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How to win in the non-existent “mememy olympiad” and collect 20 thousand reposts in Facebook

The manager of native projects of the publication AIN.UA Alexander Linnik >conducted an experiment to demonstrate how fast spreading fake news in social networks. He published a joke about the victory in the non-existent olympiad of memes, and over the next couple of days she collected more than 15,000 reposts. Only a few people questioned its existence.

How it all began

January 9 in the community “In the Dnieper” on Facebook published a picture about the winner of the World Olympics in Physics, a schoolboy from Russia, Ilya Kochergin. According to the authors of the publication, information about his victory was unfairly ignored by the media – they called for supporting the youth with reposts.

In the text it was not indicated that Kochergin from Russia, and many users began to disseminate information on the Ukrainian segment of Facebook, without verifying it. Three months after the publication, the number of repatriates exceeded 115,000.

The story with Ilya Kochergin began in 2016, the news with the same message was distributed in VKontakte and Odnoklassniki. Ilya really got a gold medal, but he finished 29th. He also said that he was awarded a state prize for talented young people and a premium from the mayor of Moscow.

Screenshot from the community “In the Dnieper”, photo AIN.UA

The appearance of the “Ukrainian answer” to Kochergin – Anton Tsipko

By the middle of March, users from Ukraine noticed that Kochergin is a Russian, and practically stopped supporting him with reposts. On March 12, a “Ukrainian response” to Kochergin appeared – a similar picture adapted for Ukrainian users about the rural schoolboy Anton Tsipko, who won the Olympiad in Informatics in Tehran.

In the photo Anton stood with the Ukrainian flag, the signature was also made in Ukrainian. As noted by, this did not leave users doubt that the story is real. From 12 to 18 March, the picture repostnuli 133 thousand times.

In the history with Tsipko also it turned out that the schoolboy took not the first place, but won the gold medal and took the eighth place in the overall standings.

How did the “mememy contest” come about?

After the popularity of Anton Tzipko and the discussion of the virus theme in the editorial office, Alexander Linnik created a similar image in a hurry, replacing Anton’s photograph with his own, and the informatics Olympiad in Tehran with the “Olympiad on memes” in Gorišné Plány. The number of participants and countries he replaced for 100500 and 9000 respectively, and for seriousness of victory added in the corner of the picture the Purple Pepe medal. Photos he published in his facebook.

This guy from the Cherkassy school is called Alexander Linnik. He won the World Olympiad of memes in Gorišné Plány (100,500 participants from 9,000 countries) and nothing was said about him by any TV channel, not a single newspaper! Let’s support it with reposts!

After the publication, the picture was reposted by two colleagues from Linnik, and a few minutes later – by his relatives. An hour after the publication, the picture had about 20 reposts from both the author’s acquaintances and other Facebook users. Linnik noted that relatives who did not pay attention to the Mem Memorial Olympiad sincerely congratulated him and wished him success.

By evening, the counter of the shapers reached a figure of a hundred reposts. Under my post, comments began to appear unfamiliar to me people, and the signatures to the repors themselves were sometimes funnier pictures. Many users did not see anything suspicious in it, and information was taken at face value, exposing the oligarchic power in that it did nothing to support the “champion.”

Alexander Linnik
manager of native projects AIN.UA

After a day the number of reposts reached a thousand. On the morning of March 17, less than two days later, the counter showed at first two thousand, in a few hours already five thousand, and by the evening – 10 thousand reposts.

Screenshot AIN.UA

Linnik said that dozens of Facebook users began to write to him and send requests for friendship, someone sincerely congratulated and was wondering where to “drop the bitcoins in honor of the victory.” Most at the same time accused him of spreading fake news and “serving the Kremlin,” and also argued that there were less than nine thousand countries.

It came to ridiculous, when the same user first sheril to his page fake with Anton Tsipko, and after a while – my picture with almost identical text.

Alexander Linnik
manager of special projects in AIN.UA

According to Linnik, he was even called on the air on the radio to tell about the victory at the “Memo Olympics”.

At the same time, no one at the radio station even bother to find out if this is true. The number of those who laughed or wrote that this fake is negligible compared to those who reposted the record.

Alexander Linnik
manager of native projects in AIN.UA
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