The internet can be a dark and cruel place at times. Actually, at most times. However, there are those times where the randomness of the internet creates something bizarrely beautiful. This is one of those times.
As I was getting my act together this morning before work, my roommate (and resident conspiracy theorist) asked me if I had seen Hillary Clinton‘s Instagram. I had told him that I had not, and that I didn’t even know she had one. I should have known though, I mean, I do work in media, lol. But anyway, he told me to check out it, so that’s exactly what I did.
What I found was not only strange, but damn near inexplicable. Literally, as thorough Google searches have yielded little to no answers. For some odd, unknown reason, the masses are commenting the phrase “Spicy Boi” on Hillary Clinton’s Instagram. What is “Spicy Boi” anyway? Well, some Twitter users have reached out to us saying that it had something to do with Hillary mentioning Pokemon Go in a recent speech, while a Google search yields a Change.org petition requesting that fire ants have their names changed to “spicy boys”. There is a lot of internet hi-jinx going on here, as you can tell.
The “Spicy Boi” movement is spreading, and fast. Literally every comment on every photo says “spicy boi”, and it’s not just on her recent photos. I wondered to what extent this madness continued, so I scrolled all the way back to her first Instagram post from a little over 13 months ago. And what did I find? That’s right, Spicy Boiiiiiiii:
What Is Spicy Boi Hillary Clinton?
So, where did this all start? It all started Saturday night when a 4chan user encouraged people to go to Clinton’s Instagram account and write “Spicy Boy”. “Spicy Boy” is a reference to a Change.org petition asking Michelle Obama, Barack Obama and Mark Zuckerberg to change the name of fire ants to spicy boys. The petition went viral on social media and received coverage from various media outlets such as The Huffington Post and The Independent.
Beyond that, the beginning of any internet investigation obviously starts with a Google search. The only result worth mentioning is a Reddit thread that on Sunday, July 17, stated that everyone should start commenting “spicy boi” on her Instagram. There are few comments, and even less context. The only sort of explanation given is a link to this photo detailing the “Spicy Boi” movement, from a iFunny.co user:
The Twitter account @iFunny has about 38K followers, so it’s hard to imagine they had enough social media influence themselves. On the bottom left of the picture, appear to be other accounts participating in the “raid” however I was unable to find any of them on social media. Apparently, all of those are big users on the meme app iFunny.co, and helped spread word about the raid. We reached out to iFunny Chef, who pointed us to the initial announcement of the raid.
All those accounts in the bottom left of the photos are accounts on a massive application called “iFunny”. The “ironic memes” community on the app decided to spam Hillary’s Instagram, as well as create the aforementioned fire ants petition. (The iFunny app is available on iTunes and Google Play, by the way). The Spicy Boi raid was led by the iFunny account EpilepsyWarning. EpilepsyWarning first started spicy boi by renaming the “fire ant” on Wikipedia to “Spicy Boi”, which in turn led to his followers to renaming other words on Wikipedia to “Spicy Boi”, until Wikipedia banned the word “Spicy Boi” all together.
Then, Southern Fraternity blog Old Row (with a Twitter following of 177k, and another 304k on Instagram) got in on the fun. With the audience they probably have (Trump supporters), it’s easy to imagine many of the comments coming from their followers. Once Old Row got a scent of it, the big guns were brought, and the flood gates opened.
However, Old Row were not the first ones on the internet to post about it. There were massive organizing threads on both 4chan and the Reddit thread /r/the_donald. So, in conclusion, it appears that credit must go to multiple sources. While Old Row has awesomely created more of the traffic, hype, and buzz, iFunny, 4chan, and Reddit seem to be the originators, as they posted about the raid hours before Old Row started to Tweet about it.
Well done to everyone who made this happen. Old Row, Reddit, 4chan, iFunny, Twitter, COED, and many other media sources came together for this truly hilarious prank. Thank you all for being true Americans. While I don’t fully understand the joke, I enjoy and appreciate it all the same. As I’m sure everyone else does. Maybe even Spicy Boi herself.
The next day, the same people who organized the movement tried to get their followed to start commenting on Clinton’s Instagram saying “You’ve Got Mail”, however, the movement was not as effective as “Spicy Boi”.