Now that companies and brands have caught on to the fact that there are a bunch of people on Twitter that they can market to, users are increasingly being targeted by promoted tweets from those businesses. Maybe you don’t mind a few ads touting the benefits of such-and-such product or service, but an entire subculture on Twitter has had it up to here. Those users are turning against companies by turning their very own tweets against them.
Oh, and mockery — that’s also a great tool, as our forefathers realized all the way back in yore and probably even in the land before time. You know, sticks and stones will break bones but words can also hurt. Especially if they’re funny words.
As such, the Wall Street Journal takes a look at the Weird Twitter subculture, which is made up of a group of users that take advertisers’ words and turn them against companies with a quick flip of a sentence, or a satirized retweet that ends up poking fun at promoted tweets.
For example, a user who writes: “Loving this all-natural Sierra Mist…RT if u have ever touched or seen a dog.” Sure, he’s mentioning the product — which Sierra Mist probably loves regardless — but he’s also talking about dogs, which doesn’t make sense. And is therefore hilarious, see?
Another Weird Twitterer says he’ll fight back against promoted tweets from companies like Walmart or Bank of America by retweeting it in a way that he hopes will make the brand look ridiculous. All with the hope that doing so will drive up advertising costs.
“It’s just fractions of pennies and it’s juvenile, but it’s still satisfying,” he tells the WSJ.
I personally enjoy the Twitter work of comedian Neil Hamburger, who is responsible for filling his followers’ feeds with retweets of Taco Bell customers (just one target of his comedic ire) getting sick after eating south of the border. It’s silly, it’s amusing, and it makes a point: You might be using Twitter to advertise to us, but that doesn’t mean we have to like it.
Some Twitter Users Push Back on Ads [Wall Street Journal]