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Mad IRL: The Wendy’s Nuggs Guy

From neat, to annoying, to insufferable at warp speed


For some reason, we’ve allowed our columnist Ben Goren to write a weekly, barely coherent column about whatever he’s torqued up about. In week one, he takes on Carter Wilkerson, the Wendy’s Chicken Nuggets Guy.

Wendy’s made $1.44 billion in revenue last year.

Every cent of that revenue should be spent on prosecuting Carter Wilkerson for gross crimes against Twitter timelines across the country.

You know the story, but here’s the crib notes. This teen, Carter Wilkerson, did that stupid Twitter thing people do where they tweet at a brand and ask for free stuff. Wendy’s did what brands should do and said that if Carter got 18 million retweets, he’d get his free nuggets.

Then everyone online, in a true throwback to 2007 “For the Lulz” Internet Era, decided it would be excruciatingly funny if they retweeted that tweet. “What a lark,” they thought. “What a knee-slapper it would be if this well meaning teen got his free nuggets.”

Today, he broke the record for most retweets in Twitter history and Wendy’s, because they lack moral fiber and are craven in their desire to monetize Internet idiocy, caved and gave him his nuggets. As of this writing, Carter has nearly 107,000 followers and is verified.

It’s the worst.

The Internet was not meant for Brands. And yet, more than 1.8 million people have willingly signed up to get Wendy’s Twitter Pravda injected into their Twitter timeline. Imagine waking up in 2009, going onto whatever terrible image board/message board/rage comic factory you wasted your time on, and getting stoked to see what fresh takes Boeing (373,000+ followers) had on the news of the day.

It’s contradictory to what the Internet was created for.

The best thing about The Internet as it used to be is that there was no real inherent power structure. If you had good posts, people would like what you had to say. If you had bad posts, people would probably call you pretty awful names. That’s how the game went. It was a firehose of opinions, virtually all of them bad, but they were untainted by the stench of celebs and brands. It was a meritocracy of sorts in an age where meritocracy in the real world is fleeting. After all, Tom Crean is unemployed and Scott Drew makes $1.2 million more than Mark Few a year.

See? We could include a basketball angle.

Here’s a tweet.

To be clear, Clorox does not give a hoot about 2 Chainz and/or Tity Boi. Clorox does give a hoot about pretending to be modern and trying to #connect with its #consumers in their #NativeInternetSpaces. It’s all part of this vast charade that has the end game of just selling you more crap. Which is fine! But don’t let any of this confuse you. Clorox is not funny. Clorox is not a fan of 2Chainz. Clorox sells cleaning product.

Herein lies the definitional issue of Nuggs Guy. Nuggs Guy is no longer Carter Wilkerson. He’s a totem for a corporate invasion of the Internet, and, worse yet, it’s an invasion that Nuggs Guy has become a participant in. In fact, he’s sought it out.

These #brands could not care less about whether a random teen from Nevada gets a free supply of nuggets. What they do care about is getting their stats up. Hollister’s Nuggs Guy endorsement had 10,181 engagements. Their second-most popular tweet over the last three months, a picture of a freaking sunset, had 343. This is the only value add that Nuggs Guy brings (as well as, I guess, a sizeable charitable donation made by Wendy’s done largely to dispel any notions that the #NuggsForCarter t-shirts he’s selling are making him money). He’s a tool for companies to tie their #Brand to a sentient human with regular people desires. All he wants is his chicken nuggets. Who can’t relate to that?

I’m glad Carter got his two weeks of fame. I’ll smile through gritted teeth when he lands a cushy social media job because he’s got a six-digit follower count, full of people who evidently suffer from some sort of malignant disease that fuels a need for chicken nugget updates.

Just please keep him off my damn timeline.