Casper, Wyoming—Percy Bliss University announced today that it has built up the largest nonexistent virtual following of any college or university worldwide.
“Through aggressive campaigning, investment in online identity packages, and viral marketing, Percy Bliss has amassed a following of over 500,000 fake fans and friends, a historical world record for higher education,” announced President Ryan Falshivy at a press conference. “One million is not out of sight for Percy Bliss. Nothing is.”
Competing universities responded with a flurry of communications.
“We urge all staff and students,” read an urgent email from the Verdunkt College administration, “to acquire at least three online identities today and use each of them to like and follow us. It is our responsibility, as members of the Verdunkt community, to raise our statistics in the eyes of the world.”
An anonymous professor at a naive old-fashioned college asked whether Percy Bliss’s tactics might not be working against its reputation. “Fake followers mean nothing,” she noted, “except that someone’s putting an awful lot of time and money into acquiring them.”
“That’s exactly what counts,” retorted Selene Spiegel, director of development at Percy Bliss. “We have to wow the world with our tactics, the more brazen the better. You see,” she continued, sipping her celebratory champagne, “when I came on board, I had qualms about that very thing. I added a few imaginary followers and thought I was doing something wrong. Little by little I found out that everyone was doing it. Then I realized that it had to be our first priority, our institutional brand. I promised that we would obtain 100,000 fake followers by the end of six months. We doubled that figure. And now just look at where we are.”
One of the great advantages of fakery, explained President Falshivy, is that “bit by bit, it starts to replace the real. The less physical stuff we have to deal with, the higher our reputation rises, especially if we fabricate our fans.” He envisions a future where students, buildings, and staff will be nonexistent. “We’ll be super-popular, yet no one will walk down our corridors or traverse our lawns, because there will be none.” He chuckled. “That’ll teach colleges like Gilliam & Sherry, or whatever they’re called, with all their pretty brick buildings and monthly bills. Do you know how many ‘likes’ they have on their Facebook page? Last I checked, it was 31,000. Ha ha ha! They think they can make it with a number like that? And if you think that’s bad, check out their Twitter followers. They haven’t even reached 9,000 yet!” He doubled over laughing. “Excuse me, but that was just too funny. All that brick, and not even 9,000 followers!”
To push forward toward its goal of one million followers, Percy Bliss has launched a series of advertisements. One shows two teenagers walking scornfully through a traditional campus. “Real college is dumb,” says the boy to the girl. “I can send my avatar to school and spend all day doing whatever I want.” Another shows two executives facing off in a boardroom. One of the two opens up his briefcase. The other tosses her hair and displays her Twitter statistics on the screen, causing the first one to faint. Both commercials end with the slogan, “Percy Bliss. Because we pump the numbers.”
None of the fake followers could be reached for comment.