MTV hacks MTV: The anatomy of a dumb Twitter prank

mtv self hackIf you follow MTV on Twitter, you might have noticed something strange going on yesterday. MTV’s Twitter account started sending out weird, outrageous tweets ranging from the scandalous (mentioning Selena Gomez’s sideboob) to the simply silly:

The hack is over, and as it turns out, it wasn’t orchestrated by Anonymous or random pranksters. Instead, MTV hacked itself in a bizarre publicity stunt. 

After Burger King got hacked and gained 30,000 followers, MTV paired up with BET and concocted this diabolical self-attacking scheme to promote the two networks’ upcoming event, the BET Experience in L.A. The Viacom-owned music networks successfully tricked several news outlets until admitting to the ruse several hours later. 

Considering MTV’s social media manager tweeted about how the Burger King hack helped the fast food company gain followers on the morning before the stunt, it’s clear MTV and BET wanted to enjoy the positive side effects of a hacking snafu without actually, you know, losing control of their accounts.

But as it turns out, we don’t care for being deceived. 

Now, Burger King gained followers after its hack because people were curious. Since MTV copped to the fake-out, people may simply feel distrustful of the network rather than curious to see if it gets hacked again.

And judging by the onslaught of vicious criticism on Twitter, we’re guessing MTV will be getting fewer new followers than new haters. 

We would feel a tiny bit sorry for MTV and BET for all the negative attention, but they attempted to make the hashtag #fakehackedswag happen. And there’s no coming back from that. Note to social  media managers: self-hacking is not a good look for your brand.