Well folks, it seems TikTok-ing teens just couldn't wait for Seth MacFarlane's Revenge of the Nerds reboot to hit theaters, giving the '80s classic its own guerrilla, zoomer reimagining, digitally taking down frat bros on the new social networking platform. Their weapon of choice in this noble pursuit? Good ol' cybersquatting.
It all started last year, when a 21-year-old TikToker named Zoe decided to change her username to @sigmaphiepsilon, a.k.a, Sigma Phi Epsilon, a popular fraternity noted for its size, reputable alumni, including John Goodman and Dr. Suess, and well, several seriously alarming controversies involving hazing, extremely racist gestures, and even a student's death. Yikes.
Soon after Zoe's adoption of the fraternal username, some chapter members discovered the unrelated, albeit eponymous TikTok account, flocking to the comments of her mostly fashion-related videos, urging her to change her username, Jezebel reported. Yet in these desprate requests, Zoey saw a golden opportunity to make a quick buck in this terrible economy.
"Hi, I've discovered that a lot of people don't know this, but if you don't know it, my username is a fraternity," she explained in a video reply to a comment from a user aptly named @hennyfinger asking her to "please" give up the digital moniker. "This person is from that fraternity and wants me to change my username and I'm down to do that, uh, if you pay me. Uh, so yeah. I'm gonna leave my Venmo, and you can DM me, and we can work out prices and you can have the username!"
Someone clearly paid attention in economics. However, it seems @hennyfinger's polite plea royally backfired, with several of the video's 1.2 million viewers following in Zoe's entrepreneurial, albeit legally gray footsteps, changing their usernames to those of popular fraternities and sororities (#genderequality), including Alpha Sigma Kappa, Phi Beta Phi, and Phi Delta Phi. To the likely disappointment of Lewis Skolnick and Arnold Poindexter, it seems the Alpha Betas have not yet had their TikTok brand identities compromised.
Although Zoe maintains that her username was not, in fact an act of cybersquatting, citing her lack of malicious intent ...
... she says she ultimately changed her username to @in.my.dreamland, out of fear of having her account deleted for donning the fraternity's copyrighted name.
While she no longer holds the frat bro title, her "cult of girls with frat names" lives on, with several teens still embracing her entrepreneurial, spirit. So folks, remember -- even TikTok-ing zoomers can be venture capitalists. To quote drug dealing Brad Bodnick from The Wolf of Wall Street, "supply and demand my friends." Supply and demand.