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Fail Whale in Pop Culture

created over 6 years ago | Tagged: design, belonging, brandalizm, twitter, overload, martini, birds, micro blogging, downtime, fail whale,


When Yiying Lu designed the Twitter Fail Whale, she probably didn’t expect it to become very popular; after all, it’s an image that appears only when something isn’t working. However, a year ago Twitter (Twitter) was so unstable that the fail whale image popped up to hundreds of thousands of users almost daily, and history was made.

The image was quoted, linked to, used and reused so much that it became almost iconic. To capture how this motif – a huge, sleeping animal lifted by a flock of tiny birds – has been used in pop culture in the last year, Lu created a site with all of the Fail Whale related images she could find. It’s a fascinating (and huge) collection: from tributes, to statues, to cakes, to beer labels: it’s everywhere.




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