The truth comes out: bizarre and oh-so-beloved Twitter spambot account Horse_ebooks is not, in fact, spam.
The account was a heavily re-tweeted cult favourite for its nonsensical and context-free posts, which people assumed were random snatches of text from books and websites brought haphazardly together to evade Twitter’s spam filters.
Gems like “What if you could do the very,” “As you might know, I am a full time Internet,” or “How to operate a corn” could only have sprouted from the random scrapings of a machine, right?
Wrong. Turns out, BuzzFeed employee Jacob Bakkila has been tweeting from the @Horse_ebooks account since September 2011, after taking it over from a Russian spammer named Alexei Kouznetsov, according to The New York Times.
Bakkila came clean today, describing his stint with the account as a “conceptual but performative art piece.”
Bakkila and his collaborators will culminate the three year experiment today with an installation in New York City’s Fitzroy Gallery, where they will be taking phone calls from 10 am until 9 pm from @Horse_ebooks fans who wish to hear tweets read out loud.
The phone number is 213-444-0102 if you’d like to call. We did and got “The huge benefits of learning from others’ experiences”.
They will also be showing off another installation, an interactive video art piece called “Bear Stearns Bravo”.
Of course, many of Horse_ebook’s more than 213,000 Twitter folks feel cheated and enraged that their favourite machine is actually a real live human being, but another running reaction is, well, “duh.”
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