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Axe Swings for Online US$1 Million Cheaters

MEDIA RELEASE

Axe Swings for Online US$1 Million Cheaters

AUCKLAND, New Zealand – Monday December 3, 2007 - With a million $US at stake, some players have resorted to cheating to win the Million Dollar Challenge offered by iYomu.com, the New Zealand-based social networking site for grown ups.

In response to discussions in the iYomu online community, today at 11.59am the axe has fallen on nine of the top 10 players on the social networking Challenge leader board. Those people will be stripped of their points for not following the Challenge rules and terms of use. The leader board is now completely open, meaning all participants in the iYomu Million Dollar Challenge have a realistic chance of getting into the top 10 and subsequently winning the $US million dollar prize.

iYomu’s founder David Wolf-Rooney says only a minority of all users appear to have intentionally cheated, but iYomu’s community made it clear that such behaviour would not be tolerated. “One of the advantages of social networking is that the community manages itself and its standards of behaviour. The ultimate decision of who receives the million dollar prize will be made by the iYomu community, so it’s also appropriate that we listen to and act on their concerns about cheating,” says Wolf-Rooney.

“We always expected some lobbying by members who referred their friends to iYomu as a way of earning points and we applaud the creativity of players doing that. However, for such a big prize we set up processes to monitor rule-breaking and it was clear to us that some of the leading users were cheating on a grand scale.

“The most creative cheats were those who managed to get themselves into the leader board. Removing these people drastically changes the face of the leader board and opens the competition right up again,” says David Wolf-Rooney.

At the same time, genuine players have been lobbying creatively. Many players have created web pages on iYomu detailing their life stories, why they should win and what they would do with the money. One user has offered to donate half of the million dollar purse to a charity chosen by other iYomu users if they vote him the winner.

“The cheats will not prosper,” says Wolf-Rooney. “Instead those who enlist a genuine network to support them will do well. The whole ethos of iYomu is to build communities and work together.”

“Interestingly, many of those identified as cheating have owned up and have accepted iYomu’s decision to remove them from the Challenge. They have also said that they want to stay within the site because they have made many friends and contacts during their time with iYomu,” Mr Wolf Rooney said.

Those involved in the Challenge gain points by completing a range of online activities, including referring friends to join the site, being gifted points from friends and solving 12 cryptic puzzles featuring locations from around the world.

Those in the Top 10 at 23.59 on 31st of December 2007 will be chosen to go onto the next stage, which involves iYomu users voting one finalist out each week until only the ultimate iYomu.com Challenge winner remains. The winner will then receive US$1 million in 12 monthly instalments.

iYomu is backed by private investors from seven countries who have underwritten the US$1 million prize. The iYomu terms of use and the Challenge rules have always been made clear on the site at www.iyomu.com/challenge.

- END -

About iYomu.com

iYomu is a Social Networking site for grown ups. It provides an original way to present yourself so you make better matches with people for sharing interests, doing business or just living.

The iYomu service is free, and features one gigabyte of storage for photos and documents, easy to use search tools, a personal homepage, email account, personality test and many other easy to use tools aimed at older internet users. People can also purchase additional storage space for their iYomu vault.

iYomu’s online communities cater for grown up topics like the lives of working mums, property investment, golf courses and book clubs, rather than the socialising or entertainment categories found in social networks for younger audiences. The site offers a number of unique profiling and people-finding tools.

At iYomu.com you can
* receive 1GB of free online storage for your documents, photos, videos, email and music.
* receive your own free iYomu email account.
* keep in touch with global friends and family in a single shared location.
* use the iYomu connection tools to locate, meet or join people with similar interests.
* save time through the ability to find the right people when you need them.

For photos, screenshots and video visit www.iyomu.com/usersite/media/

For more information (media only) contact the iYomu Media Centre:
www.iyomu.com/usersite/media


ENDS

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