Social Web

Glenn Beck Vs. The Poodle, And Other Facebook Faceoffs

Glenn Beck and a poodle with a tin foil hat. i

In a Facebook faceoff who will prevail? The adorable canine or the conservative commentator? Screenshot from Facebook hide caption

toggle caption Screenshot from Facebook
Glenn Beck and a poodle with a tin foil hat.

In a Facebook faceoff who will prevail? The adorable canine or the conservative commentator?

Screenshot from Facebook

The Canadian rock group Nickelback recently found itself in a bit of a pickle when Facebook users mobilized to create a fan page putting the band's own page to shame. Their inspiration? Yes, an actual pickle. And now conservative commentator Glenn Beck is finding himself under a similar assault on two fronts featuring a poodle and a dung beetle.

Welcome to Facebook fan pages.

On February 3, Facebook user Coral Anne launched the pickle fan page with the simple challenge: Can this pickle get more fans than Nickleback? Interestingly, she chose to spell Nickelback incorrectly, possibly fearing copyright infringement issues. But that didn't stop the page from spreading like wildfire. Barely two weeks after she created the page, it surpassed Nickelback's 1.4 million fans on Facebook — and it's still growing. (The number of fans, that is; the pickle looks about the same size as when it started.)

And while that pickle is keeping busy, another fan page asks the question, Can this pickle get more fans than Twilight? So far, they're not even close; though the pickle has reached half a million fans, it pales in comparison to Twilight's five million fans. Vampires vs. pickles isn't much of a contest, apparently.

The pickle isn't alone fighting the good fight, however. If you search for these types of fan page faceoffs, you'll literally find hundreds of them, like Can this onion ring get more fans than Justin Bieber?, Can my pet earthworm Jimmy get more fans than the Jonas Brothers? — the Jonas brothers are the target of several such fan pages — and Can this Slayer song get more fans than the Bible?. (Sorry Slayer fans, but the Bible is still ahead, 1.7 million fans vs. 7,000ish for the Slayer song. Black Sabbath might've been a better pick.)

Not surprisingly, political figures are often the target of rival fan page campaigns. Remember that onion ring that was stalking Justin Bieber? It's also making a successful run against Canadian prime minister Stephen Harper — and so far it's beating him by a six-to-one margin.

Here in the States, President Obama finds himself challenged by a squirrel and a goat. Combining forces, the squirrel and goat have an impressive 660,000+ fans, yet that's less than ten percent of Obama's Facebook following.

As for Glenn Beck, his 700,000 fans are still holding the fort against a two-pronged attack initiated by a dung beetle and a poodle wearing a tin foil hat. At the time of writing, though, the two-front assault against Beck doesn't appear very coordinated, and they're just barely halfway to their goal.

I know, I know — only on Facebook. Yet there's something impressive about how Facebook users mobilize their friends to show that they collectively have as much marketing power as a celebrity might. Whether the celebrity in question either notices or cares, though, is a whole other matter.



Please keep your community civil. All comments must follow the Community rules and terms of use, and will be moderated prior to posting. NPR reserves the right to use the comments we receive, in whole or in part, and to use the commenter's name and location, in any medium. See also the Terms of Use, Privacy Policy and Community FAQ.

NPR thanks our sponsors

Become an NPR sponsor

Support comes from