The wild Internet message board 4chan, known for originating almost all memes and spawning the hacker/activist collective Anonymous, is plotting a prank on some unfortunately lonely fellows using OkCupid. The point, if you could call it that, is to create an “involuntary flash mob,” in which a large group of people flashily take over a public space, but “involuntarily” by making a bunch of fake online dating profiles and agreeing to meet men at a specified moment in Times Square. The pranksters will know if it worked because there’s a webcam pointed at the agreed upon destination.
[Updated below: The fateful day has almost arrived.]
The targets, innocent as far as anyone on 4chan knows, are referred to as “forever alones.” A thread on the 4chan section of Reddit plots the stunt, which differs from the group’s occasional moments of kindness and fortifies their reputation as the scummier side of the internet.
Here’s a graphic of the official plan, via Urlesque:
With all of these fake girlfriends going around, guard your online social lives carefully.
UPDATE: Tomorrow, Friday, May 13, 2011, 4chan and Reddit’s “involuntary flash mob” is supposed to take place at the corner of 46th Street and Broadway in Times Square. Since we first reported on the prank at the end of March, we’ve struggled to find any more information on whether it will actually come to fruition or if the online jokesters’ attention spans are simply too short to plan something so far in advanced.
We’d be lying if we didn’t admit part of us would love to see this work. That said, to the OkCupidists among us: tread lightly.
[h/t Daily Intel]
This post was originally published on March 25, 2011, at 9:18 a.m. ET.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on May 12, 2011