UK asks for boat name, Internet overwhelmingly responds: Boaty McBoatface

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Internet Votes to Name Research Ship 'Boaty McBoatface'

There's few rules on the Internet, but I think we can all agree on this one: Never put things to a public online vote.

The Natural Environment Research Council is learning that lesson, but it could be a lot worse.

The NERC, which is an independent environmental science organization in the United Kingdom, is in the process of building a new $300 million Antarctic survey vessel.

Boat needs a name, right? Why not put it to a public vote, yea?

Well, the public is voting overwhelmingly to name the ship "Boaty McBoatface."

Now, in the grand scheme of Internet shenanigans, "Boaty McBoatface" is not really that bad. In this writer's opinion, it's actually pretty great. After all, this is the same Internet that responded to a promotion to name a new flavor of Mountain Dew with "Hitler did nothing wrong" and "Fapple."

Other examples of Internet votes gone horribly wrong include a promotion that ended up sending the entertainer Pitbull to a Walmart in Alaska.

Thus far, Boaty McBoatface has a commanding lead with more than 21,000 votes. It's next closest competitor, "Henry Worsley," an explorer and former British army officer who died in January during an attempt to become the first person to cross Antartica unaided, has a little more than 2,700 votes.

The vote has spurred a hashtag — #BoatyMcBoatface of course — and even caused intermittent outages for its website.

The closing date for entries is April 16. The boat is scheduled to set sail in 2019.


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