Meet the Young Man Who is Ruining @Horse_ebooks

The Annotated @Horse_ebooks: scholarly or blasphemous?

(Photo: Twitter)

“The purpose of this blog is to provide sourcing for texts quoted by @Horse_ebooks and, whenever possible, provide context,” wrote freelancer Jack Stuef on a freshly-minted Tumblr conceived in the bleary midnight hours early Friday morning. Born out of that insomniac haze is “The Annotated @Horse_ebooks,” a blog devoted to teasing out nuance and substance from the glorious fountain of non-sequitors that is the Internet’s favorite Twitter account, @Horse_ebooks.

“The idea to do a Tumblr just came to me, but I had looked up some of Horse’s tweets before, and sometimes the sources of those can be just as bizarre and hilarious as the tweets themselves. Or they can be incredibly dull. I thought it was interesting,” Mr. Stuef, who frequently writes for The Onion and BuzzFeed, told Betabeat via Gchat.

Since the blog has only been live for less than 12 hours, Mr. Stuef has only had time to annotate a handful of @Horse_ebooks tweets, but they’re all from some pretty obscure sources. The first tweet came from a U.S. patent office report from 1987; another from a 1914 book called Photoplay.

How do you find this stuff? Do you just Google it? we wondered.

“Yeah, basically,” replied Mr. Stuef. Easy enough, we suppose.

“I was considering immediately abandoning it, but the Internet seems to like it, so I guess I’ll keep going until we all get sick of it,” he said, presumably with a disinterested shrug. “I’ll post every time Horse tweets something that’s long enough to determine its source.”

Of course, there are bound to be some rabid @Horse_ebooks fans angry with the project for ruining the mystery enshrouding the Internet’s favorite horse. Adrian Chen’s definitive account of his search for the man behind Horse did elicit some pretty angry responses, after all. (“Yes, I’m sort of ruining it,” wrote Mr. Stuef in his first post to the Tumblr.)

But Mr. Stuef has a message for those wary that an annotation project of the account will destroy its novelty: “Don’t read the blog, I guess?”

Meet the Young Man Who is Ruining @Horse_ebooks