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The Revolution Will Not Be Televised…It Will Be Tweeted

27 May

So as my readers (or reader — ha!) know, I only recently converted to the blogging and tweeting community after having ignored it for a long time, and, to be honest, I never really took Twitter specifically that seriously. Well, yesterday, I got an education in the power of the 140-character revolt.

Stevie Koerner “I Heart NY” necklace

Stevie Koerner's “I Heart NY” necklace.

Urban Outfitters I Heart Destination Necklace

Urban Outfitters' I Heart Destination Necklace

Yesterday, blogger Amber Karnes, known as @amberkarnes on Twitter, lit up the social media world with a tweet concerning the allegation (and apparent truth) that Urban Outfitters blatantly ripped off a necklace design by Etsy crafter Stevie Koerner. Karnes got retweeted at exactly the same lightening speed that bunnies reproduce, and before she knew it, she was trending in the U.S. and the Urban Outfitters necklace had abruptly disappeared from the website. You can read a comprehensive breakdown of how it went down on Karnes’ blog. As of this morning, the necklace is still gone from the UO site and UO’s Twitter page hasn’t been active in almost 24 hours.

Now, it should be noted that a.) UO has apparently done this before, b.) folks say design-stealing in the fashion world is a pretty common thing (doesn’t make it ok though), and c.) a commenter in a Huffington Post article about yesterday’s events says that Koerner herself got the design idea from someone else. But despite all of that, this is still a fascinating, inspiring story. I used to think Twitter was just a silly, self-indulgent waste of time, but yesterday’s events, the fact that one tweet (motivated by a Tumblr and Facebook post) resulted in a huge company getting called out on their BS…it excites the hell out of me. I know, I know, this is not the first time Twitter has had a major impact in real life and it’s not like Twitter is the ’10s virtual equivalent of San Francisco in the 1960s, all admirable revolution and activism, but still — strength in numbers and smart phones, yo. I’m definitely going to keep following this story, and I do believe I’ll be putting the kibosh on my UO shopping for a while and hit up my favorite Etsy and local ground shops instead (where I found some supercool wooden Pac-Man earrings yesterday — WERK).

¡Viva la (social media) Revolución!