This article was published on February 3, 2016

Meet the man behind, the Internet’s OG troll

Meet the man behind, the Internet’s OG troll
Natt Garun
Story by

Natt Garun

US Editor

Natt Garun is the former US Editor at The Next Web, managing the North American team on content, events, features and reviews coverage. She Natt Garun is the former US Editor at The Next Web, managing the North American team on content, events, features and reviews coverage. She previously wrote for Digital Trends, Business Insider, and Gizmodo. Facebook | Twitter | Google+

You might have never heard of Brian Connelly, but you certainly have seen his contributions to the Web. As the owner of, Connelly could be the internet’s most underrated prankster, having used the domain as a redirect to sites of famous figures he dislikes.

It started as a joke with his co-workers back in the ’90s when he first purchased the domain and rigged email accounts of those who didn’t pay him to work under Decades later, he would use it to target the likes of Reddit, Kanye West, Al Gore, Charlie Sheen, and most recently, Donald Trump.

“The reason why I did it was because we can’t have a xenophobe as President, ” Connelly tells me. “My wife and I were flabbergasted about Trump’s attacks on Muslims. Fear is just not a good platform to stand up on.”

Connelly, a technical consultant based in South Carolina, says he changed the domain redirect since mid-December, though it only gained notoriety after the Iowa caucus results where Trump came second to Ted Cruz in the Republican primaries.

In March 2015, when the site redirected to Kanye West after he dissed Beck’s Grammy win, was receiving “hundreds of thousands of hits” a day, he claims. I spoke to Connelly while he was driving home from work so he hasn’t checked the statistics, but he estimates at least double that number by next week.

Having owned the domain for more than 20 years, Connelly says he’s never figured out how to use it commercially. “ is something that’s hard to wrap your head around in making financially viable,” he says with a laugh. “You can’t go out and ask people to invest in a loser!”

But it’s not like he hasn’t tried. A quick search brings up a Quora post on what to do with the domain, and he often asks Twitter for ideas.

Since the Iowa Presidential Primary caucuses last night, Connelly says no one has approached him to buy the domain yet – though it’s happened many times before. “Offers have come in around the $100,000 range,” he claims. “But I’m not starving at this point so I haven’t been inspired to move away from it.”

A father to teenage kids, Connelly says he likes keeping up with pop culture and general news, and occasionally checks in on Twitter to watch the chatter around

“When I see something funny, I’ll like or heart it,” he says, “But even still, nobody knows who I am.” Connelly’s account currently has 99 followers at the time of publication.

So far, he’s glad to see that the reaction to the Trump redirect has been mostly positive, and he plans to keep the domain as is throughout the election season. “The common negative email so far has been, ‘You’ll be sorry when Trump finds out!’ – but I’ve tweeted Trump personally about the site,” Connelly says. “Like hell, I’m scared.”

In case you were curious, Connelly is a Bernie man.

Update 2/17: The domain now leads to Kanye West once again, so expect it to keep changing as new (or old) losers emerge in Connelly’s eyes.

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