Disclaimer: I will not be hating on Amanda Cerny or any former Vine stars in this blog. Also, when I say things like “worst” video, I’m talking about videos posted to Twitter or Instagram. TikToks don’t count.
As dangerous and unsettling as this sounds, tweets are somehow continuing to get worse. Much worse.
But for the very first time in my career as a social media user, I came across a piece of content that was so catastrophically bad that I was unable to even feel the natural emotional responses of anger, disgust, second-hand embarrassment, frustration, suicidal thoughts, or agony. This time, I felt a pit in my stomach. One that only emerges when my intuition tells me that something is deeply wrong.
“This is content production in the age of algorithmic discovery—even if you’re human you have to end up impersonating the machine.”
I’ve already written a few thousand unnecessary words on them, so there’s no need for me to reiterate that there’s a troupe of LA-based mid-twenties to late-thirties ex-Viners with gigantic followings who have been making conventionally god awful “comedy” videos since 2013. It would be painfully redundant if I mentioned that they polluted the six-second app with slapstick sludge and professionally produced gunk for three-plus years while progressively getting richer and lazier with their “attempts” at comedy. And you already know that one of the most common criticisms of their content is that it is, while invariably bad and gruelingly unfunny, purposely and strategically being made to appeal to the demographic of young, stupid children that make up the core of their fanbases.
Take this video for example:
BOOOM…SPPPPLAAAT! Ouchhhhhh! Right into the glass door! Kooky face! How did she not see that? Maybe she isn’t so smart AFTER ALL.
Bazinga! It has a clear twist/punchline and some quality slapstick antics to go along with it. The trio of 30-year-olds employed the perfect formula for appealing to their young fans (it has 250K likes on Instagram).
But this. This. This right here is NOT, in any conceivable culture or dimension, appealing or relatable in any way to any lifeforms that fall into any age range. It’s entirely devoid of humor, but it also doesn’t have a plot or punchline; it doesn’t even remotely touch upon the burdens or aspects of living with roommates; in fact, it completely and utterly whiffs at the infinite amount of ways that a video with human actors could accurately portray “roommate life” in a comedic or serious manner.
And that’s where things get eerie.
If you watch the video again and pay close attention, you’ll realize that there’s fundamentally no possible way that a human mind, let alone the combination of five adult human minds, is capable of creating something that abnormally bad. Again, I’m not even trying to hate on any of the people in it, or disparage their abilities as creators. What I’m saying is, I don’t think they failed at being funny or making a relatable video; I think (bear with me here) the computer chips planted in their brains experienced some type of algorithmic failure when attempting to sync them to act out one of their usual formulaic sketches. This isn’t a joke or “bit” I’m trying to do—what is occurring in this video is clearly automated to some degree.
Watch it again. NO ONE got together and brainstormed that idea. Didn’t fucking happen. Instead, it was the outcome of digitally-manipulated people or “people” robotically acting out a combination of unrelated, algorithmically generated keywords due to some type of mathematical computer error. It’s the human version of the Elsagate shit that caused Peppa Pig to murder her dad and drink bleach in YouTube videos for kids. In this case, I’m guessing the keywords included things like:
funny massage, roommate problems, silly, homework struggles, adulting, and dogs
But there was a systematic hiccup with their computer chips that combined all of those keywords into one video instead of separate videos.
For example, no one in human history can relate to trying to accomplish a task while their roommate seizes in the vibrating massage chair that’s oddly placed in their apartment’s living room. But I’m sure there’s a subset of tween Cerny and Delgrosso fans who would find humor in a goofy video that solely consisted of one of their influencer idols violently shaking in a mall massage chair that malfunctions and starts vibrating too intensely. Just like there’s a subset of tweens and pervs who would get a relatable chuckle or boner at a plot line of Cerny, 27, portraying a hot high school student frantically stabbing the hard cover of a notepad with an inkless pen when trying to get last-minute homework done. In fact, I think she already made a video like that. Or maybe it was Lele Pons, but it doesn’t really matter—same computer chip, different cyborg.
Likewise, none percent of the world’s population can relate to making a stressful business call and blindly pounding the keys of a laptop while one of their roommates is being worked on by an aggressive masseuse in the same room as them. But separately, those two ideas could serve as unfunny but comprehensible “Instagram comedy”-style videos. The four different people in this video, however, are behaving in a bone-chillingly illogical and unconnected way. The only character that is doing something that makes sense is the puppy who is unquestionably trying to beg for help and mercy.
I’m worried that if something isn’t done soon to stop these former Vine stars and current androids, they will experience a much larger and disastrous computer error that could put their lives and the lives of others in serious danger. I’ll end this by saying that I don’t even know if I anything I said makes even the slightest bit of technological sense, but I’m that confident that humans didn’t consciously make such a bad video.