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Imagine if you had no control over what was posted to your Twitter account. It could be filled with random, embarrassing, unintelligible nonsense, making your followers wonder if you’ve been hacked or if you’re just having an off day. It’s a scary concept for the social media-conscious, but what if it was for a good cause?
Letting your account post tweets you have no control over is exactly what the Tourette Syndrome Foundation of Canada wants you to do — just for a day. As part of its Surrender Your Say campaign, the group hopes to give Twitter users a glimpse into what life is like for people suffering from the disorder, who are prone to vocal and physical outbursts (tics) that are beyond their control.
The process is simple: all you have to do is click a big blue button and give the Foundation access to your account for 24 hours. You can still tweet normally throughout that time, and you can opt out at any stage. If you can hold off from disabling the feature for long enough, the group will post tweeted tics at random times. They do include a hashtag and a link to the Foundation’s website though, so your followers will (hopefully) be able to figure out what you’re up to.
The content of the tweets varies from strange sentences that seem to almost make sense to mildly offensive and embarrassing declarations. Some examples include:
— George // (@PandaGeorge) June 20, 2013
— Reba (°ロ°) (@HereComesReba) June 20, 2013
— Espen D. Jensen (@espen5b) June 20, 2013
— ZoofsterWho (@zoofster) June 20, 2013
— Ricky Chu (@RikDaddy) June 20, 2013
— Peggu (@MrJewishPegasus) June 20, 2013
The campaign has even caught the attention of and gained support from actor and TV personality Stephen Fry:
— Stephen Fry (@stephenfry) June 19, 2013
The Foundation, which is involved in educating people about the disorder, as well as offering self-help programmes and promoting research into Tourette Syndrome, seems to have found some serious success with the campaign, which has only been running for just over a day. According to the tracker on its website, its tweets have reached more than 2.8-million people so far, as over 6 000 users have given up control of their Twitter accounts.
It’s the second major digital campaign the group has run in partnership with advertising agency Saatchi and Saatchi — the first, @Random, is an online documentary featuring the stories of people living with Tourette Syndrome.