When the National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) set about thinking how to engage the Internet in new and unique ways, it probably did not occur to them that sometimes, the Internet tends to engage you right back.
That misunderstanding apparently led to an NRCC petition drive this week seeking to trump up the number of people who want to see "Obamacare" repealed. Unfortunately for them, it all went horribly, hilariously awry on Thursday night after they hooked an office printer up to the Twitter hashtag #IWantRepeal, then turned on a live video stream.
It was not long before NRCC staff completely lost control and were forced to pull the plug.
In almost no time at all, their printer was spitting out pages of petitions signed by "Weedlord Bonerhitler," "Jiggly Puff," "Boner Junkmonkey," "Pointless Empty Gesture," "Turd Sniffer," "Like 20 more boners" and "HelpI'mStuckInThisPrinter," among many, many others. Screen shots of this Twitter debacle and links to the live video began circulating almost immediately.
Wired and BuzzFeed managed to large caches of them as it happened live, noting that at first NRCC staff tried to pluck the offending entries out of the pile, but soon gave up as they multiplied exponentially.
The live stream eventually just shut down, and the space it once occupied on the NRCC website has since been replaced with a photo that, oddly, just says "Win one for Bruce!" and encourages viewers to follow the NRCC on Twitter.
Raw Story left a message for the NRCC's communications director seeking comment on the bizarre outcome to perhaps an equally bizarre online campaign, but did not receive a reply at time of this story's publication.
A press release on the NRCC's website confirms that, despite the live streaming event being hosted on a Tumblr domain, the campaign and live stream were in fact theirs.