Livr, the social network for drunk people, had all the trimmings of an ascendant tech start-up. A slick promotional video featuring two Eisenbergian CEOs. A hip website littered with buzzwords and trademarks. Press releases. Stickers. Posters. T-shirts. An auspicious, grassroots buzz that began in Reddit’s technology forums and bubbled into the mainstream press.
Livr’s only problem? It was all fake — an elaborate hoax engineered by Brandon Schmittling and Brandon Bloch, two Brooklyn creatives with a lot of free time and little patience for what they call the “absurdity” of modern Internet culture. After dreaming up an idea for a start-up so ridiculous no one would believe it, Bloch and Schmittling set out to entice people to buy in. They bought a domain name, designed a website, enlisted actors to play Livr’s earnest cofounders; they “leaked” a fake press release on Reddit, promising an improbable “online party at all times,” a social network limited only by the user’s blood alcohol concentration.
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