The Harvard Crimson has either become the victim of an incredibly funny prank, or Facebook is beta-testing its silent speech brain interface on college students.
Today, Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg returned to the venerable Ivy League institution he famously dropped out of, revisiting his old dorm room and giving a commencement speech to the graduating class of 2017. To commemorate the social networking titan’s return to his alma mater, the website of Harvard’s 144-year-old newspaper (or whomever gained control of it) ran as its frontpage story: “MARK ZOINKERBURG AT IT AGAIN.”
Related stories included “BREAKING: Mork Zinkeltink Zonks all over the Internet” and “OOPS: MINK PINKLEBINK ACCIDENTALLY ‘LIKES’ OWN COMMENCEMENT SPEECH.” In one image, Zuckerberg is depicted without eyebrows, and with abnormally small teeth.
The site has been intermittently unavailable (though archives confirm the Crimson’s homepage actually did display this Incredibly Good content), so Gizmodo has had difficulty determining how many of these articles link to anything in particular. At least one—which was in the “most read” sidebar of the paper which served as a springboard for many award-winning journalists—had a landing page, and was exactly one sentence long.
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It did not take long for others to notice these worthy additions to the paper’s body of work.
Thought it appears to have returned to normal, we’ve reached out to The Crimson so see who is responsible so that we might hopefully hire them someday. We’ll update if we hear back.
Update 5/25/17 2:30pm ET: Current President of The Crimson Derek Choi responded to Gizmodo over email with the following statement:
Earlier today, The Harvard Crimson’s website was altered by an unauthorized user. We are currently working to repair the breach. We regret any inconvenience to our users and look forward to the rest of Commencement.
Derek, you and your staff have nothing to apologize for.
Update 5/25/17 4:49pm ET: Approximately two hours after this blog went live, Gizmodo was contacted by phone by two individuals claiming to be the “Winklevink twins.” They asserted that Mark Zickleberg (or some other hilariously butchered version of Zuckerberg’s name) had stolen their idea to hack The Crimson’s website. Both Winklevink twins denied responsibility for the hack, claiming it was either Zickleberg himself or the members of The Harvard Lampoon (who they called “geniuses.”) They thoroughly denied being part of the Lampoon.
We’ll remind these Winklewinks that—if they’re free between kayaking practices—GMG is currently hiring for a variety of entry-level positions.