- Is that Rosa Parks in random Twitter user’s baby photo? Tuesday 8:24 PM
- Syracuse students say white supremacist manifesto was AirDropped to them Tuesday 7:44 PM
- Florida woman gets prison time for throwing slushie at Matt Gaetz Tuesday 6:28 PM
- Marie Kondo’s online store slammed for selling clutter-worthy products Tuesday 5:34 PM
- People are rallying against toxic masculinity on International Men’s Day Tuesday 4:42 PM
- Reddit wants to stop its pro-Trump forum from outing the alleged whistleblower Tuesday 3:38 PM
- White woman calls cops on man who said he was visiting aunt with his kids Tuesday 3:12 PM
- ‘The Stranded’ is a flawed yet addictive blend of ‘Degrassi’ and ‘Lost’ Tuesday 2:45 PM
- The ‘gonna tell my kids’ meme is revisionist history at its most absurd Tuesday 2:24 PM
- Redditor asks former burglars to give home security tips Tuesday 2:18 PM
- Facebook-Breitbart partnership under fire in wake of new Stephen Miller emails Tuesday 2:00 PM
- John Krasinski under fire after praising the CIA Tuesday 1:46 PM
- Conservatives melt down after Chick-fil-A says it will stop donating to anti-LGBTQ orgs Tuesday 1:33 PM
- ‘Honey Boy’ is an experimental look at channeling trauma Tuesday 1:28 PM
- Disney+ now allows users to resume and restart content Tuesday 11:42 AM
‘Thomas the Tank Engine’ accounts got into the best Twitter beef of 2016
This is a trainwreck.
This is the tale of two parody accounts, both alike in dignity. One is @Thomas_Reacts. The other is @ThomasReacts_. They do the exact same thing, which is to mine the children’s TV and film franchise Thomas the Tank Engine for images that can be recontextualized with semi-relatable captions to create what we in the content game might call a “meme.”
Sadly, the Internet wasn’t big enough for these two titans of Twitter comedy: @ThomasReacts_ stole jokes from @Thomas_Reacts.
This, of course, did not go unnoticed by @Thomas_Reacts—which, by the way, self-identifies as “The *ORIGINAL* reactions page for the number one children’s TV show Thomas & Friends” in its bio. So step off.
Sadly, the bigwigs at Twitter Inc. were unable or unwilling to stanch the tide of brazenly duplicated Thomas the Tank Engine memes, otherwise the feud may have ended then and there. Instead, there was bloodshed. And even as @ThomasReacts_ deleted its cavalier replies to charges of plagiarism, @Thomas_Reacts doubled down with a vengeance.
The one-sided attacks from @Thomas_Reacts got so intense, in fact, that trolls on the sideline started firing back.
Eventually, BuzzFeed’s Alan White was able to broker an historic peace accord between the two reaction shot accounts. But the damage was done.
Is it honestly worth tweeting from this account again? I feel the pinnacle may have been reached today.
— Thomas Reactions (@Thomas_Reacts) February 22, 2016
Fear not, though. In short order, @Thomas_Reacts was back to tweeting timely, top-shelf, and, above all, original stuff. Like this:
Hmm. What’s an image that says “time to log off forever”?
Ah, yeah. That’s it.
Screengrab via Thomas & Friends/YouTube
Miles Klee is a novelist and web culture reporter. The former editor of the Daily Dot’s Unclick section, Klee’s essays, satire, and fiction have appeared in Lapham’s Quarterly, Vanity Fair, 3:AM, Salon, the Awl, the New York Observer, the Millions, and the Village Voice. He's the author of two odd books of fiction, 'Ivyland' and 'True False.'