Q&A: Can This Half an Onion in a Bag Get More Twitter Followers Than Donald Trump?

It has 614,000 in less than a week

It started out as a ludicrous proposition in a simple, goofy tweet. Would Americans embrace a new and nefarious way of annoying numbers-obsessed president Donald Trump—by following half an onion in a plastic bag on Twitter until it has more followers than him?

It’s been six days since that tweet, and Half an Onion has already gotten a pretty staggering response. It’s up to 614,000 followers as of this writing—far short of Trump’s 22.2 million, but impressive for an otherwise undistinguished piece of produce.

Its 43 tweets so far have been all comedy, tweaking Trump on everything from his tax returns to his cabinet to his allegedly tiny hands.

Suspecting the anonymous creator of Half an Onion might work in the creative industries, we reached out to them over email. They replied that, yes, they work in the “digital space,” run their own site and have “a pretty decent social media following.”

Beyond that, they want to remain anonymous, at least for now. But they were willing to answer some other questions from AdFreak, as you can see below.

AdFreak: Where did you get this idea, and why half an onion?
Half an Onion: Honestly, the idea came out of complete and total frustration. I very stupidly turned on my TV on Inauguration Day and was, well … disgusted, I guess is the best word. Don’t get me wrong, I was disgusted long before, but I think for myself, and a lot of other people, it suddenly felt more real than it has so far. I wanted to make a statement of some sort then and there, and decided, Why not do it on Trump’s favorite platform?

As far as why the half an onion goes, I’ve worked in the digital space for a long time now and thought briefly about what makes the Internet tick, and a combination of topical content, humor and complete randomness seemed like a good call. So, I looked around my home to try to find the most random item I could put head to head with Trump, and when I opened my fridge and saw that pathetic half onion in a bag (that I since have been told multiple times was cut wrong, making it even more pathetic), I knew I had a winner.

At this point, you’ve collected 614,000 followers in five days. That’s a lot more than any portion of an onion could hope for. Do you think you can catch Trump, and how angry do you think he would be if you did? Would he hate-tweet at you?
There’s still a long way to go. I honestly never thought it would get this big. But if we could all do this, come together, build this following, and pass Trump, it would be interesting to see what could happen. I look forward to him calling a press conference because of it. That would be the greatest thing in the world and so completely ridiculous. The fact that we’re even discussing that that could even be an option just kind of shows you the kind of person we’re dealing with here. But if it got that far … oh, we’ll see. It’s got a very long way to go.

Can you tell us anything more about yourself?
At the moment, I’m choosing to remain anonymous. I like letting the half onion in a bag do its thing for the time being. But I won’t remain anonymous forever. I’ve worked in the digital space for quite some time now. I run my own site and have a pretty decent social media following. I guess one thing other thing I can tell you is that this wasn’t some publicity stunt by a large company or an attempt at making something go viral for free advertising. This was all done genuinely, out of combination of frustration and fun.

Your tweets are amusing. Is comedy a worthy form of resistance to Trump?
Oh, absolutely. The man cannot handle a joke. That’s a part of the reason people are jumping on board with this.

Do you have other plans for the account, given that you’ve very suddenly collected a very large audience?
Well, it’s all happened so fast that I have to admit it’s a bit overwhelming. But I do have some ideas brewing. That being said, I don’t know how much longer people will care about it. I know how these things operate, but I would love if any charities or organizations wanted to reach out and we could come up with a way to work together. I’d be all for it. I think a lot of the people who follow me for the humor would be up for me doing a bit of good as well.