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Peering down the internet’s dark ‘Erratas’ rabbit hole

The Erratas conspiracy is one of the most fascinating internet enigmas to date. We peered down the rabbit hole, then fell in headfirst.

There’s nothing more thrilling than investigating a murky conspiracy. From aliens at Area 51 to Paul McCartney being dead, we’ve lapped it all up. But today, we cover something in a league of its own.

The infamous tale of Erratas (sometimes misspelt ‘Eratas’ to avoid online identification) has left the internet with more questions than answers. Does artificial intelligence and unchecked surveillance freak you out? If so, now’s the time to turn back. If not, welcome to chaos. Let’s begin.

Images: KFC Murder Chicks cover art

The beginning:

Erratas was first publically mentioned online on November 25th, 2015. An anonymous user on 4chan posted about a strange conversation they recently had with a “super interesting chick”, who was homeless and in a band.

She was working for a ” shady company shutting down all of their locations. The company was apparently well known, disorganised, and fired employees left and right.

One of the tasks given to the girl was to tape up boxes, during which she found a box marked Erratas. The supervisor told her not to mention the box to anyone, as he used to write code to flag any employee that searched for it in their computer system”“if you got flagged, they’d fire you”.

4chan post

What’s even scarier is how the 4chan post described the companies working conditions. “Everyone was just doing what the computer system would tell them to do. Even weird, useless shit”, the user stated.

The next notable mention of Erratas came from another anonymous 4chan user, who asked if anyone worked “software/IT jobs on the east coast between 2000 and 2010”. The user wanted to find out more information about Erratas, which he described as a “sketchy HR-related program.

Defining Erratas:

Another 4chan user replied to the previously mentioned post, providing the first tangible definition of the mysterious term. From their understanding, Erratas was an algorithm that “allowed some specific third-party company unconditional access to employee information”. The user even name-dropped three companies they believed to have utilised the system: UPS, Unilever, and Ecolab.

4chan post

ChronosForLife:

The plot thickens with ChronosForLife JurrasicPark, whose YouTube channel was linked on 4chan by another anonymous user. Chronos’s video titled Youtube is MONITORING and controlling my life, argued that YouTube was attempting to control his mother.

Apparently, she discovered secrets regarding the Jurassic Park trilogy that would jeopardise Universal Pictures employees and the trilogy. The video’s resolution is strikingly terrible as a means to hide the video from the supposed Erratas algorithm.

Due to the intriguing nature of Chronos’s video, 4chan users commenced an investigation into his channel and found some pretty creepy shit. One video titled Jurassic World 3 Tribue [RE-UPLOAD] spliced some hidden morse code at the end, which translated to “Hollywood Astral Projection Clinic”. To this day, no one has explained the message.

Chronos’s next video, Here Goes Nothing… stated in the video description that it was a “test to see if it gets detected” by the “Err***s algorithm”. The YouTuber’s video wasn’t flagged; however, if you turn on YouTube’s automatic captions, which are completely computer generated and cannot be edited, the water gets even murkier. Below were some of the bizarre captions the AI spat out:

12 seconds in – “are far from over 200 Corbin KY 40219.

2 minutes, 17 seconds in – “Overthrow the government

KFC Murder Chicks:

While the Youtube Caption ‘200 Corbin Kentucky’ isn’t a real address, the non-existent address is mentioned on a Bandcamp page for an electro-horror band called KFC Murder Chicks. I listened to a few of their tracks, and it’s brilliant… but unquestionably nightmare fuel. Anyway, here’s the bombshell.

Some avid scrutineers over at 4chan began researching the band and discovered the bands’ members were homeless girls, produced by DJ Rozwell. According to these 4chan researchers, one of KFC Murder Chick’s members also used to work in a warehouse… Sound familiar??

That’s right. The first mention of Erratas on 4chan just happened to be about a conversation with a homeless girl who worked in a warehouse AND was in a band. Once more, KFC Murder Chicks uploaded their EP Golden Age of Gross Mystery to YouTube only 4 days before the infamous 4chan post. The YouTube description even contained the term when first uploaded, but it has since been removed. Below are some YouTube comments on the upload which proved people were connecting the dots:

YouTube

The ‘Tod Ellsworth’ account

There’s one last nugget worth discussing. The KFC Murder Chicks EP was uploaded by a YouTube account called Tod Ellsworth. Ellsworth also had a Twitter account (now deleted) that posted three extremely unusual tweets. The most unsettling tweet was a police sketch of an elongated-faced serial rapist in Hawaii. The photo of the rapist became synonymous with the Erratas conspiracy, essentially becoming the mysteries’ logo. The photo has also found its way into the crevasses of more cynical and sarcastic meme-subcultures.

Erratas

Ready for another bombshell? Tod Ellsworth is also an anagram for ‘The Lost World’aka the movie ChronosForLife couldn’t stop posting about. But wait, the connection goes further! A KFC Muder Chicks track titled Get Shit Straight also mentions Tod Ellsworth. A distorted voice in the song states, “If you are Tod Ellsworth or a relative, heir, or descendant of Tod Ellsworth, please immediately contact the bank to reclaim over $5000 belonging to Tod Ellsworth”. That’s some serious name dropping. 

The Possible Conclusions

After analysing what we know and looking at the bigger picture, we’ve drawn three possible conclusions on the Erratas conspiracy:

1. Erratas is indeed an unethical, highly confidential copyright/algorithm tool used by companies:

If everyone on 4chan told the truth (which is highly debatable), this would be the only reasonable conclusion to make. More than a few accounts supposedly heard about Erratas being a shifty HR tool and even accused real-life companies of using the algorithm.

2. Erratas was a marketing scheme for KFC Murder Chicks:

Essentially all Erratas mentions online circle back to KFC Murder Chicks – in one way or another. If this truly was a marketing trick to get people to listen to their debut EP, it’s nothing short of genius, and you really just have to stand in awe of their unconventional execution.

3. Erratas is an ARG (alternate reality game):

Here’s a scary idea. Mentions of Erratas online are all interconnected, but none pose a legitimate answer to the chaos. Also, any internet figure who discusses the conspiracy usually delete their posts or get removed for copyright. But perhaps, this is all on purpose. Schemers emerge to stir the pot, then disappear without providing real answers. Could the Erratas dark hole merely serve as a decoy or elaborate ruse to distract from a dark truth?

We’d better leave it there – I don’t want to be sleeping with one eye open. Stay safe out there.

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