Three students from the District of Columbia had invented a method by which contaminated water in schools can be purified. This invention had impressed NASA very much, and the space agency has announced that the three girls would be the finalists in the agency’s prestigious high school competition.
The subsequent stage of the science competition involved public voting. To get the maximum votes, the students of Banneker High School, Mikayla Sharrieff, India Skinner and Bria Snell, mostly in their 17s, turned to the social media to promote their project. But little was known of the fact that users on 4chan, an internet forum which is known for hoaxes and homophobic comments, were making plans to disqualify the students from winning the competition.
The posters used racial comments and gave the opinion that the project which was developed by the students did not deserve to win and the only reason for which the black community was voting for the students was that of their race. The forum also asked the city not to vote for this students. They even suggested computer programs that would help to hack the voting system to a team of teenage boys can get a boost.
Sensing of such a hacking being going on, NASA stopped the public voting system much before then the scheduled time. The space agency said that it had promoted social media for the voting purpose but further stated the system was put to an end when it was known that people had started changing the vote totals.
Unfortunately, such a hacking situation was brought to the notice of NASA yesterday where it was confirmed that particular section of the public was using the social media as a platform not to encourage the students but to hackle a specific team. They were also helping other people to disrupt the voting system and had the intention to upset the voting result once it took place. NASA still encourages education for the young Americans and tries to educate all the students so that they can go for the stars.
The Space Agency has shortlisted eight finalists and said that the results would come out within this month only. Apart from public voting, there is judge’s panel which decides on which project is to be selected to be the winner. The winning team will receive a stipend worth $ 4000 to cover up all the expenses that are incurred.