Arya Toufanian is one half of the addled brain behind I'm Shmacked, a popular video series that documents collegiate party douchebaggery and packages it into 4 minute videos. He also spent his morning throwing a tantrum wherein he threatened a female Business Insider journalist with rape, encouraged harassment of a female Vice Sports editor, and then pretended like it never happened, all over an article that he did not read.
Today's douchey tale started last week, when Business Insider reporter Caroline Moss wrote an amazing piece about a Tweet by an unfamous man named Chris Scott that went viral, and the blatant and high profile joke poaching that ensued. Moss tells Jezebel that after the piece went up, she was curious to see if any other semi-famous to famous Tweeters had been as shameless as some in ripping the joke word for word. And that's how she stumbled on I'm Shmacked, an account with 144K followers that had recently featured the now-famous Oh Hi Becky tweet.
Moss says, "For my own sake (to keep my own story going, duh, this is the biz), I said, 'Oh Hi @ImShmacked (knew nothing about who they were) I wrote a story about you last week,' and linked to my piece.
In return, Toufanian threatened to anally rape her and suggested starting a petition to get her fired. Seriously.
To review: the story that Moss wrote was about Chris Scott's viral tweet and people who ripped it off and attempted to pass it off as their own. Arya Toufanian and I'm Shmacked aren't even mentioned in the story, which according to a source, he didn't read.
But he's not done. Toufanian, who as of about a year ago was on leave from George Washington University, then pulled a Do You Know Who My Daddy Is? and threatened to stop by the Business Insider offices today and.... I don't know, shit his pants until someone hands him his binky? His course of action is unclear.
People defending Moss pointed out that it's probably not cool to call for a woman to be anally raped because she wrote an article about joke stealing. But a torrent of I'm Shmacked devotees, apparently bright eyed and bushy tailed after a morning of social uselessness, began attacking Moss and people who stood up for Moss, like fellow journalist Lindsey Adler, who spent part of her first morning on the job at Vice Sports encouraging her followers to report I'm Shmacked for inciting abuse against Moss, and Mike Byhoff, who works at HLN and screen shotted some of the abuse he received for sticking up for someone. Twitter! Whatta place!
After this went on for some time, Toufanian abruptly changed his tune, deleted the original tweets, and threatened legal action against both Business Insider and Vice (LOL) over the fact that other people who didn't work for either publication had reported both of his accounts (@ImShmacked and @aryatoufanian ) because his Twitter account is an asset and Oh my god I can't even more with this child. What a fucking moron.
Toufanian then changed things up yet a third time, telling Byhoff that he had a point and that yes rape is bad but he didn't mean rape rape he just meant like other rape, the kind it's appropriate to joke-threaten a stranger with and then deleting all of the tweets referencing the incident from both of his accounts. All that exists now is this one half-assed call for restraint and sanity, just hanging out on I'm Shmacked's timeline like the sad flaccid dick of a frat bro who spent all night drinking vodka and red bull.
For those of us who have long ago exited our extended adolescence and wonder why anyone should give a runny shit about what walking case of liver cirrhosis says on Twitter, it's important to know: I'm Shmacked is kind of a big deal. It's the Girls Gone Wild of the post-millennial generation; self-promoting party porn that turns every town it visits into a river of bro barf and future job disqualifiers. On a typical I'm Shmacked weekend, Toufanian and his partner roll into a college town and throw a party to which attendees much purchase tickets (according to an article from last fall, the pair typically sell out 1,000 person venues, but the plan on expanding to 10,000 student venues because they've been selling out of smaller venues). Festivities depicted everything you were probably bored with by the time you were 25 — excessive drug use, drinking to the point of vomiting, exhibitionist girl-on-girl makeouts, etc. The footage is combined with music and then slapped onto YouTube, and voila, tens of thousands of views. And entire campuses of students waiting to top what they saw happen at other schools when I'm Shmacked hits their campus.
Unsurprisingly, it's starting to get dangerous. Here's what happened when I'm Shmacked rolled into Delaware last year,
University of Delaware walked on cars, peed in streets and caused a 'near-riot' that led to a five-year suspension for the men's rugby team.Arrests also followed an I'm Shmacked event in Providence, Rhode Island, four days later.
Because they showcase the wildest of a school's party scene, high school students looking at colleges actually factor I'm Shmacked videos in trying to determine where they'll get their postsecondary education. A high school senior recently told me that I'm Shmacked is more important to her than a college admissions brochure because it showcases what really goes on at a school, and that she can't help getting excited watching the videos and looking forward to the promise of unsupervised fun that awaits her when she finally goes off to college. And, thanks to the easily sharable content, its influence over the college decision process increases with every share.
I'm Shmacked has a small but growing lump of funding from a New York advertising agency, as well as partnerships with Prime Social Group in Ohio and Wantickets in LA, entities that, if they're smart, might reconsider their relationship with a budding Joe Francis or risk being taken down in the inevitable self-inflicted crash and burn that awaits.
Arya Toufanian might fancy himself to be a powerful entity capable of taking down Business Insider and Vice because the fallout of interactions he had with their writers hurt his feelings. But, to quote a much smarter mean girl: You want to fuck with the eagles, you have to learn to fly.