What happens when you combine a cultural obsession with thinness, a bit of organised propaganda and a catchy hashtag?
Enter the “bikini bridge”: the space between the bikini and the lower abdomen that occurs when bather bottoms are suspended between the two hip bones.
On January 5, 2014, anonymous internet trolls on 4chan, an imageboard website, launched “Operation Bikini Bridge”, a campaign aimed to garner buzz and popularity for a little-known term (first coined on Tumblr in 2009).
4chan is an anything-goes community notorious for sharing intentionally offensive content and hacking the attention economy. Operation Bikini Bridge did just that. The plan was to “create propaganda parading the ‘bikini bridge’ to be the next big thing” and target people who had body-conscious predispositions.
The ‘bikini bridge’ phenomenon caught on quickly because it reflected the cultural expectations placed on women’s bodies. [Image: iStock]
We studied the evolution of the campaign, analysing over 10,000 #bikinibridge tweets. The campaign began with a barrage of propaganda from troll accounts. Within a week, 63% of #bikinibridge tweets were one-off posts from existing Twitter users.
Operation Bikini Bridge was outed as an internet hoax within days of its launch, but the damage was done. Online users and media outlets had already succumbed to the prank.
The NBN is a painful political boil on the government's arse. After the promise of fast 100Mbps connections was squashed by the Abbott/Turnbull government, in favour of a program that said 25Mbps qualified as broadband, there have been all sorts of delays and issues with the service.
A recent survey, albeit with a small sample size, quantified some of that pain, with many NBN customers saying they'd prefer to go back to their old ADSL connections. You know things are bad when ADSL looks like a better option. So, what can you do about it if you're on the NBN but it sucks?
Alas, my McDouble-loving friends, it appears McDonald's has sent the popular burger off into the sunset. From what we know, it won't be replaced with the McSingle, or the McTriple, leaving fans to make do with less-thrifty substitutes.