinguish the bonafide users from those that just like "game the game."

Readers, what are you thoughts on mayorships? Something that should be policed, or is it still too much of a frivolous activity to warrant this type of scrutiny?

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Ron Callari
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