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Jon Herrman at Splitsider tries to trace birth and maturation of @Horse_ebooks, maybe the most unlikely Twitter celebrity ever. @Horse_ebooks, if you aren't in on the joke, is a spambot Twitter account run out of Russia that tries to sell its followers terrible electronic books. It's followed en masse by 27,000, though, because in between its links to e-books it tweets absurdist snippets of text from those books (to avoid detection as a spambot) have some Zen-like and/or pomo quality that Internet-types find hilarious. Things like "Want to unlock the hidden doors of your inner being? Abraham Lincoln has the key" and "If you suffer from bad credit, you have 3 options: do nothing." Herrman tackles how the popularity of @Horse_ebooks grew after site after site picked up on it, and how in turn a subculture we never knew of grew around the simple spambot. Comic strips based on the tweets! Conspiracy theories that it's been hacked! A sculpture of the Twitter's galloping avatar! Herrman notes that although it's a lot to say about a little spambot, he still loves it.

Of course Read and O’Connor are right when they point out that the entire discussion is silly, or indulgent, or that it involves articulating ideas and assuming premises that are, ehhhhh, kind of embarrassing to talk about? They are! It is! This is. Horse_ebooks! Follow horse_ebooks!

For the rest of Hermann's piece, head on over to Splitsider.

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.