For months now, We Rate Dogs on Twitter has been an oasis in a world of nonsense and bickering.
Need a break from life? There’s nothing a dog can’t do.
thank you for another incredible corgi beach day pic.twitter.com/9izliiwW2M
— WeRateDogs™🏳️🌈 (@dog_rates) June 23, 2018
So it’s distressing to the nth degree that We Rate Dogs became its own battleground this week after it was revealed that it changes the names of dogs to “common old man” names (translation: white).
The practice was exposed by a woman who recognized that “George” wasn’t George at all. It’s Kanan.
— Mary Wagner (@marybwagner) June 25, 2018
For her disclosure, Wagner was blocked by We Rate Dogs.
“That post worked better with a simple name, more specifically something monosyllabic,” Matt Nelson, who runs the account, told CNET. “The ‘This is ____’ introduction had to be as blunt as possible for the remainder of the tweet to work. This is just something I’ve learned over the years running the account. George seemed like a good name, and I’ve learned that people really enjoy common ‘old man’ names that contrast a pic of an adorable puppy.”
Do they? Because?
“You’re more likely to engage and interact with a post when a dog shares a name with your own or you’ve encountered a dog with that name. Sometimes I change the name because it’s too common,” Nelson said.
Engage? It’s a picture of a dog. Do you pet your monitor? Do people really not like dogs because of their name?
Look into Mustafa’s eyes and tell me that.
We only rate dogs. Please don’t send us Oreo Ice Cream. This is not complicated. Thank you… 14/10 pic.twitter.com/R2JIXFx7vV
— WeRateDogs™🏳️🌈 (@dog_rates) June 20, 2018
Oreo? Mustafa? Iceberg. Goldberg.
Nelson says he’s not going to change names anymore.
George’s owner — Kanan’s owner — says “People just don’t know how to enjoy anything anymore.”