Coca-Cola has suspended its #MakeItHappy automated social campaign after a prank from Gawker had the brand inadvertently tweeting out several lines from Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf.
The soda brand’s campaign, introduced during Sunday’s Super Bowl, encouraged Twitter users to mark negative tweets with the #MakeItHappy hashtag. Then, the brand turned those words into cute art images using ASCII lettering code.
But Gawker soon noiced a tweet from Coke’s Twitter account that had turned the “Fourteen Words” slogan of white nationalism into an ASCII dog.
“Even when the text is shaped like a dog, it is disconcerting to see Coca-Cola, the soda company, urge its social media followers to safeguard the existence and reproduction of white racists,” wrote Gawker editor Max Read.
To prove the point, Gawker created a Twitter bot, @MeinCoke, which tweeted lines of Mein Kampf at Coca-Cola to see if the brand would turn lines from Hitler’s autobiographical manifesto into art. It did. This afternoon, the brand stopped the art-based social campaign altogether, no longer responding to tweets that used the #MakeItHappy hashtag.
This is a bit disheartening:
It was initially greeted with an outpouring of excitement, but questions soon began to be raised over the timing of the discovery, shortly after the death of Lee’s sister Alice Lee, and about the degree of Harper Lee’s own involvement in the deal.
“Alice Lee was about 12 years her sister’s senior, and she was Harper Lee’s buffer against the publicity-hungry world,” said Charles Shields, author of a biography of Lee, on Wednesday. “Alice advised Harper about financial matters, contracts, rights, and the rest of it. I can’t think it’s just coincidence that two months after Alice’s death, this 60-year-old manuscript is suddenly available for publication. Understanding the relationship between the sisters as I do, I doubt whether Alice would have allowed this project to go forward.”
After all, he added, the book “was written before Harper had the benefit of a strong, experienced editor at her eventual publisher”.
“Consider that To Kill a Mockingbird went through several complete drafts,” he said. “Although my fingers are crossed, I suspect Go Set a Watchman will show signs of what it is: a first attempt at novel-writing by a young, inexperienced author.”
Shields said it “wouldn’t be appropriate” to comment about Lee’s mental state, “but it’s well-known that she’s blind, she had a serious stroke several years ago, and in the past two years, her legal problems have been in the news several times after decades of silence. This indicates, I think, an elderly woman who’s getting poor advice.”
The novelist Philip Hensher also raised questions about the deal. “For 50 years she’s maintained the position that she’d said what she wanted to, with that one, fantastic, novel, and that she didn’t want to publish anything else. So why has she changed her mind, and has she changed her mind? … What I would very much like to see is some sort of accurate account of Harper Lee’s capacity to give consent, that doesn’t come from the publisher just saying she is in fantastic health, even though they haven’t seen her.”
In an interview with Vulture on Tuesday, Lee’s US editor told the site: “I think we do all our dealing through her lawyer, Tonja. It’s easier for the lawyer to go see her in the nursing home and say HarperCollins would like to do this and do that and get her permission. That’s the only reason nobody’s in touch with her. I’m told it’s very difficult to talk to her.”
The book that isn’t released until July is already ranked as #1 in Amazon sales.
And there’s a TIE Fighter version on the way.
There’s probably a lot more to this story then what’s being told here:
A fourth grader in Kermit, Texas was suspended for making “terroristic threats” after allegedly telling a classmate that he had a “magic ring” that could make the boy disappear, the Odessa American reports.
According to Kermit Elementary School officials, 9-year-old Aiden Steward told a classmate that he possessed a magic ring forged in Mount Doom — a fictional location from J.R.R. Tolkien’s Hobbit and Lord of the Rings series.
Aiden’s father, Jason, told The Daily News that his family had just watched The Hobbit: The Battle of Five Armies earlier that week, and that his son “didn’t mean anything” when he told his classmate he was in possession of the “one ring to rule them all.”
“Kids act out movies that they see. When I watched Superman as a kid, I went outside and tried to fly,” he said.
“I assure you my son lacks the magical powers necessary to threaten his friend’s existence,” he added. “If he did, I’m sure he’d bring him right back.”
Kermit Elementary Principal Roxanne Greer told the Odessa American that she could not comment on the suspension, because “all student stuff is confidential,” but Steward said that she told him that any and all threats to a child’s safety — including magical ones — would be taken seriously by the school.
Pork and shrimp dumpling noodle bowl. (found on reddit)
(Reuters) – A TransAsia Airways (6702.TW) plane with 58 passengers and crew on board careered into a river shortly after taking off from a downtown Taipei airport on Wednesday, killing 23 people and leaving 20 missing, officials said.
Fifteen people survived the crash after the plane lurched between buildings, clipped a taxi and an overpass with its port-side wing and crashed upside down in the shallow water.
Dramatic pictures taken by a motorist and posted on Twitter showed the plane careening over the motorway soon after the turboprop ATR 72-600 aircraft took off in apparently clear weather on a domestic flight for the island of Kinmen.