The Saga Of Charles Z: How One 'Creepy Old Man's' Desire To Meet Taylor Swift Shut Down Clear Channel
Gather round, y'all. It's storytime. Today's selection? The story of Charles Z, a creepy old man whose desire to meet Taylor Swift and "sniff her hair" led to a full-scale shut down of the web presence of the largest radio conglomerate in the United States (Clear Channel).
It all started on /b/, a popular message board on the infamous web community 4chan. A friend of Charles Z wanted to hijack a radio contest held by Boston's Kiss 108. People would enter the contest and would ask other people to vote for them. Whoever garnered the most votes wins and the winner got a chance to meet Taylor Swift.
Charles' friend wanted to make sure his good buddy got the chance to creep on a celebrity.
He posted the following:
"My creepy 39 year old friend named Charles would like to crush all those girls dreams(and then sniff Taylor Swifts hair cuz he's into that)... Help him crush the dreams of these girls and give him a chance to make a complete ass of himself by blatantly just sniffing her hair with the cameras rolling."
Using voting scripts, /b/ took over the contest and quickly propelled Charles Z to the top of the standings.
Once it was apparent that Charles would win, Kiss 108 cancelled the contest with the following note.
"Disappointingly, we have determined that the integrity of the "Taylor Swift's Biggest Fan" contest has been compromised. In accordance with our contest rules, effective immediately, the contest has been terminated. We apologize to all of our loyal listeners who have participated."
This led to outrage on Twitter. Charles supporters used hashtags like #JusticeForCharles and #SniffTheSwift to express their displeasure.
Luckily, New York's Z100 was hosting a contest to meet Selena Gomez. To rectify the wrongs of Kiss 108, /b/ entered Charles into the contest and he quickly moved into third place before Z100 caught on and shut the voting down.
/b/ attacked the winner of the Gomez (who, according to /b/ members admitted to using voting scripts as well) forcing him to delete his Twitter account.
However, they soon found a new contest. Z100 was looking to send someone to meet the Jonas Brothers. The flood of excited /b/ members voting for Charles crashed Clear Channel servers and took down a network of over 850 radio station websites.
(While 4chan is no stranger to attacking and crashing sites they disagree with, this appeared to be entirely by accident. That didn't mean they weren't pleased, however.)
As of press time, Charles hasn't sniffed anyone's hair.
Here's another account of the story via /b/.