In 2017, British snack food manufacturer Walkers used retired footballer Gary Lineker to endorse a new campaign for Walkers Crisps. All participants had to do was take a selfie and share it on Twitter using the #WalkersWave hashtag, and they could win tickets for the UEFA Champions League final in Cardiff. Furthermore, the pictures were inserted into a video featuring Gary Lineker thanking you for participating and complimenting your selfie.
It didn’t take long for people to realize that the process was automated with no moderation whatsoever. In a world post–Boaty McBoatface, a marketing firm should have known better than that. Soon enough, Twitter was flooded with clips of Lineker holding up pictures of serial killers Harold Shipman and Fred West or child molester Jimmy Savile, saying “Nice selfie!”[
To make matters worse, Walkers set up giant screens in Cardiff to show the tweets in real time. They managed to get a handle on the situation a few hours later, but once something is on the Internet, it’s there forever.