Gawker’s Max Read was looking at the “Make it happy!” Coca-Cola‘s new marketing Twitter campaign, which had been introduced in a Super Bowl commercial, calling on Twitter users reply to negative tweets with the hashtag “#MakeItHappy.”
The beneficent, humanity-loving Coca-Cola would then transform those tweets into sweet (though not as sweet as Coke) ASCII art.
“We turned the hate you found into something happy, ” @CocaCola boasted.
So Read and his fellow Gawkers decided to get Coca-Cola—or the automated retweeter it was using—to retweet some truly offensive stuff.
“If we asked Coca-Cola to retweet, for example, the first four paragraphs of Hitler’s autobiography Mein Kampf, would it?” Read was wondering.
Oh, yes it would, it turned out.
Gawker Editorial Labs director Adam Pash created a bot that tweeted Hitler’s manifesto line-by-line, and then tweet at Coke to #SignalBoost Hitler and #MakeItHappy.
The results are freaking hilarious, as you can see, in these retweets below. It goes on for miles, in case this is how you prefer to ingest your proto-Nazi propaganda:
And, much funnier:
So now Coca-Cola has suspended its #MakeItHappy automated social campaign. A spokeswoman emailed this statement to the press:
“The #MakeItHappy message is simple: The Internet is what we make it, and we hoped to inspire people to make it a more positive place. It’s unfortunate that Gawker is trying to turn this campaign into something that it isn’t. Building a bot that attempts to spread hate through #MakeItHappy is a perfect example of the pervasive online negativity Coca-Cola wanted to address with this campaign.”
Oh, pe-lease, Gawker totally showed you up for being a faceless corporation, cynically trying to spread synthetic “good will” using an army of drones.
So, the world is now safe once again from evil, happy hashtags. It’s back to kittens playing piano.