The popular Twitter account WeRateDogs, which posts ratings of dogs based on pictures that their owners provide, briefly found itself in the internet pound on Monday, after a Twitter user named Mary Wagner noticed that someone had requested a review of a dog that has the Arabic name Kanan.
However, when Matt Nelson, the man who runs WeRateDogs, posted the dog’s picture, he renamed the dog “George.” Wagner wrote that she was blocked by Nelson after pointing out the name change:
Nelson subsequently justified the swap by claiming that “the name plays a massive role in how well the post does.” He also replied to Wagner from his personal account, claiming that he often changes the names of the dogs with the owners’ permission and that his decision in this case was not motivated by that fact that “Kanan” has an Arabic origin.
Nelson quickly became exasperated with the social media chatter around the topic and posted a promise 15 minutes later not to change any more names.
He also posted a quasi-apology:
Nelson was at the center of another bizarre controversy in 2017, when he tried to sell hats with the phrase “Covfefe AF” on them, in reference to Donald Trump’s inscrutable tweet. He said that he would donate the proceeds to Planned Parenthood, but then received criticisms from people who didn’t like that he was making fun of the president, and from people who were disappointed when he backed down and apologized for his choice of charity. Woof.