Vote brigading is massively coordinated online voting. It refers to the practice of affecting reviews or scores on websites that feature crowdvoting, such as online stores or review websites, by calling on large numbers of people to submit (often false) reviews, thus boosting or decreasing ratings artificially. This may be done for political reasons, for example to harm the commercial prospects and credibility of films dealing with controversial or sensitive subjects. Vote brigading is a form of participation bias, which can decrease the reliability of the aggregated score.
The first known use of "brigade" or brigading in reference to orchestrated negative voting online was a post by blogger Konstantine Thoukydides from the German web forum Toy Town, about a massively downvoted thread by a "downvote brigade".
The online community Reddit, which sorts its content visibility in a popular voting system, has dealt with censorship issues related to vote brigading.
As part of a promotional campaign conducted in 2012 for a brand of energy strips, rapper Pitbull was to be sent to an arbitrary Walmart store at a location voted for by visitors of the brand's Facebook page. An organized campaign ensued, with over 70,000 visitors voting for a store at the remote island of Kodiak, Alaska.
In 2013, 4chan engaged in vote brigading to attempt to manipulate a contest being held by Boston radio station Kiss 108, that allowed participants to meet Taylor Swift. While the brigading was successful, the organizers of the contest cancelled the event after learning of the interference.
Gunday, a 2014 Indian film suffered from vote brigading on IMDb due to a supposed historical inaccuracy in the opening narration of the film. At the time of its release it was the lowest-rated film on IMDb, with a 1.4/10 rating based on more than 44,000 votes, out of which 91 percent gave it just one star.
Demon, a 2015 film about a groom possessed by an evil spirit the night before his wedding, suffered from vote brigading on IMDB.
Kicks, a 2016 indie film about a boy and his two friends embarking on a dangerous mission through Oakland to retrieve a pair of Air Jordan sneakers that were stolen from him, suffered from vote brigading for unknown reasons. Two other films that shared the same release date as Kicks suffered from a similar issue.