4 things we learned from Twitter in 2017

Though 2017 will leave us with plenty of unanswered questions, let’s take a moment to reflect on a few the internet answered this year. Namely:

1. Can Twitter win you a year’s supply of chicken nuggets?

Teenager Carter Wilkerson of Nevada sought to find out when he fired off a tweet in late 2016 asking fast-food chain Wendy’s how many retweets he’d need in order to win a year’s supply of nuggets. Their price: 18 million retweets, well above the then-record set by TV host and comedian Ellen Degeneres during the 2014 Academy Awards.

Though Wilkerson failed to meet the 18 million-RT goal, he did manage to break the record for most retweeted tweet of all time, despite a public – but good natured – plea from Degeneres for a truce.

In the end, Wendy’s gave Wilkerson his free year of nuggets – truly the least they could do after all that free advertising.

2. What’s the story behind the Twitter employee who deactivated Donald Trump’s Twitter account?

It was the viral story that captivated a nation – or, at least, a solid number of the people you follow on Twitter. In November, the president’s notorious Twitter account disappeared from the internet for 11 minutes. After an inquiry, Twitter revealed that Trump’s account had been deactivated by an employee on his last day with the company. But was this employee, a man named Batiyar Duysak, the true patriot we all wanted him to be? 

Per a TechCrunch interview with Duysak, the whole ordeal isn’t quite what we’d imagined. In fact, it was sort of an accident.

TechCrunch explains:

Someone reported Trump’s account on Duysak’s last day; as a final, throwaway gesture, he put the wheels in motion to deactivate it. Then he closed his computer and left the building.

Duysak tells TechCrunch that the deactivation was a “mistake” and that he didn’t expect his request to actually go through. So, no, this wasn’t the brave act of a fearless American. It was just a European Twitter contractor having a little fun on his last day. 

Still cool, though.

3. What’s it take to derail a major brand’s tone-deaf ad campaign?

We found out earlier this year when Pepsi pulled an ad following major backlash from folks who accused the soda company of co-opting social justice for corporate gain.

The ad in question starred Kendall Jenner as a model who abandons a photoshoot to join a passing protest, an apparent nod at post-inauguration protests happening nationwide in the face of racial and economic injustice. The spot closes with a beaming Jenner handing a can of Pepsi to a cop in a gesture of … who knows what. 

Backlash was swift. Twitter mocked Pepsi (and Jenner for her participation) so mercilessly that Pepsi was forced to pull the ad within a day. The lesson: Read the room, Pepsi.

4. Finally, what’s the Hamburger Helper mascot’s skeleton look like?

It’s pretty simple, actually. Here’s an x-ray:

The mystery we didn’t know needed solving came to a close in October after curious minds on Twitter asked for the answer.

Perhaps you’ve never wondered what the internal structure of an animated glove is supposed to look like. But now that you have, aren’t you kind of pleased by the (very unscientific) answer? We certainly are.

While you’re thinking about it, here’s an alternative explanation Twitter threw out:

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