Even in a year that gave us peak Q Anon, this may be the most 2018 conspiracy theory ever. The committee is people online who belief Netflix employed bot accounts to spread viral memes about its record made movie Bird Box .
The over-the-top apocalyptic thriller, which features a family building the perilous journey down a river in hopes of finding a community safe from invisible monsters that have taken over the world, is ripe with meme potential. The ogres inexplicably attain victims commit suicide, which plays perfectly into the younger generation’s grimdark sense of humor.
Here’s legal representatives sample of Bird Box themed memes that have inundated Twitter feeds in recent days 😛 TAGEND
If you’ve watched Bird Box, you’d likely find these memes hilarious. But one influential Twitter user became convinced the latter are evidence of a conspiracy.
In a now-deleted tweet that gained more than 10,000 likes and 3,600 retweets before it was taking down, @samiswine claimed that Netflix is “using dozens of fake reports with suspiciously low tweet/ follower counts to seed Twitter with viral memes about their movie.”
In the viral thread, which continue to accessible through archives, @samiswine also implied that Netflix was applying “stolen pics” from minors’ profiles to construct the accounts seem more real.
As with many conspiracy hypothesis, the claim soon fell apart. Several accounts responded to @samiswine and denied that they were bots — they’re simply teens who like attaining memes. One even apologized for not having many followers.
Y’ALL NEED TO LISTEN, IM NOT A BOT LMAOOOOO, like i swear to G o d, i’m a real person smh and i actually don’t know why the fowl container tweet got so many likes, like i was surprised because it was my first time tweeting something, but then everyONE STARTED SAYING THEY WERE BOTS pic.twitter.com/ LaGK9 7pdVn
— rebeca *;: **;:* (@ uwueoeoeo) December 28, 2018
I’m sorry that I don’t have many adherents and that my first tweet got so much better likes and retweets but believe me I wish I was getting paid
I have nothing to do with neflix I just learnt that portrait and it reminded me of birdbox so I induced that tweet.
— dasmeyeiii (@ yeimir1 00) December 28, 2018
I’m a person ahahaha :))
— Tara (@ tara_mccann__) December 28, 2018
Lol this is hilarious I feel honored but this is just a conspiracy assumption I just liked the movie and tweeted a meme about it that’s it
— Kick (@ callmekick0 3) December 28, 2018
Netflix didn’t have an official response to the conspiracy. But a company representative was of the view that “the meme content happened on its own and spread organically.”
So why all the sudden those who are interested in Bird Box </ em> from people who never seem to tweet? Well, as Atlantic reporter Taylor Lorenz first pointed out, screenshots of tweets seem really good on Instagram. They’re employing you as a staging post, Twitter. They’re simply not that into you.
Pretty sure this isn’t a Netflix conspiracy but only locals without a lot of followers tweeting memes. Likewise lots of people use twitter as basically a CMS for Insta. So they have a Twitter accts simply to post memes and screenshot them for Insta because that format performs well. https :// t.co/ AgZzCENJC1
— Taylor Lorenz (@ TaylorLorenz) December 28, 2018
As those who follow this stuff know, the classic meme format — block letters superimposed on an image — is now seen as out of date. Tweets have become the go-to template for memes. The reports behind the viral Bird Box </ em> tweets very likely weren’t making them for Twitter, but for that sweet, sweet Insta clout.
View this post on Instagram
As This Is Insider notes, teens and college kids are on their vacation breaks. They have time to watch movies and tweet about them, which would explain the influx of Bird Box </ em> content. Despite the film’s tepid examines, people just liked watching Sandra Bullock exerted a machete. Netflix reported that a record-breaking 45,037, 125 accounts watched the movie in its first week.
Bird Box </ em> is dominating pop culture because Netflix seems to know how to hit the Generation Z sweet spot: stimulate memeable movies, then liberate them when everyone’s done with school.
In an age where online troll attempts can literally turn out to be clandestine Russian operations, it’s not surprising that people might be a little freaked out. But this is a movie that triggered a bunch of memes. It’s not that deep.