In January this year there were over 200 million users on twitter and the average number of tweets per day hit 110 million (stats from Forbes). Twitter gives anyone a voice some louder than others, most will go ignored but then occasionally the odd tweet really sparks something big. Just say the term super injunction and your conversation will reach twitter very quickly but it isn’t the frivolous lives of footballers I am here to talk about.
Amber’s link sent her readers to a tumblr page, the images on the site showed a piece from the Urban Outfitters Jewellery collection (Top) and the uncanny similarity it has to the work of an independent artist(Bottom).
The artist in question Stevie Koerner was clearly far from happy. “My heart sank a little bit. The World/United States of Love line that I created is one of the reasons that I was able to quit my full-time job. They even stole the item name as well as some of my copy.”
I am amazed that this is allowed to happen! To have the cheek to not only replicate the design but to go as far as copying the name and artists words is a beyond belief. It is like asking to be caught!
The twitter backlash was justifiably immense. Within 20 minutes Amber had had over 170 new updates about this one post, her name was even showing up in trending data and the post became one of the Top Tweets of the day. Urban Outfitters were facing serious questions from the public and Stevie Koerner was receiving continuous messages of support. I am unsure how this tweet has directly affected Urban Outfitters. I hope it has shamed them into withdrawing the item from sale. There may not have been a direct result now but I hope this has seriously shocked the company, making them think twice about copying the work of independent artists in the future.
The fact that one tweet can create such a wave of interest is incredible. The twitter generation has certainly arrived, there will be much press about the networking sites negatives but if more stories like this keep emerging I will certainly be staying on board.