An artist in San Francisco had a tweet go viral where she offered “Blue Check” plaques to be placed on the homes of “Influencers” in an obvious reference to the Twitter program.
I am not surprised that it went viral, but I am surprised that some people actually thought it was real, and made an application for approval.*
On Friday, a viral Twitter thread announced the unexpected rollout of “Blue Check Homes” — a new service allowing Bay Area residents to apply to have a “Verified Badge crest” (read: blue check mark) installed on the facade of their homes to essentially identify themselves as an authentic public figure in real life.
In a matter of hours, the thread garnered international attention, swiftly amassing thousands of retweets and likes, and over 40 million impressions. The reactions from the public were wide-ranging. Some were, understandably, annoyed by the concept. Others caught onto the joke rather quickly.
But Danielle Baskin, the SF-based artist behind the prank, had no idea the website she crafted to back up the fake service would receive 495 applicants, all hoping for a crest of their own.
“I will say a percentage of them are not from a real person. People added, like, Kim Kardashian, and that was clearly a joke,” said Baskin, who in 2019 attempted to remove a series of controversial “anti-homeless boulders” from a city sidewalk by listing them on the Craigslist free section.
“But everyone else thought the website was real. I did what I thought was a mediocre Photoshop job … I thought, ‘This is all very clickbait-y.’ All of the copy, I thought, was so obviously satire.”
Until 2½ weeks ago, Donald John Trump was President.
There is no such thing as “Obvious Satire” anymore.
*Full disclosure, I went to the website and submitted Joe biden for sh%$s and giggles.