Smartphone app encourages drinking, join the fun….
Imagine a smart phone application that promots overconsumption. The more you drink, the more games and activities offered by the application. You can dial drunk strangers who also have the app.
You can see where other drunk people are near you, and even how drunk they are. Just plug in your handy breathalyzer into a smartphone, breath on it and join the fun!
Two actors playing techies by the names of Avery Platz and Kyle Addison designed and promoted just such an app, which was picked up by several news outlets. Gizmodo reporter Brian Barrett revealed one of the creators’ identities earlier Friday, confirming thatLivr, the fictitious app that promotes drinking is, in fact, a hoax.
Platz is actually Matt Mayer, a comedian at the Upright Citizens Brigade Theater, a comedy club in New York, according to both Barrett and Mayer’s Facebook page. Barrett writes that he met Mayer while also performing at the UCB years ago, but that he was not tipped off by Mayer about Livr being a prank.
A UCB spokesperson said the theater had no knowledge of Livr. Mayer did not respond to a Facebook message.
Mayer, and his co-founder, whose real name is unknown, produced a promotional video and built a website, Instragram page and claim to have trademarked “LIVR” and the “Drunk Dial” option in the app. Someone at the Livr email account (firstname.lastname@example.org) responded to our interview request, inquiring about the questions that would be asked.
No one responded when we sent questions regarding Livr’s authenticity and the writer of the initial email did not identify him or herself.
Why the pair went to the trouble of making such an elaborate front is not entirely clear, nor is the reason behind the app’s idea of promoting drunk behavior. How the well-produced video was funded is also a mystery.
But many media outlets bought it. The Daily Mail in the UK, the Daily Dot, Elite Daily and the Next Web all published stories on Livr as if it were legitimate.
The WNYC program “On the Media,” published a review of Livr, then updated its story, citing the Gizmodo article.
Beware angel investors at SXSW: Platz says in the video he’s going to the Austin conference to look for funds. And Livr’s Instagram page posted this photo below of a “test blow” at The Ginger Man bar in Austin. Cheers, gents.