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Five times the Internet trolled us in 2013

December 19, 2013|By Mick Swasko, @swasko

Of course it’s true, people don’t just go and put misinformation on the Internet.

Oh wait, yes they do. Trolls, tricksters and the poor people who blindly share their tweets were rampant in 2013, and admit it, you fell for some yourself. Fool me once, shame on you, fool the Internet like these stories did, shame on everyone.

The twerk to table OMG SHE’S ON FIRE fail

In a time before twerking was named Word of the Year and we weren’t all completely sick of it, twerking videos were popular. Everyone and their mother shared this video, and I know this because even my mom put it on her Facebook. It’s was a perfect symphony of drinking, upside down ass shaking and shattering a glass coffee table and being engulfed in flames. It was so good, most people didn’t wonder why the video cut off so early, until a week later, when Jimmy Kimmel admitted to being behind the whole thing.

The Pace Salsa Twitter debacle

There’s a lot of layers to this one. On a weekend in November, comedian Kyle Kinane spent the better part of a morning pointing out that, no matter what homophobic or racy thing he might tweet, the Pace salsa Twitter account would “favorite.”

After a while, he began receiving strange direct messages from several people claiming to be social media managers for the brand, and everything went downhill from there. He attempted to negotiate for free salsa, thought he possibly got someone fired, and continued to broadcast the whole thing.

Like most things on the Internet that seem too good to be true, this was too. Turns out, the Pace account was fake, and Kinane was himself the victim of a prank by a few fellow comedians.

Hilton’s Mandela “tweet”

When a prominent figure dies, the Internet sends an obligatory #rip, and then sits back and waits until another prominent figure sends out a stupid tweet. Even in sad times, people are just sitting in front of their laptops like:

So, when Nelson Mandela died in early December, it was only a matter of time before someone piped up. Enter Paris Hilton.

“RIP Nelson Mandela. Your 'I Have A Dream' speech was so inspiring. An amazing man.”

LOL. #BLONDEJOKE. But the tweet, sent from a less-than-a-day-old and misspelled “@deletedtweets” account, was a ruse. She later responded, and it was actually pretty respectable:

@horse_ebooks turns out to be lame performance art from Buzzfeed

People were legitimately crushed by this one. @horse_ebooks, a twitter account that posted seemingly random spam from the Internet, had a lot of fans. Even Dan Sinker, the Chicagoan behind a fake account in @mayoremanuel was himself fooled by the account. And he was DESTROYED. He wrote, like, 5,000 words about the account being a fake.

Here’s what happened. Turns out, @horse_ebooks, along with an odd YouTube channel called “Pronunciation Book”, were the brain children of two Buzzfeed employees who called the whole thing “performance art.” It all led up to a phone number being tweeted, where they would answer the phone in a New York art gallery and read random phrases and hang up. It was weird, and also led up to a “meh” interactive video called Bear Stearns Bravo.

The gay tip rip

I won’t spend much time on this one, because it is terrible and sucks. It all started when a waitress posted and image of a receipt. 

When word spread of the terrible people who wouldn’t tip a gay woman, people were so pissed, jimmies were so rustled, that the Internet was quick to donate nearly $2,000 to her. She said she’d give it to charity. In the end, though, turned out the actual receipt surfaced, and the family did in fact tip the woman. In the end, the money never made it to charity, details emerged that the woman has a history of lying, and everyone lost completely faith in humanity and gave up.


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