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Photo by InfoWarrior/Flickr

The high-stakes tournament to find the worst account on Twitter

Let's go inside the bracket.

Feb 29, 2020, 4:05 pm*

Internet Culture

 

Joey Keeton

It’s still far too soon to make an accurate wager on the Shit Account Tourney’s outcome. The month-long vote has sanded 64 contestants to 16.

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It’s also not quite clear what it means, in the grand scheme of things, to walk away as the winner. But the time is right for looking at the 64 accounts included in the 2015 competition. 

If you see an account among the brackets that puzzles you, visit it. Look at it very closely. Ask yourself: Why has it been included?

The announcement of last year’s winner, @ChuckCJohnson, was made with a terribly produced YouTube video—in fact, the production value was bad enough to be considered an art form. 

The announcement for this year’s contenders evolved in ways that reflect the changes that a year made in Twitter’s landscape. Which is to say it hasn’t changed:

Other than a location listed as “Fresno,” we don’t know anything about @ShitAccount15, the tournament’s host. The account could not be reached for comment. But by taking a close look at the tournament’s contestants, you could end up with a brand-new understanding of what it means, in the Twittersphere, to be shitty. 

For example if you think you might be an atheist, you can look at Richard Dawkins’ account for help with developing your own, personal beliefs on the matter. When you figure them out, make a Twitter account for your beliefs, and post about them every few hours. With enough followers, you could find yourself on next year’s bracket.


Perhaps any morality on Twitter is moot, and the only important factor is whether or not it’s a shitty account. In that case, there is research to be done. We must discover what matters most: The raw ingredients of a shitty Twitter account.

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It’s a silly endeavor at first glance, but studying the brackets can have a profound effect on your psyche—it makes you realize how you’ve subconsciously defined “shittiness.”

Take the aforementioned atheist leader Dawkins. Retweeting your own praise is never a good look, but it’s particularly absurd when he routinely retweets comments that treat him like a prophet. Atheism’s not a taught practice—it happens when this thought occurs: “Hm… the idea of a higher power seems silly to me. I suppose that I might be an atheist,” and that’s the whole extent of it. If an account’s all about spreading the Good Word of atheism, it’s shitty.

Also on the list is the (recently banned from New York) company @DraftKings. It turns out despite the huge numbers of New York-related tweets, they’re still dwarfed by those that are simply ads for DraftKings. Promotion is good for any business, but tweeting more than 50 times a day gives any account a mandatory rating of “shitty.”

This contest has made me realize that posting an article that I’ve written, and then immediately logging out, has been the correct way to use Twitter all along. Of course, the search for a true, raw essence of Twitter shittiness has hit a few snags:

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Some accounts have embraced their position on the brackets—a smart move, in my opinion. Before this contest, I was unaware that a tweet like this:

Could be forgiven with one like this:

Even if “winning” means “being the shittiest,” the thought of Alex Jones winning anything at all makes me upset. 

https://twitter.com/RealAlexJones/status/664636232727592960

Maybe the best predictor of this year’s winner—the shittiest account of 64 total bracket positions—is to look at 2014. How did Johnson take the trophy home?

https://twitter.com/ChuckCJohnson1/status/602599509659557891

The reason this Johnson parody is mentioning a new account: His last account was banned after he claimed that homosexuality caused an Amtrak to derail, and also doxed two New York Times contributors. It seems that 2014 tournament’s winner was on brand—you can judge for yourself, though, by taking a look at his website. This year’s utilization of Twitter’s new polling feature means the winner will not only be accurate—they’ll be democratically elected, as well. So who ya got?

Photo via InfoWarrior/Flickr (CC BY 2.0)

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*First Published: Nov 16, 2015, 1:49 pm