I recently entered a giveaway where the company used Gleam.io as their platform for the giveaway. I don’t normally enter giveaways but I wanted the item being given away but I just can’t afford to buy it myself. Being that this is my first time participating in a Gleam giveaway, I was a bit curious so I did a little research into the platform. What I found was a bit unsettling.
How Gleam.io works is that the sponsor (company/person who is conducting the giveaway) posts a giveaway using the Gleam platform and they choose which ways people can enter. This can include flowing them on Facebook, liking their Facebook page, visiting their website, watching their Youtube video, subscribing to their Youtube channel, etc.
Then I did some searching on Google and come across this page [https://gleam.io/docs/competitions/drawing-winners]. As far as I can tell, that page explains that a giveaway sponsor has the choice to either have the Gleam.io system choose a winner randomly from the list of all entrants, or the sponsor can just download the list of entrants and “hand-pick” the winner themselves.
So given the fact that the giveaway sponsor is able to “hand-pick” a winner, it then follows that the sponsor could simply enter their own giveaway (or have someone else do it for them) and hand-pick their own fake entry as the winner. This makes a fake giveaway look legit even to Gleam since the sponsor did, in fact, choose an actual entrant from the database provided by Gleam. This would make Gleam.io a relatively cheap and easy way to get a boatload of traffic, subscriptions and exposure, and also opens up the Gleam system to enable giveaway fraud. While it is understood that Gleam (and other such companies) want to make their platform as attractive as possible to sponsors so that they will choose Gleam over Gleam’s competitors, having policies/features that could enable giveaway fraud (which is not legal and could end up making Gleam liable along with the scammer) isn’t exactly ethical business practice, either.
Sure, even if Gleam.io didn’t offer the ability to hand-pick, a sponsor could simply just not ship the giveaway to the winner, obviously. However, in a scenario like that the winner could easily make Gleam aware of it and even expose the fraud all over social media. Gleam could then attempt to stop the sponsor from posting giveaways in the future. But allowing sponsors to hand-pick winners seems to enable giveaway fraud and scams. So just be aware of this next time you enter a giveaway (whether it’s hosted by Gleam.io or by another platform).
NOTE: This article is NOT meant to claim or even suggest that Gleam.io is a scam company nor was it meant to defame them in any way, shape or form. It is meant to inform people of their policies which may or may not enable scammers. Other similar companies may have similar policies, which should also be scrutinized and warned against.