Popular music competition show X Factor Malta has issued a statement following allegations that the parents of one of the contestants had sent out a batch of messages urging people to vote for her son during last week’s show.
“X Factor Malta would like to clarify some points in relation to issues that cropped up after last Sunday’s live show,” the show said today in a statement.
“We have received a number of complaints regarding spam SMS’ encouraging people to vote for certain contestants,” they continued. “X Factor Malta would like to make it very clear that spamming is clearly forbidden both by X Factor rules and by local data protection laws, and encourages members of the public who receive such messages to report these occurrences to the relevant authorities.”
“Moreover, X Factor has advised its participants that a zero-tolerance policy will be adopted in cases of proven and clear breaches of X Factor rules,” the show’s team said, before pledging to release all data in relation to the votes right after the final show.
Their statement comes after a number of people said they received an SMS from contestant Karl Schembri’s parents urging them to vote for their son, calling it “cheating”.
“I really appreciate if tonight you vote for my son Karl Schembri, finalist of X Factor Malta. Will send SMS number when televoting is open. Thank you very much,” the message read.
Viewers reacted negatively to the message, asking how the parents had got a hold of their numbers in the first place.
“She better tell us where she gathered the number for our mobiles from,” said one woman who received a message. “I don’t know you from Adam and we received two messages to vote for Karl.”
“Where is data protection?” asked another.
Aside from viewers, other performers are said to be angry that no action had yet been taken from producers when it comes to the contestant in question.