Sending Taylor Swift to a Boston School for Deaf Kids Is a Weak Prank

Taylor Swift photo by Eva Rinaldi via Flickr

The internet trolls at web forum 4chan have a string of laugh-out-loud fun pranks they’ve pulled lately—overwhelming an online contest to name the next Mountain Dew “Diabeetus” for instance—but their latest piece of work, an attempt to send pop star Taylor Swift to the Boston-based Horace Mann School for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing has to be their weakest.

Swift’s “Taylor Swift on Campus” contest offers kids the chance to vote online for her to play a concert at their school. Enter 4chan, where one user wrote, “Taylor Swift is having a competition to perform at the school who has the most votes online … Let’s make her go to Horace Mann’s School for the Deaf.” Now, with assists from sites like Reddit, Horace Mann has 47,980 votes. (There’s no leader board so it’s difficult to tell where that puts them in the standings.) The gag here, of course, is that if the internet succeeds, no one will have to hear her music, because, haha, deaf kids!

Swift, we imagine, can take the joke, or at least fuel it into peppy anthem about the scars of bullying and make millions of dollars off it on her next album “Confessions of a Prep School Groupie.” The problem is that the joke also comes at the expense of a whole bunch of hard-of-hearing students, who can’t be super pleased they’re being treated as the receptacle for pop stars that sections of the internet hate. The school’s principal, Jeremiah Ford, puts it best, telling the Herald, “I don’t think it’s funny at all,” and “I don’t know what motivates [them], but it’s clearly backfired on them. I think it would be an opportunity to educate the world that deaf people can do anything including listening to music.” (Perhaps 4Channers are too young to have seen Mr. Holland’s Opus?) What’s more, the winning school gets $10,000 toward a music program, money the principal says he’d be happy to accept. “If the school wins, it would be very cool,” he tells the Herald.

Great, so maybe instead of filing this under 4chan’s biggest misfire, we can cast it as their first attempt at goodwill. Joke’s on you, internet. As Taylor might sing, “Well, you can take me down with just one single blow. But you don’t know what you don’t know.”