I wonder how long it will be before this form of e-parody explodes.
— BeyoncÃ©chain (@blkchninstitute) February 12, 2016
If you look on Twitter, you will find that someone set up the Blockchain Institute. Perhaps this official-sounding organisation will come up with some good ideas as to the practical application of blockchain?
A quick look through the institute’s Twitter mentions shows people thanking it for sharing conferences and blogs, criticising it for not crediting images, including it in conversations, connecting it with friends, and asking it questions. But the Blockchain Institute is a computer program. Not only that, it’s a program that tweets nonsense.
It replaces the word blockchain with BeyoncÃ© and bitcoin with feminism. If it sees a tweet that says “blockchain is a star because of bitcoin” it changes it to “BeyoncÃ© is a star because of feminism”. There is no new content. The computer program does word substitution. Nothing more complex. Yet people are struggling to spot that it’s simply copying other people’s thoughts, words and ideas and – for some reason known only to its creator – adding in a bit of extra BeyoncÃ© and feminism.
People are trusting opinions without recognising they are coming from a machine, or that they don’t actually make any sense.