nyfw

How Twitter Trolls Took Over Fashion Week

A designer projected an unfiltered stream of tweets about the show on a giant screen on the runway. What could go wrong?

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

A red-orange dress from the Rebecca Minkoff Fall 2013 fashion show during Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week.

Rebecca Minkoff’s 2013 Fall/Winter collection is full of gorgeous clothes with vivid colors and bold prints. The runway show yesterday at New York Fashion Week had a giant screen that showed a livestream of tweets using hashtag #RMFall. The idea was for fashion lovers watching a livestream of the show online to interact with the live show.

But when you run an unfiltered livestream of the internet on a 30-foot screen, you never know what you’re going to get.

While the crowd was taking its seats, I tweeted about the screen and the hashtag. This tipped off a group of Twitter pranksters who are loosely known as “Weird Twitter.” They’re the guys behind other Twitter pranks like sending Pitbull to Alaska, making the singer from Smash Mouth eat 24 eggs, taking over a Republican printer, fake killing Scott Baio, and causing a false panic over stolen bicycles by trolling the official hashtag of a Tornoto TED conference.

Once Weird Twitter knew they could get any tweet up on a giant screen that would be shown to fancy fashion-show attendees, including celebrities Nicky Hilton, Ashlee Simpson, Coco Rocha, and Shenae Grimes, they went for it, filling the screen with joke tweets.

The tweets below all showed up on the giant jumbotron. Luckily, the screen was only playing tweets while people took their seats, and it turned off once the actual show started.

Most people seemed oblivious, which may be the most damning assessment of the attempt to integrate social media into live events: If no one notices when mayhem is happening on the screen, they’re probably not paying attention when it’s all going as planned, either.

3. This happened:

A scatalogical photo of a unwell pig, a Weird Twitter meme, flashed onto the screen.

(Asking for someone’s “horny level” is a Weird Twitter meme)

Eventually, the added tweets caused #RMFall to become a U.S. trending topic, which led to a whole slew of spam tweets from accounts that target any trending topic. The pornography on the screen is from one of those spam accounts:

Frazer Harrison / Getty Images

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