The social media landscape of 2019 is, in and of itself, a ridiculous black hole that we can’t help but get sucked into. Something, someone, some meme — literally anything — can (and will) go viral, offering a solid 20ish minutes of internet fame, only to be tossed into the abysmal depths of the world wide web of dead content. Similar to the 8-second attention span of online shoppers, viral content is spread to millions of hungry content consumers for a brief time before they’re on to the next thing. And, let’s be real, people consume some WEIRD stuff.
This most recent viral thing started with a single tweet:
“I do not know if this is going to tweet I am talking to my fridge what the heck my Mom confiscated all of my electronics again.”
Device origin tag? LG Smart Refridgerator. Yes, the same fridge that can help lower your energy bills is now also capable of posting to social media platforms. While these Energy Star appliances use between 10% and 50% less energy than their standard counterparts, they also outperform them in the realm of social clout.
The Twitter handle @thankunext327 belonging to a user named Dorothy is little more than an Ariana Grande fan account. The tweet appeared to be a hilariously desperate attempt from a Twitter obsessed fan-girl to get her voice back on the internet after mother dearest took away her electronics.
This tweet went hilariously viral to the point the both LG and Twitter responded to Dorothy’s tweet with a hashtag that also ended up going viral: #FreeDorothy.
The viral tweet appeared to be the final straw in a series of tweets from different devices as 15-year-old Dorothy fought against her mother’s electronics confiscations. Her phone was taken away from her because she set her kitchen stove on fire while cooking because she was paying attention to Twitter rather than the food she was cooking.
Seems fair, right? Not cleaning dryer vents causes 34% of dryer fires in homes every year, but failure to pull your head up from Twitter? That caused at least one fire more than is necessary and it landed Dorothy phoneless. But, she wouldn’t be deterred. After her phone was taken, she purportedly posted tweets from her Nintendo 3DS and Nintendo Wii U. Then after having those confiscated she turned to her family’s smart fridge and became a viral sensation highlighting the lengths iGen will go to be on social media. The story went so viral that Dorothy was interviewed via Twitter DMs by outlets like BBC, CBS News, The Guardian, and New York Magazine. She claimed to be using her cousin’s iPad to respond to these interviews.
But, just when you thought all was well for Dorothy and her internet fame, the plot thickens. BuzzFeed Social News Editor Stephanie McNeal got suspicious and showed the world how easy it is to make up where you tweeted from. Citing examples of other viral fake origin tweets from places like “GUCCI SmartToilet” and “BuzzFeed Smart Fridge” she posited that the “LG Smart Refridgerator” tweet was also fake.
Then, the Ariana Grande fan page Twitter base — which there are hundreds, if not thousands of — started throwing accusations out there of “Dorothy” being a catfish and using multiple accounts to spread divisive news on the platform. Whether “Dorothy” didn’t want to be accused of contributing to the estimated 16.7 million victims of identity fraud or she simply got overwhelmed with her sudden Internet fame, whoever is behind the account wouldn’t reveal a surname and ceased responding to questions about the model of LG Smart Refridgerator calling the questions rude.
In the days following, whoever Dorothy is has gained over 32,000 followers and continues to respond to supportive tweets. How she’s making those responses? Maybe her mom gave her phone back, but who knows?
This is the news now. Welcome to the future.
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