WHAT IT REALLY IS
JUNE 26TH, 2020
You’re probably wondering what this is. Well, it started off as just what it is.
A group of us changed our Twitter names to include 👁👄👁" because we thought it was a funny trend from TikTok. People started noticing the change on their timelines, noting the creepiness of the emojis in particular. For a brief period of time, everyone who added the emojis to their name was added to a giant Twitter group conversation. From there, things unfolded.
What started out as a meme in our small group chat grew bigger than we ever imagined. So we thought about how to make use of the hype cycle we’d stumbled upon. But honestly, we didn’t have to think too hard: in this moment, there’s pretty much no greater issue to amplify than the systemic racism and anti-Blackness much of the world is only beginning to wake up to. We’re excited that we could use our newfound platform to drive action towards a few causes that are doing important work towards racial justice: Loveland Foundation Therapy Fund,The Okra Project,The Innocence Project, and others.
We’ve done pretty well for a non-existent product. 👁👄👁.fm was the top product of the day on Product Hunt (Theranos who?). The website accumulated 20,000 email signups and thousands of tweets sharing the link. We were covered in The Independent and Forbes. We got shoutouts from Josh Constine and Brianne Kimmel. Some folks on Reddit puzzled over who we were. Andrew Chen of Andreessen Horowitz, Shannon Purser of Stranger Things, and Elon Musk may have subtweeted us? The @itiseyemoutheye Twitter and accounts of our teammates were inundated with invite requests. Most importantly, we raised over $65,000 in donations from people who signed up for our email list. Two anonymous donors have agreed to match the first $60,000 and $75,000, bringing the total to $200,000. We would love to work with anyone else who wants to match. Please DM us!In a strange way, this sort of became an anti-statement against what we’d all seen on tech Twitter. We’re a diverse, ragtag group of young technologists tired of the status quo tech industry, and thought that we could make the industry think a bit more about its actions. Despite calls-to-action like that “It’s Time to Build” essay we’ve all read, most of the industry (from product teams to VC) still stays obsessed with exclusive social apps that regularly ignore — or even silence — real needs faced by marginalized people all over the world, and exclude these folks from the building process. As an industry, we need to do better.
We sincerely thank you for spreading the word and donating to these important causes. In conclusion, it is what it is: a meme that leveraged the relentless hype of exclusive apps and redirected it towards a critical social need. Thank you, and remember that unlike 👁👄👁, #BlackLivesMatter and other social movements aren't trends or hype cycles. Let’s keep giving back as best as we can.
We do have merch though.
All proceeds are donated to organizations that support Black lives.