TThe account’s bio line now reads, “I do not condone stealing. This was a joke.” The problem with parody, however, is that it has to be clear it’s parody—the premise has to be just ludicrous enough that a reasonable person would understand the author isn’t meant to be taken seriously.
In 1729, Jonathan Swift (who is generally regarded as one of the English literary canon’s finest satirists) deadpanned that the best solution for poverty in Ireland was to fatten starving children to be sold as food. It caused a sensation back then, of course, but the sensation also brought attention to the social issue at the heart of Swift’s complaints (it’s also made clear later in the text that the entire work, A Modest Theft, is satire). oday, it’s a viral TikTok in which a man offers up a “travel hack,” and films himself buying snacks from a hotel front desk. He gives his room number for the charges, then walks away and explains, ostensibly out of earshot of the employee, that he’s given a different room number than the room he’s actually registered in.
Of course, the more accurate word for that is theft, and a number of commenters on TikTok and the media outlets that shared the video noted that. Some commenters also noted that the previous videos shared on the TikTok were clearly parodies. The “hotel hack” video has over seven million views, while the previous record was 25,000 for that account.