A Teenager Went Viral For 'Tweeting' From Her Smart Fridge. But Did it Really Happen?
The Ariana Grande fan who calls herself 'Dorothy' tweeted that her mother had confiscated her phone but she had found a number of innovative ways around the ban.
Image for representation purpose only / Amazon India | @thankunext327.
Last week, a teenager went viral for claiming she had used her family’s smart fridge to reach thousands of her Twitter followers.
The Ariana Grande fan who calls herself “Dorothy” tweeted that her mother had confiscated her phone but she had found a number of innovative ways around the ban.
These, she claimed in a series of tweets, included a handheld Nintendo device, a Wii U gaming console and her family’s LG smart refrigerator.
i messed it all up. im texting off my nintendo ds. :(— dorothy 🏹 (@thankunext327) August 5, 2019
I seen that Dorothy has been using twitter on her Nintendo. This account will be shut down now. pic.twitter.com/L4JqNYhUHe— dorothy 🏹 (@thankunext327) August 5, 2019
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.— dorothy 🏹 (@thankunext327) August 8, 2019
The fridge tweet on Monday got the most traction— over 20,000 retweets and 80,000 likes— with Twitter and LG, too, joining the “#FreeDorothy” bandwagon.
But multiple researchers, according to The Guardian, have now expressed doubts on Dorothy’s viral claim.
Igor Brigadir, a computer researcher at University College Dublin, reviewed the tweets for the Guardian and said that metadata seemed to back up Dorothy’s claims of Wii U and Nintendo tweets.
The LG fridge tweet, however, was “definitely manually created,” he said.
Based on their metadata, Brigadir discovered that the tweets had been sent through a custom Twitter app.
So, if Dorothy had tweeted from the fridge, the metadata would probably have said the tweet was sent through a browser, and not a fridge.
“For me, the thing that seals it is the fact that nobody else ever made any other tweets from that fridge, whereas, for the Wii U and Nintendo clients, there’s fresh tweets daily,” Brigadir added.
The Guardian said Twitter did not respond to multiple requests for comment regarding the source of the tweet.
LG, however, denied any involvement with the tweets. “No marketing ploy here! We learned about this in realtime with the rest of the world and joined in the fun by tweeting #FreeDorothy – that’s the extent of our involvement!” The Guardian quoted LG spokeswoman, Taryn Brucha, as saying.
“We don’t know if Dorothy actually used an LG smart refrigerator to tweet, but yes – it is possible to access Twitter via the web browser on select LG smart refrigerator models,” Brucha said.
Luca Hammer, an independent social media analyst, said it was very likely Dorothy used a developer account to rename the source as “LG Smart Refrigerator”.
Dorothy identified herself as a 15-year-old girl in a Twitter conversation with The Guardian.
She said her mother had taken away her phone to discipline for causing a fire during cooking.
“She took all my tech so I’d pay more attention to my surroundings,” she said. “I felt mortified! I was worried because I’ve been bored all summer and Twitter passes the time for me,” she added.
Her self-described “fan account” is used primarily to send tweets about Ariana Grande.
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