Register to Vote Roll

Register to Vote Roll

Part of a series on 2018 United States Midterm Elections. [View Related Entries]

Updated Oct 18, 2018 at 05:51PM EDT by Matt.

Added Oct 17, 2018 at 02:19PM EDT by Matt.

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About

Register to Vote Roll is a bait and switch prank in which a social media post advertises a viral or sensational news story, essentially clickbait, but the included link leads to a voter registration form.

Origin

The earliest known usage of the prank was posted by Twitter user @AshleeMPreston on October 12th, 2018. The tweet read, "Welp…it’s official…Kim Kardashian finally decided to divorce Kanye West… https://bit.ly/2de38pb."[1] The link, however, went to Vote.org.[2]


Welp...it's official...Kim Kardashian finally decided to divorce Kanye West... bit.ly/2de38pb

Spread

Two days later, on October 14th, Twitter[3] user @cigelske tweeted about the breakup of comedian Pete Davidson and singer Ariana Grande, which led to another voter registration website. The tweet received more than 40,000 retweets and 63,000 likes in three days (shown below, left).

According to a blogpost[4] by @cigelske, prominent public people, such as Colin Hanks and Bill Simmons, shared the tweet, which helped increase its reach (shown below, center and right). According to the post, the link has been clicked more than 1.4 million times.


Wow I can't believe this is why Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson split up bit.ly/2ykhdwa Colin Hanks Ф @ColinHanks I normally don't care for celeb gossip about breakups but this is so sad Tim @cigelske Wow I can't believe this is why Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson split up bit.ly/2ykhdwa Show this thread Bill Simmons @BillSimmons Incredible Tim @cigelske Wow I can't believe this is why Ariana Grande and Pete Davidson split up bit.ly/2ykhdwa Show this thread

The tweet inspired others to devise their own clickbait that leads to voter registration forms (example below).

Several media outlets coverd the trend, including Mashable, [5] The Daily Dot [6] and more.


Is this a joke?!?!?!? bit.ly/2ykhdwa

Elle Magazine Controversy

On October 18th, 2018, the official Twitter[7] account for Elle magazine posted a variation of the meme, advertising that "Kim Kadashian and Kanye West are splitting up." The post received more than 2,600 retweets and 3,900 votes in 24 hours (shown below).


ELLE Magazine (US) . @ELLEmagazine ELLE Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are splitting up IOǐ▼ ellemag.co/Nfd FPmA

Many did not appreciate the prank, however. Reporter Parker Molloy tweeted,[8] "Can people please stop doing that thing where they post a salacious headline that links to a voter registration page? Like… this… is really not cool. It's just spreading misinformation." The tweet received more than 75 retweets and 500 likes in 24 hours (shown below, left).

Author Roxane Gay tweeted,[9] "This is trash nonsense. Who do you think you are reaching with this? Guess what? One can be civic minded and interested in celebrity gossip. Do better." The tweet received more than 100 retweets and 2,700 likes in 24 hours (shown below, center).

Writer Liz Wolfe tweeted,[10] "You assholes. This combines three things I absolutely hate: people shitting on Kim and Kanye's relationship, misleading headlines, and people's foolish obsession with get-out-the-vote efforts & civic duty (when REALLY tons of people are terribly low information voters)" (shown below, right).

Several media outlets covered the backlash, including Uproxx,[11] The Daily Dot[12] and more.


Can people please stop doing that thing where they post a salacious headline that links to a voter registration page? Like... this... is really not cool. It's just spreading misinformation. ELLE Magazine (US). @ELLEmagazine Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are splitting up ellemag.co/NfdFPmA ELL ELLE Magazine (US) @ELLEmagazine 4h Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are splitting upellemag.co/NfdFPmA roxane gay @rgay Replying to @ELLEmagazine This is trash nonsense. Who do you think you are reaching with this? Guess what? One can be civic minded and interested in celebrity gossip. Do better. You assholes. This combines three things I absolutely hate: people s------- on Kim and Kanye's relationship, misleading headlines, and people's foolish obsession with get-out-the-vote efforts & civic duty (when REALLY tons of people are terribly low information voters). ELLE Magazine (US) @ELLEmagazine Kim Kardashian and Kanye West are splitting up ellemag.co/NfdFPmA

Various Examples


Is this definite proof there is going to be a #WestWing reboot?? bit.ly/2ykhdwa Y'all over here paying $300+ for textbooks? I payed $50 for all my booksDont sleep on this link. bit.ly/2ykhdwa Did yall see what happen to trump!?ee bit.ly/2ykhdwa
GUYS ONE DIRECTION IS GETTING BACK TOGETHER!!bit.ly/2ykhdwa omg i can't believe this is the REAL reason kanye is in Uganda bit.ly/2ykhdwa You have to check this out. bit.ly/2ykhdwa


Search Interest

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Top Comments

DirkDiggums
DirkDiggums

If some mouth breather can't be bothered to click on anything but tabloid gossip I doubt they'll go through the actual steps of signing up to vote. You can get them to the vote.org website but you can't trick them into filling it out and showing up to vote.

+11

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