In recent days, news of a new app called “Rumblr” had the Internet all agog. Supposedly, the app, which was described by some outlets as the “tinder for fighting”, allowed people to join up anonymously and arrange fights with other app members. Via the app, a user could choose a suitable contender in his or her locality by viewing their profiles, exchange insults via the app’s chat interface to “heat up for the fight”, and then hit either a “Schedule Fight” button to continue or a “Pussy Out” button to withdraw.
Naturally, news of such a violence orientated app caused a good deal of concern and condemnation.
But, thankfully, it turns out that the app is just a hoax perpetrated by a would-be creative consulting group to showcase its talents and abilities. The app does not really allow people to arrange fights. The profiles of potential contenders are fake as is the chat dialogue. And, regardless of where they live, all fighters end up being matched against the “member” called “dudecati’.
The hoax is the work of a group of people that claim to be starting an agency called “von Hughes”. The group owned up to the prank via a website announcement, which notes:
Rumblr started as a portfolio project to help us launch our creative consulting agency, von Hughes. We’re a team of college dropouts with backgrounds in marketing, design, and engineering. Rumblr came about organically as a funny idea amongst a group of friends, but quickly budded into an opportunity to showcase our branding skills. Within a day or two, VentureBeat picked it up as a news story and, within another day or two, it spread to over two hundred news outlets globally. We saw it as an opportunity to show the world our ability to produce a brand and market a product, and that’s what we did. This is our attempt to turn this entire story into something positive. We’ve collectively slept for twenty hours the last three days producing the web application, managing social media marketing efforts, and pursuing news coverage. Rumblr became a relevant topic in multiple countries, cultures, and languages.
We understand that some of you were genuinely looking forward to using an app like Rumblr, and we’re sorry to disappoint. However, if you still are truly wishing to release some built-up angst, consider fighting more pressing issues such as gang violence, domestic abuse, and at-risk youth culture.
The app certainly managed to focus a lot of attention on the group, although by no means all of the attention is positive. At this point, there is little information about the supposed von Hughes venture other than the pages owning up to the hoax. The site home page does include an email address that allows prospective clients to contact the group. It remains to be seen if the hoax will prove to be a successful method of launching the alleged “creative consulting agency”. Or, for that matter, if von Hughes is an actual entity or just part of the joke. Time will tell.
Last updated: November 11, 2015
First published: November 11, 2015
By Brett M. Christensen