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Updated Dec 13, 2012 at 12:21AM EST by Brad.

Added Jul 18, 2012 at 01:38PM EDT by amanda b..

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#ExilePitbull is an online petition launched in July 2012 with a mission to send rapper Pitbull to the small town of Kodiak, Alaska, as part of his promotional campaign for the Sheets energy strips in which he pledged to visit and perform at any Walmart store that received the most votes in an online poll. While the petition was initially driven by anti-fan sentiment, similar to the Send Justin Bieber to North Korea petition in 2010, Pitbull accepted the poll results and visited Kodiak on July 30th, along with the Something Awful columnist David Thorpe who co-created the petition.


In mid-June 2012, Walmart and Sheets Brand energy strips launched a promotional campaign[1] to bring the rapper Pitbull to whichever local Walmart store that gains the most new Facebook likes between June 20th and July 15th, 2012.

On June 29th, 2012, Something Awful editors Jon Hendren[2] and David Thorpe[3] announced on Twitter that they wanted to send the rapper to Kodiak, Alaska[4], an island that is home to 6130 people as of the 2010 United States census.

Notable Developments

That day, Hendren and Thorpe began incorporating the hashtag #ExilePitbull[5] into their tweets, inviting their followers to like the Facebook page for Walmart Kodiak in Alaska.[6] A screenshot of Thorpe’s tweets was shared on the /r/funny subreddit[7] the same day, earning 2161 points and 16,072 upvotes. In the comments, Redditor TheScoby noted that Walmart Kodiak’s page only had 3700 likes.[8] But as other Redditors joined in and replied to the thread, the likes count of Walmart Kodiak's Facebook page began soaring up at the rate of 50 new likes per minute. That evening, #ExilePitbull was featured on Gawker[9] and music blog Idolator.[10]

June 30th: Pitbull's Response

On June 30th, Pitbull used the Twitter hashtag himself, saying that he heard the Kodiak Walmart carries bear repellent. A few days later, Pitbull invited[11] Thorpe to join him in Alaska since he was "so invested" on sending the rapper there.

July 2nd: News Media Coverage

After the Walmart Kodiak Facebook page broke through 35,000 likes on July 2nd, the #ExilePitbull campaign hit major news websites including NPR[17], the Huffington Post[18] and ABC News.[19] Over the next several days, CNN[20], Mashable[21] and TIME[22] also reported on the hijacked social media campaign.

July 3rd: #KeepPitbull305

Meanwhile, Pitbull fans launched the counter hashtag #KeepPitbull305[12] on July 3rd to bring the rapper to a Walmart in the area of his hometown, Miami, Florida. A fan chose Walmart 2814 in Hialeah Gardens, Florida[13], which went onto receive no more than 1,100 likes by the end of the campaign. This small counter-protest was covered by the Miami New Times[14], PopDust[15] and Idolator.[16]

July 17th: Poll Results

When the results were announced on July 17th, the Walmart Kodiak page had accrued more than 70,000 likes[23] and won the contest. Pitbull uploaded a video to his official YouTube channel stating that even though this may have been a prank, he "will go anywhere in the world for [his] fans." The conclusion of the contest and Pitbull's video were featured the Huffington Post[24], Rolling Stone[25], Mashable[26], Reddit[27] and Yahoo! Music.[28]

July 30th: Pitbull Visits Kodiak, Alaska

On July 30th, Pitbull arrived in Kodiak, Alaska, along with Something Awful columnist and Internet prankster David thorpe who co-created the hashtag petition. They visited the Walmart employees as well as local residents and attended a ceremony where the mayor presented a key to the city as a gift.

Thorpe and Pitbull's tour of Kodiak was updated in real time via Thorpe's Twitter feed[30], providing details on the local residents' reaction and the more personable side of the celebrity rapper. Pitbull also tweeted pictures[31] from his visit and expressed his gratitude to the fans. That same day, Thorpe's live coverage of his visit on Twitter was picked up by internet news site Daily Dot.[29]

Search Interest

According to Google Insights, search interest in the #ExilePitbull hashtag campaign peaked on July 18th, the day after the Walmart in Kodiak, Alaska was chosen as the final destination.

External References

[1] PR Newswire – Pitbull to Visit His Fans' Favorite Local Walmart Store, Powered by Energy Sheets®

[2] Twitter – @fart

[3] Twitter – @Arr

[4] Wikipedia – Kodiak, Alaska

[5] Twitter – Results for #ExilePitbull

[6] Facebook – Walmart Kodiak

[7] Reddit – Help David Thorpe banish Pitbull (rapper) to a Walmart in Kodiak Alaska!

[8] Reddit – TheScoby's comment thread

[9] Gawker – Internet Rallies to Send Pitbull to the Most Remote Walmart in America

[10] Idolator – Pitbull Might Be Exiled To Alaska

[11] Twitter – Pitbull's tweet to David Thorpe

[12] Twitter – Results for #KeepPitbull305

[13] Facebook – Walmart Hialeah

[14] Miami New Times – #KeepPitbull305 Fails to Save Mr. Worldwide From #ExilePitbull Trolls and Kodiak, Alaska

[15] PopDust – We Now Have a Counter-Movement to #ExilePitbull

[16] Idolator – Pitbull May Not Be #Exiled To Alaska After All

[17] NPR – Miami Rapper Pitbull May Head To Alaska

[18] Huffington Post – Pitbull May Be Sent To WalMart In Alaska, Thanks To #ExilePitbull Internet Campaign

[19] ABC News – Internet Could ‘Exile’ Rapper Pitbull to Remote Alaskan Walmart

[20] CNN – Internet voters could send rapper Pitbull to remote Alaskan city

[21] Mashable – Facebook Users Hijack Campaign to Exile Pitbull

[22] TIME – acebook Users Band together to Exile Pitbull to Alaskan Walmart

[23] Alaska Dispatch – Operation #ExilePitbull a success? Miami rapper looks bound for Kodiak Wal-Mart

[24] Huffington Post – #ExilePitbull Worked: Pitbull Officially 'Exiled' To Kodiak, Alaska Walmart; Invites Writer Along

[25] Rolling Stone – Pitbull Is Heading to Kodiak, Alaska

[26] Mashable – Congrats, Internet: Pitbull Is Going to Alaska

[27] Reddit – We did it! Pitbull is going to Kodiak, Alaska!

[28] Yahoo! Music – Pitbull heading north to Walmart in Kodiak, Alaska

[29] Daily Dot – Pitbull's Alaskan adventure, tweeted by the prankster who made it happen

[30] Twitter – @Arr's Status Update

[31] Twitter – @Pitbull's Status Update

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