The first tweets began around 8 p.m. ET on Thanksgiving night. By midnight, #WalmartFights was trending on Twitter.
Attached were pictures and videos and Vines of all sorts of violence and chaos and other nonsense.
None of this is a surprise. It was expected, which is why police were at the ready at your local Walmart. You just wonder if those caught up in it thought they would be when their day began.
Did you think you'd be the one on a video gone viral, being arrested while lying on top of the TV you were hoping to buy?
Or the guy lying face down on the ground with a police officer's foot planted on his back?
Or part of this stampede?
— Chris Wikler (@chris_wikler) November 29, 2013
Uh, bud, think a few people beat you to it.
By 10 p.m. Thursday night, Walmart had done 10 million cash register transactions in only four hours, according to a release, prompting the company's U.S. CEO Bill Simon to describe the store's Black Friday experience as "bigger, better, faster, cheaper and safer than ever."
Safer than ever? Well, he may have a point. No one has died this year.
Still, the frenzy continued into Friday as #WalmartFights reached 23,000 tweets by the afternoon. About then, a new hashtag had popped up — #Brawlmart — sparking Anonymous to tweet, "OMG … #Brawlmart. Why didn't we think of that?"
That's where the frustration lies — not at the brawls themselves, but at the lack of foresight to come up with a more clever hashtag.
If you happened to be one of those caught up in the chaos, don't look to Twitter for sympathy.
Sorry I used your small child as a weapon to beat down other shoppers but that was the last copy of Breaking Bad on Bluray. #WalmartFights
— Wonder Monkey (@WonderMonkey78) November 29, 2013
Anybody got any football gear I can borrow? I need to go to Walmart to pick up a scented candle. #WalmartFights
— Enrico de la Vega (@Enrico_delaVega) November 29, 2013
I saw that a hockey game broke out at Wal Mart again. #walmartfights
— Scott Carlson (@ScottCarlson4) November 29, 2013
We could embed the videos and Vines of the mayhem right here, providing a one-stop shop for your "consumer porn" pleasure. But what's the point? You saw it last year. And the year before that. And the year before that.
They're all the same: shoppers treating Garmins and TVs and tablets like chum in the water.
— Adam Zopf (@adamzopf) November 29, 2013
Sort of, except those creating the mayhem inside Walmart have a choice.