Delta Chi Fraternity took over Twitter with #DKGoldRush, using their Gold Rush hashtag a total of 56,210 times to win this year’s Twitter Takeover competition.
Tribe Basketball ran the promotion that gave student organizations a chance to win VIP stage seating as well as free food and drinks for the Gold Rush basketball game on Feb. 6. To enter the competition, student organizations had to submit a hashtag by Jan. 27 and were supposed to tweet as frequently as possible using that hashtag until Feb. 4. Thousands of tweets with hashtags, like the Senior Class Gift’s #GoldRushSCG or Alpha Kappa Psi Fraternity’s #GoldRushAKPsi, took over Twitter.
The winning organization was the Delta Chi Fraternity with the hashtag #DXGoldRush, which was used 56,210 times. In second place was Alpha Kappa Psi with 46,219 tweets, and in third place, the Pi Beta Phi Sorority with the hashtag #PiPhiGOLDRUSH and 34,447 tweets. Some people even made multiple Twitter accounts to promote their organizations.
“I saw that several people made multiple accounts to win,” Lauterbach said in an email. “I definitely retweeted from those accounts, but I didn’t make a second account myself. It just seemed a little bit like cheating to me.”
“My organization, Alpha Kappa Psi, began the competition on the first night with our hashtag,” Natalie Walter ’18 said. “We had a few very passionate team members make multiple accounts and tweet up to 1,000 or 2,000 tweets a night on their own.”
Some students like Stephanie Lauterbach ’18, however, thought it was unfair that some students made multiple Twitter accounts.
“I saw that several people made multiple accounts to win,” Lauterbach said in an email. “I definitely retweeted from those accounts, but I didn’t make a second account myself. It just seemed a little bit like cheating to me. The organizations should win because most of their members are tweeting, not because people are making multiple accounts and boosting numbers.”
Lauterbach and others tweeted for multiple organizations. Lauterbach frequently used the hashtag for the Senior Class Gift and Gamma Phi Beta sorority with its hashtag #GPhiGoldRush.
“I first heard about the competition from my sorority at chapter meeting where we discussed our hashtag and were encouraged to participate,” Lauterbach said. “It would be a great experience to be able to enjoy the game from the stage with all of my sisters, and I’m a pretty avid tweeter, so I was excited to do my part to help us win. However, once the first round of standings came out and it was clear that we were really behind the leaders, I decided to throw in for the Senior Class Gift hashtag too.”
“I am a little upset about the results of the competition because my sisters and I worked very hard, came up with original material, and tweeted and retweeted all of our own tweets while the winners of the competition used a third party app to tweet the last almost 50,000 of their tweets for them,” Hynes said.
The Gold Rush Twitter competition began last year. In the past, the organizers of the senior class gift used to reserve the stage seats. Now, however, different organizations will be able to reserve the stage seats for later games, including the senior class.
Other organizations with registered hashtags were the Kappa Kappa Gamma Sorority, the Alpha Chi Omega Sorority, the Delta Phi Fraternity, TribeThon, the Taiwanese American Student Association and ESSENCE Women of Color.
Some, like Pi Beta Phi member Emily Hynes ’19, were upset when the results were announced, because the winning organization has been rumored to have used an automated account to tweet their hashtag.
“I am a little upset about the results of the competition because my sisters and I worked very hard, came up with original material, and tweeted and retweeted all of our own tweets while the winners of the competition used a third party app to tweet the last almost 50,000 of their tweets for them,” Hynes said. “However, my sisters and I still went to the game together and reserved a section of seats for ourselves and had a good time cheering on our team together.”
It is not clear that Delta Chi used automated accounts. There are some Twitter accounts, like @lostnfoundchair which sent 626 tweets from one day for Delta Chi, but there is no evidence the account was automated. Members of Delta Chi could not be reached for comment since Sunday.
Gamma Phi Beta member Heidi Crockett ’16 thought that while using an automated account might be unfair, the competition succeeded in bringing awareness to the Gold Rush basketball game.
“I think it’s amazing how many people the game draws in just in general and I think the competition plays a major role in that,” Crockett said in an email. “I do think it’s unfair if people chose the automated account route, some people put their blood, sweat, tears, and wit into tweets while others just had an automated system sending tweets. That doesn’t seem fair at all. I have a bit of fear of missing out about not being on the platform to watch the game, but that being said the awareness that the competition brings about the game and Tribe basketball in general is phenomenal.”