There’s a mural in LA that will only allow verified influencers to view it.
Imagine a world where certain parts are blocked off to you unless you have more than 20,000 followers on Twitter. Sounds like the plot of a Black Mirror episode, right? Well, it’s both that and real life.
In Los Angeles’s Fairfax district, where wall murals cover every vertical surface, one particular mural on Melrose Avenue is blocked off by a white tarp. Outside are a security guard and a sign that says you must have at least 20,000 followers or a verified symbol in order to see what’s inside.
We don’t have any reporters in LA or anyone with a verified checkmark, but thanks to Vice we can at least see what we’re missing.
And what we’re missing is not a whole lot. The highly forgettable and derivative mural makes the “city of angels” statement for the umpteenth time, along with a pink heart with angel wings. Beside is a poorly drawn dude with a wall-roller, and on either side of that are the words “love art”.
Right in the center, just above the head of a reasonably sized human, is a verified checkmark.
The original post from Vice already has over 7,000 retweets and over 27,000 likes. Which is a little strange since the replies to the post are overwhelmingly negative.
There were also quite a few people that recognized the plot of a Black Mirror episode when they see it, as did this humble author.
And there were a few people that made the correct assumption that this private mural is simply a joke.
It is a joke, but it’s also a very clever marketing stunt. It’s for a new web series from streaming platform go90 called Like & Subscribe. It’s a comedy that pokes fun at YouTubers and the culture of celebrity “influencers” that has sprung up in the digital age. But it’s also a very scary and sad statement about society.
Soon after posting his photo of the private mural, he started getting messages from other “influencers” who wanted to have their own headshot beside the mural. As more people get the address and get their photos taken, the post will go viral and further advertise Like & Subscribe all for the ridiculously low cost of one security guard, a tarp, and a nameless street artist.
And it looks like their plan worked.