It was just another day on the job for Alex from Target: He pulled on his red shirt for a shift filled with bagging customers’ purchases and, you know, going viral on the Internet.
Standard cashier stuff.
The above photo of a boy named Alex, in all of his Harry Styles-esque hair glory, made the rounds on Twitter earlier this week, gaining major momentum as #AlexfromTarget trended worldwide. It seemed simple enough: Here’s a good-looking teen who was covertly photographed by a seemingly smitten patron. Said patron shared the photo, which, hours later, became the meme of the moment thanks to an instant fandom equally enamored by his captivating, attractive work ethic.
Now, however, a tech startup called Breakr says they’re behind all the re-Tweets. Calling the viral phenomenon “one of the most amazing social media experiments ever,” the company’s CEO wrote on LinkedIn, “We wanted to see how powerful the fangirl demographic was by taking an unknown good-looking kid and Target employee from Texas to overnight viral internet sensation.”
Like the presumed relationship statuses of Alex from Target’s young fan base, it’s complicated. Breakr says they never employed either Alex or the person who Tweeted out the original photo. Alex maintains he didn’t know the photo was taken or Tweeted until his manager told him (Target even Tweeted its own #AlexfromTarget meme). We still don’t quite know what to believe – and it’s not even the first time the Internet has left us eating our words and/or hashtags.
The Thanksgiving Airplane Argument
Ah, holidays at the airport: frustrated travelers, long security lines, even longer Starbucks lines. So when a passenger live-Tweeted a passive-aggressive war of words with a hostile fellow traveler via passed notes, we collectively sighed, “Been there.”
But the conflict with Diane in seat 7A was just a fake Twitter stunt by Bachelor producer Elan Gale.
Was @Horse_ebooks an e-book enthusiast who also just happened to live an equestrian lifestyle? For 742 days, the Twitter account spewed posts about every two hours. Usually, Tweets contained random fragments (“I am not sure of his feelings and I would”) or links to self-help e-books.
Thousands and thousands of followers later, it was revealed that the account was part of a large performance art piece from the collaborative minds of Jacob Bakkila and Thomas Bender, reports Mashable.
The Ultimate Twerk Fail
We didn’t think it could get any more shocking than Miley Cyrus, and just like that, we found ourselves watching this video of a girl twerking so hard, she caught on fire.
And just when we promised we would never get carried away listening to “We Can’t Stop” ever again, Jimmy Kimmel admitted he orchestrated the stunt.
The Dry-Erase Board Resignation
Her boss played a lot of FarmVille and his breath smelled really, really bad, so Jenny did what any rational employee would do: She quit, using a series of signs written on a dry-erase board and emailed out to the entire office.
Jenny turned out to be an actress named Elyse Porterfield – but the hope it gave underpaid assistants everywhere was real.