Fan naming competitions used to go off without a hitch — see professional sports teams such as the Toronto Raptors and Seattle Seahawks. Then, the Internet happened.

As several marketing teams have learned all too well, there’s nothing the online community likes more than transforming a seemingly harmless post into an outrageous viral phenomenon. So in light of Britain’s current boat naming fiasco, here are a few other times the Internet just couldn’t resist turning a naming poll into a chance to create some uproar.

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Write to Megan McCluskey at

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