Oh No They Didn't, also known as ONTD, is the largest community on LiveJournal, with almost 90,000 members. The community focuses on celebrity gossip and pop culture, with most of its posts taken and sourced from other gossip blogs.
The community publishes an average of 150 member posts per day, each post getting between 100 and 300 comments on average. The blog boasts over 300,000 page views daily, according to Popmatters. The community moderators post a weekly post called Free for All Friday which allows members to post off-topic comments. When LiveJournal increased the comment limit on posts from 5000 to 10,000 comments, ONTD contained the first post to reach this new limit.
In addition to members submitting the posts themselves, ONTD relies heavily on user participation in the comments section, where members can express their opinions on posts. Members often illustrate their reaction to a particular news item by posting an animated GIF image which represents their feelings. After the death of Michael Jackson on June 25, 2009, according to MSNBC, "users expressed their collective grief by posting a Fantasia Barrino gif, in which the American Idol star wails and flails her arms wildly," while other users expressed concern over the continued use of a popular GIF taken from "Thriller" music video featuring a scene of Jackson eating popcorn, an image that is frequently posted on the community in anticipation of a controversial or "flame-worthy topic."
Oh No They Didn't's popularity has resulted in a series of spin-off communities which follow the same format, but with a different or specialized topic. Examples include ontd_political for politics, ontd_fashinfags for fashion, ontdhp for Harry Potter, ontd_ai for American Idol, and ontd_startrek for Star Trek related posts.
ONTD won the Best Gossip Blog award in the 2008 Weblog Awards, beating out other popular celebrity blogs like D-Listed, Perez Hilton and TMZ, with a whopping 44% of the vote.
ONTD has been noted in O, the Oprah Magazine, cited in Life & Style, and artist Lily Allen referenced the online community in the March 2009 issue of Playboy Magazine.
The Swedish newspaper Metro described the community as "Gossip on steroids." The paper also noted that with a high volume of posts, the reader would "find a lot of highlights, and often before newspapers get their hands on it". The San Francisco Chronicle wrote that the "scandal-mongering community overflows with interactive snark" and encouraged the reader to "imagine a gossip clearinghouse run by teenagers with bad attitudes and sharp tongues".
The most notable ONTD exclusive was the Pete Wentz photo scandal, colloquially known among members as Peengate '06, which occurred in March 2006, when nude photos of Wentz were posted on ONTD. The original poster reported that she received the photos third-hand, and that Wentz originally sent the pictures to a woman with whom he allegedly had romantic interests. This event was alluded to in a blog post by Wentz himself in December 2006. This went on to be parodied in Fall Out Boy's video for "This Ain't a Scene, It's an Arms Race".
ONTD was also the first community to break the news of Jamie-Lynn Spears' pregnancy, after leaking OK! Magazine's unpublished front page cover, and was the first to report that Kirk Acevedo had announced via his Facebook status update that he had been fired from the Fox drama, Fringe.
When the rumors of Jon from Jon and Kate Gosselin's infidelity started appearing in February 2009, a photo of Jon out on town was posted on ONTD, which showed him posing with two young women in a local bar. National gossip magazines picked up the news, and a screen grab of ONTD could be seen in Star and US Weekly.
The most scandalous and notable events are often given nicknames to distinguish them in future posts, such as the January 2008 hospitalization of Britney Spears, which was dubbed Hostage Brituation '08 by the community's members. This nickname was later picked up and used by Rolling Stone. The abuse case between singers Rihanna and Chris Brown was dubbed Domestic Disturbia '09 by the community's members, and the community was also credited with starting a meme ("Gokey is a douche") connected to American Idol contestant Danny Gokey's negative comments and pictures regarding fellow contestant Adam Lambert. The forced removal of "#gokeyisadouche" from Twitter's trending topics list prompted a discussion on Twitter's censorship.
For as much as I rant and rave about OhNoTheyDidnt (ONTD) being my most favorite celebrity gossip blog ever, I think it's about darn time that I actually wrote a review about them. I'm not exactly sure how I found ONTD, but I know that I stumbled upon them about five years ago, which is just about when the blog started, either through a Google search or just snooping around LiveJournal (LJ). I used to be a really active LJ user, so I understood the format and got into it straight … more