If your job has some kind of online component (and pretty much every job these days does) you'll have fun with the endless scrolling feature on "I Work for the Internet," the latest website set up to protest against the Stop Online Piracy Act (SOPA). In that "We Are the 99 Percent" kind of way, the site basically amounts to a bunch of webcam portraits of self-appointed Internet employees standing up against SOPA. All it takes to join is a photo of yourself and a brief description of what you do and where you're from, and your mug will be added to a neverending stream of nerdy-looking faces. Looking to see if your web-savvy friends have signed up is pretty fun (Hi Annie!) but what's even more fun? Internet celebrity spotting, of course.
This seemed like a good idea until we realized that "I Work for the Internet" is already being trolled. The guys at Vice played a little prank on both the SOPA protesters as well as the bloggers making fun of them. On Tumblr, the magazine admitted to posting a photo of Andrew Breitbart as well as "a picture of a popular blogger … who had made fun of 'I Work For The Internet' campaign." Gawker's Ryan Tate had spotted him too and blogged about his few issues with the site on Monday night:
This legislation would curb the rights of everyone online, but on "I Work" the pictured opponents are mostly pasty male nerds, often in glasses, the same sort of people who have been activating their asthma inhalers at Tumblr HQ over SOPA and who are at this very moment contemplating shutting down Wikipedia in protest. …
Hey, that's fine. It's fine that this site was created by the same guys who made "Free Bieber." It's fine that web geeks and their startups sat relatively mute as Americans got assassinated by the military without trial … as Wall Street took nearly $8 trillion in federal commitments while torpedoing meaningful regulation and exerting its influence to avoid meaningful oversight.
Tate complained about a few more issues that the angry Internet could've taken on, but you get the point. He also pointed out Andrew Breitbart (pictured below) as evidence that all of the people who've signed up for "I Work For the Internet" were nothing more than "self-centered, melodramatic dopes." Vice was sure to make fun of Tate for falling for their prank.
Nevertheless, there do appear to be some other recognizable faces in the crowd. Before we launch into a listicle and start naming names, we must admit that our definition of "Internet celebrity" is pretty broad. We took a screenshot of pretty much anyone we recognized and made a list of people we thought our readers might recognize, too. Because the relative anonymity offered by only allowed one letter for each last name, we surely missed some famous names, but we've made this listicle of the famous faces. Email us screenshots if we missed anybody noteworthy!
That Conservative Blogger
Big Government blogger and conservative rabble rouser Andrew Breitbart does sounds cooler when you call him "Andy B." Vice explains the name and the prank:
Earlier today, the anti-SOPA 'I Work For The Internet' campaign ‘became viral’. VICE Magazine Tumblr Team’s first reaction was to post a picture of a really cute kitten, because kittens run the internet. When we saw that photos were being moderated, we realized the kitten probably wouldn’t make it past the intern screener. So we thought of who the most hated person on the internet was, and, probably because we read an article about him earlier in the day, decided to post a picture of Andrew Breitbart. We called him 'Andy B' and said he lived in Washington DC, MD because it looked funny and also because DC wasn’t an option in the drop down.
The TechCrunch Guys
TechCrunch editor Erick Schonfeld and newly hired blogger Eric Eldon look a lot like their Twitter avatars. Eldon also blogged about the site. We wonder if Schonfeld might be the other blogger Vice added:
The Tumblr Guys
Uniqlo sweater model and Tumblr founder David Karp and longtime Tumblr designer Peter Vidani were among the first on the list, leading us to believe that Tumblr -- a site that's been especially aggressive about protesting SOPA -- probably played a role in developing the site.
One Facebook Guy
The Vimeo Guy
You might not recognize his face but you've surely watched videos on the site he co-founded and designed: Vimeo. Meet Zach Klein, who's now a venture capitalist with the Founder's Colletive and sort of looks like a nerdier version of Ryan Gosling.
The Texts From Last Night Girl
Texts from Last Night is the site that you probably laughed at with your friends in college. Co-founder Lauren Leto now runs a start up called bntr in New York, where she apparently has a "fabulous" life.