The much-loved Twitter account @Horse_ebooks, which spouted seemingly random bits of seemingly accidental wisdom (“Everything happens so much,” “Unfortunately, as you probably already know, people”) is fake — or “art”— just like everything else on the Internet. The hoax feed — or “art project” — was revealed today, along with the YouTube channel Pronunciation Book, to be the work of Jacob Bakkila, a BuzzFeed sales guy (but of course), and Thomas Bender as part of an installation called “Bear Stearns Bravo,” a “choose-your-own-adventure interactive-video piece” about the financial crisis at a Lower East Side gallery.
The art was first reported by esteemed journalist Susan Orlean of The New Yorker, for some reason.
Orlean is also sitting with Bakkila and Bender in the gallery, talking on the phone. Gawker reports “a profile is forthcoming.”
Last year, Gawker’s Adrian Chen traced “the Internet’s favorite spambot” to Russian web developer Alexey Kouznetsov, who reportedly started the @Horse_ebooks account.
Bakkila has had control of it since September 14, 2011; he now has more than 200,000 followers. But let this be of some comfort, if you feel duped: Most of them are probably spambots.