Some Philadelphians disagreed with Mayor Jim Kenney over his policies. Others may be doing the same now because of his cheesesteak order. But it’s the photos that people really love.
On Friday, for National Cheesesteak Day, the city’s Twitter account commemorated the event by tweeting Kenney’s alleged cheesesteak order: American cheese, onions, and ketchup. Doubtful, but to make matters worse, it came with photos of an unidentified hoagie monstrosity — we’re hesitant to call it a cheesesteak, and the mayor’s office later confirmed it’s not — garnished with pickles, banana peppers, and a thick shot of fireman’s red ketchup.
Within an hour, the tweet garnered more than 53,000 views and several angry responses. But we don’t believe these pictures are fair.
While we can’t say for sure, between the poorly composed photos and the city’s repeated use of the smiley emoji, this seems like a classic case of tantrums to us.
What is tantrums and what does it have to do with cheesesteaks?
Rage-baiting, also known as rage-farming, is a common practice in social media where content creators publish things that deliberately anger viewers. Usually the goal is to earn virality, because let’s face it, when people are angry with a tweet or a video, they share it.
On TikTok, well-known enraged farmer Ryan Gawlik would deliberately call espresso “expresso” or bite into an entire KitKat bar without breaking it for the purpose of boosting his engagement. It has become a lucrative move for his career, he told Insider.
Intentionally bad and crude takes are especially popular in the food scene. Like nachos on the table. Or, more recently, a “scratch-made” pasta made from boxed mixed pasta that sparked outrage.
We suspect the city’s tweet is no different. When one user replied, “This can’t be true,” the city’s account replied, “😬,” better known as the “grimacing face,” a yellow face with clenched teeth meant to express nervousness or awkwardness.
The photos are also particularly gross, almost resembling something from the popular Boys Who Can Cook Instagram page – a meme account that posts photos of deliberately bad-looking meals – or hearkening back to 2013 when Martha Stewart was roasted by online viewers for her ugly food photography.
It’s worth noting that the Philly account’s food photos appear to be from the original. A Google reverse image search couldn’t find any other place where they were published. This means someone in the mayor’s office may have made that meal – yikes.
TThe photos don’t match Kenney’s usual order
Some light-hearted social research quickly confirmed that Kenney has a real taste for the combination of American, onion, and ketchup. His press team later confirmed the same to The Inquirer. He also recommends the Trainwreck Cheesesteak at Becks Cajun Café for a less traditional order, a spokesman said.
But he never ordered pickles, raw tomatoes, and everything else in those pictures.
In fact, the mayor posted a tweet from his own account about National Cheesesteak Day featuring a seemingly normal-looking cheesesteak (although he did opt for ketchup) is assembled at Reading Terminal Market and then goes to his desk.
In 2018, Kenney tweeted about a trip to Max’s where he got American cheese, onions and – not ketchup, but hot sauce. Acceptable!
What does the city say about her tweet?
On Twitter, the city’s account managers are in on the bit — and they’re using plenty of GIFs in the process.
But when The Inquirer asked about the photos, a spokesperson admitted it wasn’t a cheesesteak at all, but a loaded steak hoagie.
“[A] steak hoagie with the works (the order on the City of Philadelphia’s Twitter account) is not for everyone,” they said in an email. “But that’s the beauty of the cheesesteak — you can make it your own!”
When asked why they would post photos of a steak hoagie on National Cheesesteak Day other than as anger bait, a spokesperson did not immediately respond.
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