If you want to get more women involved in your community, throwing the equivalent of a sketchy online beauty contest and labeling it “chivalry” probably isn’t the way to do it. Fledgling smartphone maker OnePlus learned that lesson this morning. Just hours after launching a contest that encouraged women to draw the company’s logo on themselves and snap a selfie so that others could vote on the “50 most well-liked ladies”, the company has shut it all down.
The startup OnePlus recently launched its first smartphone, the One, and to deal with production issues it’s been letting people buy them by invitation only, slowly offering them to more people as more are produced. It’s a weird system, and today OnePlus began supplementing it with a horribly conceived and deeply sexist contest that allows women to jump the line if they’re willing to have a bunch of internet dudes vote on their appearance. The contest asks women to draw the OnePlus logo on their body (or on a sheet of paper that they’re holding) and then take a photo of themselves and post it in OnePlus’ forums. From there, the 50 “most well liked” will get a free T-shirt and have the option of buying the phone.