Everything We Know About Who Was Behind The @Horse_eBooks Twitter Account And Why They Made It

The secret behind one of the internet’s most mysterious Twitter accounts has finally been revealed.

1. The Twitter account @Horse_ebooks has always been clouded in mystery, tweeting out semi-philosophical spam every day for years.

2. Spammy tweets that would get thousands and thousands of retweets.

Horse ebooks


Everything happens so much

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Horse ebooks


As you might know, I am a full time Internet

/ Via

Horse ebooks


We all agree, no one looks cool

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5. And inspired fan art…

8. Tuesday morning the New Yorker revealed that @Horse_ebooks was actually taken over in 2011 by two people, Thomas Bender and BuzzFeed employee Jacob Bakkila.

9. BuzzFeed’s Editor-In-Chief Ben Smith says that he was unaware of the project:

We have a total organizational separation between editorial and our often-brilliant creative team, I didn’t know about it and I don’t know of anyone in editorial who did.

10. Bakkila and Bender revealed to the New Yorker that @Horse_ebooks and cryptic YouTube channel pronunciationbook were both part of an elaborate performance art piece.

11. One that led to The Fitzroy Gallery in the Lower East Side of New York City Tuesday morning.

12. The whole project tied to a larger choose-your-own-adventure interactive-video piece called “Bear Stearns Bravo.”

13. The focus of the gallery exhibit was a backroom performance, where Bakkila was answering phone calls and reciting random words.

16. Curiously enough, Susan Orlean, the author of the New Yorker piece revealing the identity of @Horse_ebooks, was sitting next to Bakkila answering phones with him.

17. When questioned about it online, Orlean has said she is not in cahoots with Bakkila and Bender, but merely just “seeing what it’s all about.”

Guys! @susanorlean is in cahoots with the @horse_ebooks team! She's at the gallery, answering phones too -> http://t.co/1E07TWCqSW

— Brian Ries (@moneyries)

Brian Ries


Guys! @susanorlean is in cahoots with the @horse_ebooks team! She’s at the gallery, answering phones too -> http://t.co/1E07TWCqSW

/ Via

@moneyries NOT in cahoots! Writing a story. Answering phones for a while to see what it's all about.

— Susan Orlean (@susanorlean)

Susan Orlean


@moneyries NOT in cahoots! Writing a story. Answering phones for a while to see what it’s all about.

/ Via

19. The New Yorker has released a statement about Orlean’s involvement:

Yes, we did know about this. Susan has not been working with them, and has no real involvement in the project. She’s working on a story for the magazine about the project.

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Ryan Broderick is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in London.
Contact Ryan Broderick at ryan@buzzfeed.com.
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