A clickbait tactic has been making the rounds on Twitter for over a week now that teases salacious celebrity gossip with a link that leads to a voter-registration page. It’s been used by several popular accounts, from Kathy Griffin threatening to release a voicemail from Trump, to Debra Messing saying she's posing naked. Several accounts even used the news of Arianna Grande and Pete Davidson breaking up to “Rickroll” their followers in the attempt to get people to the registration page. It was a seemingly playful attempt ahead of the Nov. midterm elections, and it was all fun and games until Elle magazine dared to tease that Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, a.k.a. “Kimye,” had broken up.
“So far in the primaries, women have beat longtime incumbents and created historic races, all while redefining what it looks like to be a woman in politics. And now you have the opportunity to vote for them, or whomever you choose, in the midterm elections. No matter your party or your state, it’s more essential than ever to make your voice heard.”
Big pushes to bring people to the polls with election-day enthusiasm doesn’t work if you don’t have people registered and able to vote.
It’s worth noting that activist Ashlee Marie Preston had used the Kimye premise first and amassed over 60,000 retweets, and most of the comments to her post were incredibly positive and encouraging. So, the issue seems to be the trick content coming from a magazine. But does it really matter who the messenger is, as long as the message is received? The only thing Elle really did wrong here was fail to give Preston props on such a genius idea, but in a way, they did by using it. I’m also not offended for Elle readers because I am one, and I’m grateful when a publication brings my attention to something I may have missed. If a person—who has never registered—was so turned off by the insinuation that they were somehow slacking on their responsibility that they then opted to protest by refusing to register and vote, what does that really say about them, anyway? I don’t really care. Register. Then vote.