Thursday, January 24, 2008


Mister Splashy Pants

‘Mister Splashy Pants, or Mr. Splashypants, is the name of a humpback whale in the South Pacific Ocean. It’s being tracked with a satellite tag by Greenpeace as a part of its Great Whale Trail Expedition, which was working to raise awareness about whales threatened by the Japanese Fisheries Agency’s plan to kill 50 humpback whales. The whale’s name was chosen in an online poll that garnered attention from several websites, including Boing Boing and Reddit, and quickly became an internet meme. [..]

The massive leap in votes for the name attracted the attention of, 4Chan /b/, BoingBoing, reddit, Digg, and numerous blogs. Though Greenpeace removed the extra votes from the results, users from the social networking sites flocked to vote for the name, and the percentage moved quickly from 5 percent to 75 percent in less than a day. In response to the spike, Greenpeace decided to hold the competition open for an extra week, until the 7th of December. Reddit took the voting so seriously that they temporarily changed their logo to feature Mr. Splashy Pants. Facebook also began garnering interest, and a Facebook application was created with the tagline “Vote your conscience, vote Splashy Pants.” On the 30th, posted a thread linking to the voting as well, and for a few days internet traffic on the Greenpeace server spiked to almost untenable levels.’

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