Tattoos provide unusual snapshots, frozen in time, of a person’s life. Children, immortalized on a bicep tattoo, grow up. Quotations once considered profound may lose meaning after years resting on someone’s ribcage.
And QR codes linking to YouTube footage of a favorite sports team kicking ass may suddenly stop working after several hours.
At least, that’s what happened to one fan of Argentina’s River Plate soccer team who got the QR code linking to a triumphant highlight video. It was an innovative, high-tech tribute. The only problem is that a rival team’s fans responded by flooding to YouTube and reporting the video for copyright infringement as a prank, according to The Independent — which ended up with the video vanishing.
What does the incident represent? We don’t know. Maybe it’s equal parts comedy, tragedy, and a warning about the impermanent nature of the internet.
A River Plate fan got a QR code tattooed on them that shows the Copa Libertadores final goals against Boca Juniors whenever you scan it with your phone. 😂
Argentinian football, another world. 🇦🇷pic.twitter.com/ppi7yhrvvX
— Marathonbet (@marathonbet) April 11, 2019
Some QR codes can be changed after the fact, Gizmodo reports, but there’s a chance that the tattoo’s functionality may someday return. A YouTube spokesperson told Gizmodo that the YouTube account to which the tattoo linked set the video to private, perhaps in response to all of the copyright infringement reports.
Until then, the tattoo is unfortunately just as functional and fashionable as any other picture of a blotchy square.