Holding a voting-based contest has become a lot more susceptible to hooliganism in the days of the Internet. It seems country pop star Taylor Swift is the latest celebrity to be trolled by social websites 4chan and Reddit. After announcing a contest in which Taylor Swift would play a private show for any school with the most online votes via the promotional website taylorswiftoncampus.com, the seedy underbelly of the interwebs reared its prepubescent face in the form of the 4chan community. They thought it would be amusing to send Taylor Swift to Horace Mann School for the Deaf, America’s oldest educational institution for the deaf.
This isn’t the first time websites like 4chan and Reddit took advantage of their crowdsourcing power to accomplish elaborate pranks. Back in July, popular rap artist Pitbull held a contest in which he was to perform free concerts for the most voted Walmart within the continental United States. The trolls of the Internet deemed Kodiak, Alaska an appropriate location for Pitbull’s performance, but the prank turned out to be a positive event, with Pitbull embracing his chosen destination and the people of Kodiak enjoying a free concert.
I feel that a similar scenario will play out should Taylor Swift perform at Horace Mann School for the Deaf. Obviously, the deaf students are capable of enjoying a concert event despite the pranksters’ rather tasteless notion that they can’t. The school’s principal, Jeremiah Ford, has already stated his enthusiasm for the possibility of his school winning the contest. Besides, the winning school will receive $10,000 for their music department, and that is something that any student could benefit from, hearing or deaf.