This morning I posted this image on my Tumblr:
With the caption:
OH NO, THE JIG IS UP, EVERYONE SCRAM!
*Entire internet replaced with millions of spinning chairs*
Apparently, I was the first person to post this to a static location online. It was sent to me over IM by someone who got it off of 4chan, where it was leaked a few hours before going up in a Sun article about the “I can count to potato” meme.
Within a few hours it got over 2,000 notes, and suddenly people who knew the girl in real life started sending me messages about how I was a monster.
I don’t think they understand. I did not start this meme. I have started memes, but not this one. (Know Your Meme traces it back to a 2009 FunnyJunk post). Also, I didn’t actually post an “I can count to potato” image macro, I posted a picture of the girl and her mother frowning about its existence. With a caption implying shame by association.
I do feel sympathy for this girl and her mother, and (less so) for this girl’s friends who are sending me messages on Tumblr. But they need to understand that this is how the Internet works. Some of the lines from this Sun article are so ridiculous.
She said pages carrying Heidi’s image are still active despite Liz reporting the problem TWO WEEKS ago.
She said: “It’s almost like Faceless rather than Facebook, we have been repeatedly trying to take these distressing sites down and I have not once had a direct response.
C’mon, man. Someone at the Sun is responsible for all these “interview with a trolling victim” articles. And you’d think that person would have the decency to explain to these interviewees that you can’t stop a joke. Or at least to tell them that it’s been out there for years, on FunnyJunk, Reddit, 4chan, Tumblr and elsewhere.
You can’t “take down” a meme. Even if it were legally possible, it’s not technologically feasible. We have ironic pedophilia memes for fuck’s sake. Once it’s out there, it’s out there. Fighting against it’s just going to give you grief.
The only right way to deal with trolling is to just accept that the world is an awful place and try not to work past it. You can’t win. When you fight against trolls, you’re just creating more content for trolls. This picture has been up for only a few hours, and I bet the girl’s mom has already become a meme in her own right.
Actually, let me google that.