You probably have seen Tweets with source labels like “Twitter for iPhone” “Twitter for Android”, but you never saw a tweet with a source label “Fridge”.
Last week, a tweet went viral because it was sent from a smart fridge. A Teenage girl named Dorothy has tweeted from a kitchen appliance after her Mom confiscated all her devices.
Dorothy tweeted her “goodbye” message from her Nintendo 3DS, then over the next few days, she tweeted many times and claimed she had found other devices with access to Twitter, which is her Nintendo Wii. But her mother continued to confiscate all the devices that allow her to tweet.
She then had the idea to tweet through voice dictation from her “LG Smart Refrigerator.”
She wrote, “I do not know if this is going to tweet. I am talking to my fridge what the heck my Mom confiscated all of my electronics again.”1
The source text on the tweet read “LG Smart Refrigerator.” And this was the reason the tweet soon went viral. Twitter users started using the hashtag #FreeDorothy. Both Twitter and LG tweeted their support, using the same hashtag.
The Guardian, CBS News, and New York magazine all contacted the girl to understand the full story, many channels and media reported that. The story got colossal attention and media coverage.
The Truth Behind the Viral Tweet
But this whole story started to be doubted when BuzzFeed News found out that LG fridges do not have a Twitter app, which was confirmed by A spokesperson for LG. He stated that none of their smart refrigerators has a Twitter app installed. Still, some models have social media capabilities, and you access Twitter via the web browser on select LG smart refrigerator models.
And this made BuzzFeed doubt more because if you’re using a web browser, any tweets would state you posted from the web. And suggested that the tweet source label “LG Smart Refrigerator” label was likely invented. They even demonstrated that it’s possible to label a tweet’s “source” as whatever you want.
Dorothy stopped answering BuzzFeed and called them rude for suspecting her of lying.
LG denied being involved with the tweets. They also denied any marketing ploy and claimed that they learned about Dorothy’s story in real-time with the rest of the world and joined in the fun by tweeting #FreeDorothy.
Was the tweet a clever tactic used by LG to raise awareness and drive more purchases of their smart fridges? Was it well done? Or they didn’t study the consequences? Tell us what do you think about Marketing Ploys.
Source: 1. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2019/aug/13/teen-smart-fridge-twitter-grounded