4Chan Reroutes Promotional Contest, Lines Taylor Swift Up For A Concert At The Horace Mann School For The Deaf

from the not-your-personal-army-but-quite-possibly-your-personal-botnet dept

Hey, various musicians, celebrities and sponsors! How would you like a swift lesson in Crowdsourcing Your Ignominy? What's that? You'd rather not? Oh… I see…

OK. I'll pass that alo–


Lessons (un)learned to date:

  • Time Magazine says “Vote for Person of the Year” and opens the polls up to 4chan's robot army without so much as a captcha to slow them down.
  • Cuban rapper Pitbull teams up with Big Retail (Wal-Mart) to push energizing breath strips in the store receiving the most “Likes.” Boston Phoenix writer teams with army of goons to send Pitbull (and the writer himself) to Kodiak, Alaska.
  • Edgy beverage company invites internet users to name new MTN Dew flavor and is somehow shocked the suggestions contain a mixture of grotesque sexual imagery and Hitler references. Local favorite “Methamphetagreen” fails to place in the top 10.

Enter corporate sponsors Chegg (textbooks) and Papa Johns Pizza (um… pizza), a marketing force deemed nigh invulnerable after drafting country music sweetheart Taylor Swift. The plan? Open up the polls to The Internet and allow It to choose which lucky school will be receiving $10,000 and a concert starring Ms. Swift.

Precautions were taken. Entrants could only vote once per day and had to log in through Facebook (and “Like” Taylor Swift) in order to select a school. Voters could gain extra votes by “Liking” other sponsors' pages and buying Taylor Swift's latest single. The polls were opened and, as is often the case, members of 4chan were the first several thousand people in line.

Shortly thereafter, a certain school shot out to an insurmountable lead. Pack your ASL interpreter, Taylor. You're headed to Horace Mann School for the Deaf!

Like most things 4chan reroutes, it makes you laugh before you realize how heartless you sound LOLing away at a potential bunch of deaf kids. (“Potential” meaning Swift has the option to turn down the winning school. But she wouldn't, would she?) Of course, there's some honest laughter to be had at the decidedly less cruel thought that Swift's music is best left unheard.

Horace Mann had cleared 50K votes as of last Friday night, so it's unlikely that (barring any sponsor interference) another school will suddenly outpace it. This isn't necessarily the most heartless thing 4chan has conjured up. If nothing else, Horace Mann will be receiving $10,000. There's also the good possibility that Swift will play a concert at the school. The effort won't be completely wasted, as this Redditor points out:

I get the humor but those deaf kids are going to fucking love it! Most deaf can hear a certain degree with residual hearing, hearing aids and CI's. Not to mention those deaf kids who are profoundly deaf and don't wear any assistive devices will enjoy the visual stimulation of the show.

So, there's that. The music will still be appreciated on some level by the attendees. Oddly enough, this looks like another PR win by the time all is said and done. Swift will play a well-received concert at Horace Mann. Five schools will receive $10,000. Visuals will be stimulated. And somehow, 4chan will have inadvertently trolled up a massively good deed, adding yet another incongruous layer to its mythology.

And, on the one-in-a-million chance that Swift turns this gig down, I humbly suggest these gentlemen fill in.

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Comments on “4Chan Reroutes Promotional Contest, Lines Taylor Swift Up For A Concert At The Horace Mann School For The Deaf”

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John Fendersonsays:

They would love it

I’ve known a couple of totally deaf people in my time, and they enjoy music, concerts, and even dancing. They can’t hear the music like the undeaf, of course, but they can certainly feel it. And, as noted in the quote in the article, they would also enjoy the stage show.

If Taylor Swift has an ounce of publicity savvy at her disposal, she’d do this concert in a heartbeat.


This is my 200th post for Techdirt. Somewhat of a milestone and I’d be even more self-promotional and celebratory if I wasn’t altogether too aware of the fact that I trail Mike by approximately 40,000 posts. (To be fair, he had about a 13 year headstart.)

Anyway, this is less about me than it is about you, the readers and commenters at Techdirt, who have resisted the urge (time and time again) to demand that I be relieved of my privileges and replaced with someone less prone to using multiple adjectives when clearly one would do the job just as well. (I also appreciate that the “but there’s already a Tim posting here, and we like him better” comments have been kept to a minimum.)

Here’s to the next indefinite number of posts, full of retractions, misspellings, misplaced apostrophes, broken links and extraneous line breaks.


Take it from my wife who happens to be almost completely deaf without hearing aids….

“Deaf people won’t be able to hear it, but they certainly will be able to feel it. Beethoven used to ‘hear’ using vibrations from the piano legs when he removed the castors that moved piano around so he could ‘feel’ the music.”

This means one of two things:
1. They totally failed at trolling for once (not entirely likely, they likely pulled a type two troll)

2. They did something nice because nobody else would have thought of that from a deaf person’s perspective (that’s the 4chan I grew up with).


I agree. As someone who has worked with children who were hard of hearing to completely deaf, they definitely can enjoy the show.
You joke (?) about signers, but there is a method and standard to signing to music.

As you said though, as butt of the joke she may become from doing the concert, it will bring her great publicity and love from kids who previously have been denied this kind of entertainment.

And perhaps, the jokes about the truly deaf students being luckier than the ones who can hear her will be too obvious for the late night comedians?

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

School for the Deaf gets $10K – WIN
Deaf kids get a concert – WIN
Make a funny statement about how some people feel about her music – WIN
Remind corporations they still don’t get the interwebs – WIN

I think this would be an awesome experience for the students, a show tailored (HA!) to them. No having to feel awkward or dealing with stupid questions about why someone who is deaf came to a concert.

And Tim, personally I was rooting for Fapple to win the Mt. Dew contest.


Fapple was a great suggestion. Honestly, I don’t think PepsiCo realizes how many cases of “Fapple” or “Methamphetagreen” non-Dew drinkers would have purchased simply to have sitting around the fridge or unopened as collectors’ items. And then there’s the Dew drinkers, who would be buying even more simply to lol while they rush.

There’s piles of money laying all over the table here.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re:

But those piles will remain untouched because they enjoy suing each other.
Snapple would have sued over Fapple instantly, merit or not.
Some “family” group would have sued over the Meth reference and selling drugs to children.

Snapple – Made from the best stuff on Earth.
Fapple – Made from the weirdest crap in the lab.

The tagline writes itself…


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

go back and read the start of this thread… guy is claiming 4chan did something good. But in the end, the result would be generally the same without them – someone would get a concert and 10k… so 4chan didn’t do anything that helped, they just shifted the result away from the honest people.


Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

Contests have winners and losers; without 4chan, though, that deaf school would likely have never gotten this concert, the 10K, or anything. It’s unfortunate, but it happens; some people would look at it and go ‘it’s deaf children, they don’t get music, they’re deaf’ even when the opposite is true. This obviously is not the case for everyone, but, yeah. Without their involvement, another school would’ve won that 10K and concert, and these deaf kids?

They wouldn’t. Life has losers and winners, but face the facts; the deaf school was losing by a margin, ’till 4chan came in and helped them along. I don’t see it as a bad thing. The way contests work is irrelevant; it’s like moaning about people dying all the time, or children starving in africa. Yeah, it’s some bad fucking shit. Some other kid’s dead, some others are going to starve.

You’d go mad if that’s ALL you ever thought about. That’s why you celebrate the victories when they come, not bemoan about the state of the world, or bemoan about the other schools that didn’t get it. More than likely, some will come along and donate to the schools that didn’t win anyways, out of the goodness of their hearts.

My point is, being a debby downer gets you nowhere in life, so be an Optimistic Owen, and look at the best parts of life that happen when you least expect them to. Just saiyan.

That Anonymous Cowardsays:

Re: Re: Re:

So let me understand this…
your butthurt that a school won an event where a school was going to win something.

Some school was going to win, that sorta was the entire point of this event. But because 4chan got involved and had some fun, its a bad thing.

They didn’t manage to redirect the payment to the RNC, a white power group, or something not within the bounds of the game.

Anyone could have done what 4chan did, because the contest was flawed from the get go. But its 4chan’s fault.

Its been transferred by pranksters… AND?
I will point you to my very concise review of this…

I bet you were butthurt about all of the money raised to send that bus monitor on a trip after she was abused by those little bastard children.

I’m sorry your letting your hatred of 4chan give you the power to curse a buncha deaf kids for winning. How dare they get included like everyone else. Let me go find you a kitten to kick to make it complete. Feel like an ass yet? Then my job here is done.


Plain epic win and amazing lulz at the same time. I laughed really hard at “Shortly thereafter, a certain school shot out to an insurmountable lead. Pack your ASL interpreter, Taylor. You’re headed to Horace Mann School for the Deaf!“.

I find it amusing that so many ppl think those types of joke are horrible or something. I had this friend with a disability (he needs a wheelchair) tell me an incredibly funny joke involving ppl with his disability and the Paralympics (it involved obstacle races and their foreheads and some mimics). The fact you tell jokes about whatever group of ppl doesn’t mean you disrespect, despises or there’s any prejudice at all.

Awesome lulz 😉

That Anonymous Cowardsays:


I think they are stuck in the mindset that we have to treat them in a “special” way like we were taught in a very special episode of Facts of Life or an After School Special.
We’ve never learned to see the person before we see the label on them.

I bet if someone actually interviewed the students at the school they would be so excited, and maybe a little confused why they won. Its not like someone voted a contest for the Mona Lisa to be on display at a school for the blind.

But some people are terrified of being caught laughing without making sure its absolutely ok with the PC police first. That and I don’t think they understand that the deaf can actually enjoy music, go rent Mr. Hollands Opus already… GEEZ….


This could really be made into even better PR.

Lol indeed, if they open up the concert to others to attend and maybe turn it into a charity event for the school (donations collected from patrons) then it could turn into an even bigger good deed. Despite the silliness of sending a musician to perform at a school for the deaf.

Think of the PR goodwill that this could become if they opened the concert up to be free but with a front-row section allocated for students and staff at the school. Then make it a charity event to collect from concert patrons donations for the school. Maybe even have a secondary onsite contest (with donations) for meeting Taylor Swift.

This could be really cool actually.

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