For all of his many (very vocal) critics, Kanye West certainly has a lot of fans — something that anyone hate-Googling the rapper can plainly see by looking at his Wikipedia page, where he’s listed as one of the best-selling artists in history.
West’s award-riddled Wikipedia page is getting significantly more attention than usual today, but the traffic spike has nothing (or perhaps just little) to do with the album title he just announced or the mad rush on his recently-dropped Yeezy Boost sneakers.
Ironically, tens of thousands of people are being driven to Wikipedia’s list of Kanye West achievements right now by a URL prank designed to mock him.
Type “loser.com” into your browser right now to see what we’re talking about (or just take our word for it that, as of Monday afternoon, the URL redirects to West’s Wikipedia page.)
The internet has been exploding over this cute little redirect since it was unearthed by The Daily Beast on Sunday.
The person or group behind the stunt has yet to be identified, but according to the Whois domain records database, loser.com was registered by the telecommunications company Tucows in Toronto.
Because the owner of the domain has opted to remain private, his or her name does not appear in the database.
A Twitter user named Amy Bustle Connelly (@AmyBustle) has been taking credit for the prank since about noon on Monday, first linking to a Complex article about loser.com and subsequently replying to Tweets mentioning the prank to claim she owns the domain.
While Bustle’s assertion that she’s owned the domain for 20 years checks out (Whois reveals that is was indeed registered in 1995,) she hasn’t supported any evidence to back her claims as of yet.
If Bustle — a self-admitted Beck fan — does own loser.com, that would make those around the web who are pinning this redirect on people who support Beck correct in their assumptions.
It makes sense that a Beck-lover might want to use loser.com (a domain containing the title of the singer's first major single) to slam West following some weirdness that went down between the two artists during and after this year’s Grammy awards.
But this is not the only explanation. Some are speculating that Yeezy himself commissioned the stunt in an effort to build buzz around his forthcoming album (or to detract from all of the bitter feud rumours he’s been stoking in recent weeks.)
Others are pointing out how valuable the domain might actually be, and wondering if maybe its owner is using the West / Beck feud to drive up the price of loser.com before selling.
"I would imagine loser.com would make the top 10 sales if sold today, probably for around $500,000,” said a spokeperson for domain registrar Netristrat Ltd. to Metro when asked about this. “It might even make 7 figures if bought by a big brand.”
We may not yet know why the redirect exists, but it’s clear that loser.com is prompting laughter and angryonlinecomments in equal measure.
“This just in, a bunch of jealous losers on the internet buy up the domain loser.com and use it to redirect it to one of the most successful and critically acclaimed, but egotistical, musicians alive today. Nobody sees the irony,” wrote Kraz_I on Reddit Monday.
“Whoever paid for the domain is far too easily affected. Kanye probably doesn't know the redirect exists, meanwhile this fool thinking about Kanye, being bothered by him, and spending his cash on the domain. Hilarious,” wrote another.
In a subreddit devoted to satirically mocking nostalgia, another user wrote “what a loser, being able to buy anything wants with his millions of dollars and touring the world for countless people who follow his every move in the music industry god he's such a LOSER.”
You can see more of how the internet is reacting to this latest act of Kanye West-based internet fun here , if you’re so inclined.