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Mogulgeddon: Alan Sugar and Donald Trump compete to be most childish tycoon on the internet

It's mogul v mogul on the highways of the internets.

Donald Trump v Alan Sugar: whoever wins, we lose

Storified by Alex Hern · Fri, Dec 07 2012 03:20:14

Thanks to Edinburgh Eye for pointing out this lovely little squabble. 
Donald Trump really likes the £100m golf course he built in Aberdeen. The Scottish Government really likes the idea of building an offshore windfarm within sight of that golf course. Donald Trump really doesn't like that idea:
How can George Osborne reduce UK debt while spending billions to subsidize Scotland’s garbage wind turbines that are destroying the country?Donald J. Trump
You’re all wrong—check the facts! UK is massively subsidizing Scotland’s wind turbines & the people don’t want them.Donald J. Trump
Player 2 has entered the game:
@realDonaldTrump RT Scottish don't want wind turbines........I think you have that wrong . The Scottish don't want you !Lord Sugar
.@Lord_Sugar If you think ugly windmills are good for Scotland you are an even worse businessman than I thought...Donald J. Trump
... and, in my opinion, should not be doing The Apprentice.Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump RT: in my opinion you should not be doing the apprentice........well you have NO SAY in that. The British like me not youLord Sugar
(Both of these things are basically true.)
@realDonaldTrump the ugly windmills will bring more revenue and green power to Scotland than your golf projectLord Sugar
(Tricky one to fact check, this. Not only do we not have the internal projections for Trump's golf course, but there's also debate over how much revenue the course will bring to Scotland, and how much will be withdrawn from the country back to Trump's US bank accounts. Less confusion over which will bring more green power, though.)
Sugar: @Lord_Sugar—unlike you, I own The Apprentice. You were never successful enough...Donald J. Trump
.... to do The Apprentice but I approved you anyway. Without my show you’d be nothing!Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump you approved me! What a load of rubbish dream on You don't own apprentice Mark Burnett does. Shut up and argue with ObamaLord Sugar
(The balance of power is obviously a bit uncertain, but given Trump tried to quit in 2007 and NBC were happy to continue without him, I'm gonna give a point to Sugar on this one)
@realDonaldTrump success is measured with what you have in business.I own all my real estate with no bank borrowing how about you big shot?Lord Sugar
(Trump's business empire is built on a lot of debt, which occasionally leads to bankruptcies in his subsidiaries. Trump himself is notoriously touchy about this, even going so far as to – unsuccessfully – sue for libel an author who estimated his net worth at just $250m.)
@realDonaldTrump you only have 1.9m followers with 350m population in the US does that reflect your popularity?Lord Sugar
(0.6% of the US follows Donald Trump on Twitter, but 4% of the UK follows Lord Sugar. Do those figures depress you too?)
Sugar: @Lord_Sugar--Keep working hard so I make plenty of $ with your show...Donald J. Trump
...You have little persona, but The Apprentice concept is great and lucky for you!Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump RT: you have little persona .......in England we say the pot calling the kettle black . You have had a charisma bypassLord Sugar
PLAYER 3 HAS ENTERED THE GAME
Hahaha, LOVE this > RT @realDonaldTrump: Sugar: @Lord_Sugar—unlike you, I own The Apprentice. You were never successful enough...Piers Morgan
@piersmorgan trump owns the apprentice hah hah just like I own Arsenal . Or to put it another way like you are the biggest star on US TVLord Sugar
Don't wish to interfere obviously @realDonaldTrump - but it may be time to fire @Lord_Sugar from YOUR show for his impertinence?Piers Morgan
@piersmorgan @realdonaldtrump RT: time for you to fire him from your show.......let's see if the big shot can stop me doing the apprenticeLord Sugar
@piersmorgan @Lord_Sugar I easily could but as long as Sugar is making me money (it's my show) I won't--unlike Sugar, I'm not stupid!Donald J. Trump
It's 'Piers' and 'relevant' > RT @jackbob_jimmy @piersmorgan @realDonaldTrump @Lord_Sugar Shut up pears as if you know anything #NotReleventPiers Morgan
@piersmorgan @jackbob_jimmy @realdonaldtrump the bloke called you Pears due o the shape of your bumLord Sugar
When I made the Apprentice the #1 show in the US, that was a good day for you...Donald J. Trump
... and many others. Drop to your knees, Sugar, and say thank you, Mr. Trump.Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump @piersmorgan you are full of sh.. Trump you have no power over the UK apprentice, just like the Scottish people .Lord Sugar
(I'm not sure whether Sugar is arguing that Trump has no power over the Scottish people, or the Scottish people have no power over the UK apprentice. Either way, I guess he's right?)
Greatest tweet of all time... hahahahahahahaha > @realDonaldTrump: Drop to your knees, Sugar, and say thank you, Mr. Trump.Piers Morgan
@piersmorgan @realdonaldtrump the only one who drops to his knees is Morgan he kisses ar... I trained him how to win your celeb showLord Sugar
(There isn't enough information available to fact check this claim)
Dopey @Lord_Sugar—Look in the mirror and thank the real Lord that Donald Trump exists. You are nothing!Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump donny did u know @piersmorgan called me before he won yr show.I told him how to win by massaging your fat ego. It worked !Lord Sugar
@realDonaldTrump you only have 1.9 m followers not good for your ego how comes I have 2.5m and you have 6 times more population than UKLord Sugar
(Sugar's just rubbing it in now)
@realDonaldTrump did I miss your reply if you have bank debt on your real estate . Do any American followers know about Trumps financials ?Lord Sugar
@Lord_Sugar @piersmorgan Sugar, if you taught Piers Morgan he never would have won!Donald J. Trump
Sugar @Lord_Sugar—you should say thank you, Donald, like a good little boy... ...Donald J. Trump
...instead of biting the hand that feeds you! Don’t bother, just keep making me money!Donald J. Trump
Exactly! > RT @realDonaldTrump: @Lord_Sugar @piersmorgan Sugar, if you taught Piers Morgan he never would have won!Piers Morgan
@piersmorgan @realdonaldtrump RT: exactly ........shut up PinocchioLord Sugar
(I can't work out what the below tweet is a reply to. I think Trump may be shadow-boxing again)
@piersmorgan @Lord_Sugar No, his ignorance!Donald J. Trump
@realDonaldTrump thank you for allowing the UK audience to form a comparison between me and you . YOU LOST ask them who is better at itLord Sugar
And Sugar leaves with a final boot in Trump's side:
@realDonaldTrump @piersmorgan I might be ignorant as I must have missed your reply if you have bank debt on the real estate they own.Lord Sugar

Alex Hern is a technology reporter for the Guardian. He was formerly staff writer at the New Statesman. You should follow Alex on Twitter.

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The mother lode: how mums became the ultimate viral fodder

The internet’s favourite joke used to be "your mum". Now it's "my mum".

“I was like: oh my.”

Terri Squires is describing her reaction to the news that she had gone viral. Last month, more than 213,000 people shared a tweet about Terri – but it wasn’t sent from her account. The 50-year-old Ohioan was propelled to internet stardom by her son, Jeff, who had tweeted about his mother.

“I didn’t really realise what it meant at first until he was like: ‘Mum, you do realise that millions of people have looked at this?’ … When I started seeing those numbers I was like: ‘Oh boy’.”

It’s a funny story – and Terri laughs heartily all she tells it. After coming out of a meeting, she checked her phone and noticed a picture of a missing – white – dog on Facebook. She quickly texted 17-year-old Jeff to check that the family dog, Duey, was safe. “That’s not Duey… Duey’s face is brown,” replied her son. “OK – just checking,” replied Terri.

More than 600,000 people “liked” Terri’s mistake after Jeff shared screenshots of the text message exchange on Twitter. But Terri is just one of hundreds of mums who have gone viral via their sons and daughters. Texts mums send, mistakes they make, things they fail to notice – these have all become the ultimate viral fodder.

In the last three months alone, Gerald’s mum went viral for a microphone mishap, Adam’s mum shot to Twitter fame for failing to understand WhatsApp, Lois’ mum got tricked by her daughter, Harry’s mum was hit in the head with a football, Hanna’s mum misunderstood a hairstyle, and Jake’s mum failed to notice her son had swapped a photo in her home for a portrait of Kim Jong-un.

But how do the mothers behind these viral tweets feel?

“I'm pretty much a mum that everybody wants to talk to these days,” says Terri, with another warm laugh. The mum of three says going viral “is not that big of a deal” to her, but she is happy that her son can enjoy being a “local superstar”. But is she embarrassed at being the punchline of Jeff’s joke?

“Believe me, I have thick skin,” she says. “I kinda look at what it is, and it’s actually him and his fame. I’m just the mum behind it, the butt of the joke, but I don't mind.”

Not all mums feel the same. A handful of similar viral tweets have since been deleted, indicating the mothers featured in them weren’t best pleased. A few people I reach out to haven’t actually told their mums that they’re the subject of viral tweets, and other mums simply don’t want any more attention.

“I think I’ve put my mum through enough with that tweet already,” says Jacko, when I ask if his mum would be willing to be interviewed. In 2014, Jacko tweeted out a picture of his family writing the word “cock” in the air with sparklers. “This is still my favourite ever family photo,” he captioned the tweet, “My mum did the ‘O’. We told her we were going to write ‘Love’.”

“No one ever expects to call home and say ‘Mum, have you heard of something called LADbible? No, you shouldn’t have, it’s just that a quarter of a million of its fans have just liked a photo of you writing the word ‘cock’ with a sparkler’,” Jacko explains.

Although Jacko feels his mum’s been through enough with the tweet, he does say she was “ace” about her new found fame. “She’s probably cooler about it all than I am”. Apart from the odd deletion, then, it seems most mums are happy to become viral Twitter stars.

Yet why are mums so mocked and maligned in this way? Although dads are often the subject of viral tweets, this is usually because of jokes the dads themselves make (here’s the most notable example from this week). Mums, on the other hand, tend to be mocked for doing something “wrong” (though there are obviously a few examples of them going viral for their clever and cunning). On the whole: dads make jokes, mums are the butt of them.

“We all think our mums are so clueless, you know. They don’t know what’s going on. And the fun thing is, one day we come to realise that they knew way more of what was going on than we thought,” says Patricia Wood, a 56-year-old mum from Texas. “People always kind of make fun of their mums, but love them.”

Last year, Patricia went viral when her daughter Christina tweeted out screenshots of her mum’s Facebook posts. In them, Patricia had forgotten the names of Christina’s friends and had candidly written Facebook captions like: “My gorgeous daughter and her date for formal, sorry I forgot his name”. Christina captioned her tweet “I really can't with my mom” and went on to get more than 1,000 likes.

“I felt, like, wow, it was like we’re famous, you know. I thought it was really cool,” says Patricia, of going viral. Her experiences have been largely positive, and as a part-time Uber driver she enjoys telling her customers about the tweet. “But I did have one bad experience,” she explains. A drunken passenger in her car saw the tweet and called Patricia an “asshole”.

Another aspect of viral fame also worried Patricia. She and her daughter were invited on a reality show, TD Jakes, with the production company offering to pay for flights and hotels for the pair. “I have too many skeletons in my closet and I didn't want them to come dancing out,” says Patricia, of her decision not to go. “By the time I got off it, it would be the Jerry Springer show, you know. I’m kind of a strange bird.”

On the whole, then, mothers are often amused by going viral via their offspring – and perhaps this is the real beauty of tweeting about our mums. Since the moment they earn the title, mums can’t afford to be fragile. There is a joy and relatability in “my mum” tweets – because really, the mum in question could be anyone’s. Still, from now on, mums might be more careful about what they tell their sons and daughters.

“When I send Jeff a text now I make sure I’m like: ‘Is my spelling correct? Is what I’m saying grammatically correct?’,” says Terri, “Because who knows where the words are gonna end up?”

Amelia Tait is a technology and digital culture writer at the New Statesman.