Kate Ng | Contributing Writer | Wednesday, 15 July 2015

Facebook For The World Is The Best Example Of The Internet Trolling Itself

Facebook For The World Is The Best Example Of The Internet Trolling Itself

The Debrief: What happens when you hand over a free-for-all Facebook account to the world?

Last week, 27-year-old artist and writer Joe Veix launched a ‘communal’ Facebook account and published the login details for the world to see. The result: an ever-shifting, constantly-updating Facebook profile with a very busy, social life of it’s own.

Veix, who dubbed his creation ‘PublikFacebook’, was inspired by Mark Zuckerberg’s 2010 attempt to explain that one’s Facebook account has personal integrity (what?), which Veix found ‘dubious, creepy and depressing’. ‘Does a Facebook profile truly represent a person? No, of course not, that’s ridiculous,’ he told BuzzFeed. ‘But then I was curious to see what an account might look like if it were communal – what would be different about it?’

Originally named John Smith, the profile’s name was quickly changed to Maximilien Manning. People then proceeded to change his profile and cover pictures – a lot – as well as his location and work experience. Apparently, Manning was ‘worked’ for Uber and Taco Bell – at some point, he updated his job to Taco Bell customer representative and changed his profile picture to the company’s logo. Then he went on to answer people’s complaints on the actual Taco Bell page – surprisingly, the complainers seemed to take it in good stride that they were being trolled.

He also liked a lot of stuff, as Veix wrote in a piece for Death and Taxes: ‘Max liked 322 things. Including: the Buffalo Bills; dozens of wedding planning pages; something like 50 pet crematoriums; a bunch of communist pages; numerous topic-specific memes (gym memes, soccer memes, farming memes, etc); Stacey’s Mom; Good Charlotte; 12 Street Fighter characters; Blockbuster; Elmer’s glue; the Spin Doctors; Marky Mark and the Funky Bunch; and poop.’

Even ISIS was not out of Manning’s reach – he liked the extremist group’s page and gave them a 10/10 review for ‘friendly’ people and ‘sexy’ goats.

He also married his Vaix and had a baby, Bobby, with him. Sweet. Unfortunately, Facebook ‘killed Max’ early on Tuesday morning, snatching all the fun right out from under our feet before any of us had the chance to try it out. 

Turns out, a communal Facebook is the ideal Facebook netizen! Veix reckons that the account wasn’t flagged as spam earlier, because it performed like ‘an ideal Facebook user’ – adding lots of friends, liking shitloads of brands and pages, sharing posts, and so on. He said, ‘In a way, the profile seemed to be more successful than most “real” accounts – Facebook favoured the aggressive usage, and the account spread like a kind of virus, perfectly designed to take advantage of how Facebook operates.’

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Follow Kate on Twitter @etaKatetaKate

Tags: Facebook et al