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  • 07/12/15--06:19: Ghost in the Shell

  • About

    Ghost in The Shell is a Japanese multimedia franchise, first originating as a seinen manga series written by Masamune Shirow. The series has garnered much popularity, especially in the West, where it is credited as one of the first targets of Western anime fandom. In addition to sanctioned films, television shows, and manga, the series has spawned a number of parodies and fan works.


    The setting of Ghost in the Shell is a post-World War IV Japan where mankind and machines have become indistinguishable, creating a race of cyborgs. The cyborg bodies that hold a person’s mind are called their “shells”, while the mind and the person’s state of self are referred to as the “ghost.” The plot focuses around Major Motoko Kusanagi and the Public Security Section 9 as they work to take down cyber-terrorists that could potentially lead to the downfall of Japan or even the world.


    Ghost in The Shell first began as a seinen manga series written by mangaka (manga author and artist) Masamune Shirow and published in Kodansha’s Young Magazine from April 1989 to November 1990. A sequel manga, titled Ghost in the Shell 2: Man-Machine Interface was also created, running from September 1991 to August 1997. This was later adapted into a successful 1995 anime movie, directed by Mamoru Oshii and animated by by Production IG, also known for their work on series such as Psycho-Pass and Guilty Crown. A sequel movie, titled Ghost in The Shell 2: Innocence premiered on September 17th, 2004.

    As well as movies, a number of TV shows were also made based off the Ghost in The Shell franchise. The first of these shows, titled Ghost in The Shell: Stand Alone Complex first aired from October 1st, 2002 to October 1st, 2003, running for 26 episodes, followed by another 26-episode sequel series titled Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG which ran from January 1st, 2004 to January 8th, 2005. A second adaptation, titled Ghost in the Shell: Arise – Alternative Architecture was also created, first running for five 50-minute original video animations from July 22nd, 2013 to August 26th, 2015 before being compiled into a 10-episode TV anime from April 5th to June 14th, 2015.

    Online Relevance

    On Tumblr the franchise is tagged under several tags, including “GitS” and “Ghost in the Shell”.[1][2][3][4] The Facebook fan page for the first movie has over 218,000 likes.[5] On YouTube, the official trailer for the original film, released by Starz Media on their channel on October 31st, 2006, has over 1.5 million views as of July 2015 (shown below).

    The full versions of the opening themes for both Stand Alone Complex and Stand Alone Complex 2nd Gig have been uploaded numerous times. The most viewed versions of each song each have over 12.6 million views and over 2.3 million views respectively (both shown below).


    The franchise has a large following online both in and outside of the larger anime community. On Tumblr there are various blogs dedicated to the franchise, such as Fuck Yeah Kusanagi,[6] G I T S,[7] Ghost on the Net[8] as well as many others.[9] On Reddit the Ghost in the Shell subreddit has over 3,000 readers.[10] The franchise also has extesive followings on sites such as DeviantArt and Fanpop.[11][12]

    On April 20th, 2006, YouTuber lawala uploaded a mashup of clips from Ghost in the Shell, The Matrix, the Animatrix as well as an original edit by fellow YouTuber Alpha Omega Productions, which has garnered almost half a million views since its release as of July 2015 (shown below).

    On December 15th, 2013 YouTuber CreativeStation uploaded a speed art creation of Ghost in the Shell protagonist Makoto Kusanagi (shown below).

    As of July 2015, there are around 19,500 posts tagged under “Ghost in the Shell” on DeviantArt and around 23,200 for “GitS”.[13][14]

    Related Memes

    Ghost In The Shell Opening Parodies

    Ghost in the Shell Opening Parodies refer to a series of parody videos for the opening movie of a Japanese TV anime series Ghost in the Shell: S.A.C. 2nd GIG. In addition to the video the term also encompasses the edits of an iconic pose taken by characters near the beginning of the opening known as the “GitS Pose”.

    The Laughing Man

    The Laughing Man is the main antagonist of Stand Alone Complex, inspired by the short story of the same name by J. D. Salinger. The character, especially his signature logo, is used online as a symbol of defying authority, similar to the Guy Fawkes mask. The Laughing Man Logo has also been the source of numerous parodies.

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 10/10/16--16:20: Math Lady / Confused Lady
  • About

    Math Lady / Confused Lady refers to pictures or gifs of Brazilian actress Renata Sorrah[1] playing Nazaré Tedesco in a scene from the telenovela, Senhora do Destino. The pictures are often used as reaction images to express confusion.


    Tedesco is a very popular character from the telenovela “Senhora do Destino”, in Brazil. Because of her comical personality images of her have been photoshopped into reaction images and image macros. On Facebook, there is a fan page devoted to posting such pictures of her.[2] The earliest known example of the original gif (shown below) being used as a reaction image is from October 31st, 2013, when UKMix forum poster CrazyCrazy posted the gif with the caption “I’m sure there is better music to hear while you wait for Beywance…”[3]

    The gif originated the following video:


    The gif saw light use as a reaction image over the next two and a half years. It began growing in popularity around the summer of 2016. Buzzfeed Portugal[4] included it as a reaction image in a “top post” on July 29th. A popular post on 9Gag[5] featured four screenshots from the gif of Sorrah with math equations over her face, captioned “when she tells you she’s 29 weeks pregnant.” The post has over 33,000 points as of October 11th, 2016.

    After the math symbols were added, the image and gif surged in popularity, particularly on Brazilian parts of social media, before it grew popular worldwide. On October 2nd, a thread appeared on /r/OutOfTheLoop[6] asking about its origins.

    Various Examples

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 07/27/13--14:26: Metroid
  • About

    Metroid is a series of science fiction adventure video games created by Nintendo. Since the series’ creation, it has received a large online following with many of fan-created websites.


    The original Metroid game was originally released for the Family Computer Disk System in Japan on August 6th, 1986, and for the Nintendo Entertainment System in North America on August 15th, 1987 (shown below, left), garnering critical acclaim due to its unique gameplay and being one of the first video games to feature a female protagonist. The sequel, Metroid II: Return of Samus (shown below, right), was released for the Nintendo Game Boy handheld device on August 26th, 1991.

    The third game in the series Super Metroid (shown below, left), was released on the Super Nintendo in America on March 19th, 1994 and was later followed by Metroid Fusion (shown below, right) on the Game Boy Advance on November 17th, 2002. A remake of the original NES game Metroid: Zero Mission was released for the Game Boy Advance on February 9th, 2004.

    The spin-off series Metroid Prime was developed by Retro Studios (shown below, left) and released on the Gamecube on November 17th, 2002. Unlike previous games, the game featured 3D graphics shown from first-person perspective. A sequel, titled Metroid Prime 2: Echoes (shown below, right), was released for the Gamecube on November 15th, 2004, followed by the spin-off titled Metroid Prime Pinball released for the Nintendo DS on October 24th, 2005.

    Metroid Prime Hunters was released on the Nintendo DS on March 20th, 2006 and was followed by the game Metroid Prime 3: Corruption (shown below, left) for the Wii on August 27th, 2007. A trilogy pack titled Metroid Prime: Trilogy was released for the Wii on August 24th, 2009. Metroid: Other M (shown below, right) was released for the Wii on August 31, 2010.

    Online Presence

    As of August 2016, Metroid Facebook page also has gained over 67,000 likes[13].

    Related Memes

    Y Can’t Metroid Crawl? / PaulyU

    “Y Can’t Metroid Crawl?” is a question uttered by Miiverse user PaulyU while asking for help to get through the Wii U Virtual Console release of Super Metroid.

    Horny Samus

    Horny Samus refers to a series of advice animal image macros featuring the series’ protagonist Samus Aran. The captions typically include sexual double entendres and cheesy pickup lines.

    Remember Me? / MBD

    MBD (Mysterious Black Dude) is a meme arising from an E3 2009 trailer for Metroid: Other M, in which a mysterious man greets Samus asking if she remembers him.


    The Metroid series has garnered a large online following since its inception, with a presence of several sites including Tumblr[1], Reddit[2], 4chan’s /v/ videogame board[3], Fanpop[4],[5] and DeviantART[6]. The Metroid wiki[7] and TV Tropes[8] contain relevant information to the series. There are numerous fansites devoted to Metroid, such as Metroid Recon[9], Metroid HQ[10], Metroid Database[11] and ShineSparkers[12].

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 04/29/11--07:33: TV Tropes
  • About

    TV Tropes is a wiki devoted to the documentation of “tropes”, which are tools of the trade for storytelling in movies, television shows, literature, and other forms of media. These conventions and devices are used in all forms of fiction, and should not be confused with clichés.

    Tropes are devices and conventions that a writer can reasonably rely on as being present in the audience members’ minds and expectations. On the whole, tropes are not clichés. The word clichéd means “stereotyped and trite.” In other words, dull and uninteresting. We are not looking for dull and uninteresting entries. We are here to recognize tropes and play with them, not to make fun of them.[1]

    The website is much like a Wikipedia for television and literature. The most striking differences is that there is no need for citations, and they clearly state on the website[4] that “There is No Such Thing as Notability”, which means they consider all works to be notable.

    The website has a reputation for being addictive, often resulting in users opening many tabs from clicking on the many blue links on the pages. The site may also cause viewers to analyze fiction more than they normally would, and look at media from a more critical point of view.[3]


    TV Tropes launched in April of 2004, and began as a fan site for Buffy the Vampire Slayer, pointing out tropes in that show alone.[5] The site quickly expanded to include hundreds, and eventually thousands of other entries. Eventually the site branched out to include other forms of media, such as film, literature, video games, and comics.[2]

    In the Winter of 2014, Site Creator Fast Eddie resigned from the site and placed 2 admins in his place; Drewski and Icdtr [16]. At the same time, TV Tropes has created a Kickstarter campaigned witch has been successful, receiving $105,186 from over 3000 backers.[17] As of January 2015, the site has changed its layout. Some users compared it to Facebook’s design, other hate the new layout but the majority of the donors enjoyed the new aesthetic.


    Most pages on TV Tropes focuses on a single trope. The article usually begins with quotations related to the topic before defining the trope. This is followed by a series of organized folders filled with examples of each trope from a variety of media.

    Some pages do not focus on a trope at all, but deal with a story, movie or series. These pages typically consist of a brief synopsis of the show, its main plot and characters, and are followed by a list of tropes that are included in the work.

    Spoilers are covered up with white block text, but this feature can be disabled by creating an account and changing your profile settings.

    Meme-Related Articles

    TV Tropes often references Internet memes with articles on memetic mutation[9], fountain of memes[10], memetic badass[11], Memetic Sex God[12], YouTube Poop[13], Internet[14], and Know Your Meme.[15]


    As of July TV Tropes has an Alexa[6] ranking of 3,748, a Compete[7] ranking 2,700, and a Quantcast[8] ranking of 3,743.


    Search queries for “tv tropes” and “tvtropes” picked up late 2006, and reached their highest spike in July of 2009.

    External Links

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  • 05/01/13--11:38: Netflix

  • About

    Netflix is a streaming video service available in more than 40 countries supplemented with a DVD-by-mail service within the United States. It has more than 33 million subscribers as of May 2013.[2]


    Netflix[1] was founded in 1997 by Reed Hastings[3] and Marc Randolph who wanted to rent and sell DVDs online. Since DVDs had only been introduced in 1995, they were still relatively rare in brick and mortar video rental stores like Blockbuster, but the entrepreneurs believed the format would eventually replace the bulky VHS.[4] The site opened for business on April 14th, 1998[5] with a selection of 925 DVDs, including some softcore pornography. 48 hours after the site went live, it had to shut down for a short period of time due to overwhelming demand. The disks could be rented for seven days at $4 each with an additional cost of $2 for shipping. The site also offered DVD purchases for several months before switching to rental-only.

    Netflix Prize

    In 2000, Netflix introduced a recommendation system known as CineMatch that utilizes Oracle database systems to cluster similar movies together using information from customer ratings. On October 2nd, 2006, the Netflix Prize[20]was launched, which encouraged researchers to create a more accurate algorithm for rating titles using a provided training data set of more than 100 million ratings for 17,000 movies. Within six days, someone had achieved a more accurate root mean square error (RMSE) with the data[21], beating Cinematch’s accuracy score. In June 2009, a group of scientists from across the globe achieved a 10.05% improvement in RMSE over Cinematch, winning the grand prize of $1 million.[22] That September, their algorithms were released online.[23] However, the winning code was never implemented[24] due to the extra engineering costs needed to make it work.



    In January 2007, Netflix introduced a streaming video service[25] for PC users, making less than 1.5% of its 70,000 titles available for a limited of hours per month, based on the user’s subscription plan. Within the first six months, at least 2,000 titles had been streamed more than 5 million times.[26] By late 2007, Netflix began testing out unlimited streaming, and by January 2008, all restrictions on streaming service had been lifted.[28] In October 2008, streaming services were opened up to Mac users for the first time.[27] By fall 2009, 42% of Netflix’s 11.1 million subscribers were streaming at least 15 minutes of video.[29]

    Original Programming

    Netflix launched their first original series Lilyhammer[30] in February 2012, a week after its broadcast premiere on the Norwegian television station NRK1. Starring The Sopranos actor Steve Van Zant, the series detailed the life of a member of the mob who is relocated to Norway on witness protection after testifying against his former boss. Netflix made all eight episodes of the series available for streaming at the same time, setting itself apart from network and cable television by allowing viewers to avoid the wait between episodes..

    On February 1st, 2013, Netflix released the pilot season of its second in-house production House of Cards[31] (shown below, left), a political drama series starring Kevin Spacey and adapted from a BBC miniseries and novel of the same name. House of Cards received much positive critical reception, culminating in a special achievement Webby Award for its producers in 2013.[32] Between March and April 2013, Netflix unveiled the comedy series Bad Samaritans, the film Shotgun Wedding and the horror series Hemlock Grove (shown below, right), contributing to more than 2.03 million new streaming subscribers in the first quarter of 2013 in the United States alone.[33] As of May 2013, Netflix has five additional original series in progress[34], including the highly anticipated fourth season of cult comedic sitcom Arrested Development.


    In September 2003, Hacking Netflix[35] was launched to provide the latest news on new releases, movie reviews and news about Netflix itself. In 2008, the first subreddit[36] dedicated to Netflix was created on Reddit, gaining more than 22,000 subscribers as of May 2013. A second Netflix subreddit, /r/NetflixBestOf[37], was created in April 2010 specifically to solicit recommendations for instantly streamable content. Outside of these communities, many Netflix subscribers have used image macros[38] (shown below, left) on message boards and blogs to express their feelings about the services, most notably on Cheezburger[39], FunnyJunk[40] and Tumblr.[41] Additionally, there are Quickmeme pages for both Scumbag Netflix[42] (shown below, center) and Good Guy Netflix[43] (shown below, right), each discussing the pros and cons of the service.

    Bugged Plot Summaries

    On May 17th, 2014, Washington-based developer Bob Lannon launched @SummaryBug[44][45], a Netflix-themed novelty Twitter account devoted to spotting and highlighting a variety of grammatical errors or incoherencies found in the synopses of the available titles as a result of a software glitch. In less than a week of its launch, @SummaryBug reached more than 4,000 followers.



    On September 18th, 2011, Reed Hasting announced via an email to subscribers that the company would be splitting their DVD rental and streaming services into two separate operations. The DVD rental was to be rebranded as Qwikster, named for quick mail delivery. As the news spread, people sought out Qwikster’s social media accounts, including a Twitter account belonging to a man named Jason Castillo who had no affiliation with Netflix. Though Castillo’s account had been inactive for months, he began tweeting again on September 19th, offering to sell his account.

    Within days, a handful of Qwikster spoof Twitter and Tumblr accounts were created, parodying Castillo’s original avatar depicting Sesame Stree character Elmo smoking weed. On October 10th, Netflix announced that they would be abandoning Qwikster and leaving both services under the Netflix brand. Castillo’s Twitter account has not been updated since October 11th, 2011.

    Great Netflix Purge

    On April 30th, 2013,[7] reported that nearly 1,800 titles including two James Bond titles, fifteen seasons of South Park and a number of classic films would be removed from Netflix’s streaming service on May 1st. Slate[8] confirmed the removal, noting it was due to expiring contracts with studios including MGM, Warner Bros. and Universal. Between April 30th and May 1st, news of the lost titles was shared on Mashable[9], Gizmodo[10], Forbes[11] and the Huffington Post.[12] News of the mass removal struck a chord on Twitter, resulting in more than 110,000 mentions of Netflix that day[14], up from an average of 63,000 mentions per day that week. In a statement to The Verge[13], a Netflix representative stated that they would be adding more than 500 recent titles on the same day.


    By December 2000, slightly more than two years after the site went live, Netflix had 292,000 customers and was shipping more than 300,000 DVDs a week. In February 2003, the company hit 1 million subscribers[15] who were renting an average of 5.5 movies per month from a library of more than 5.5 million discs.[15] In May 2011, four years after introducing its streaming services, Netflix accounted for 24.71 percent of all internet traffic, with viewers using gaming consoles to stream media downloading more than 2.5 GB from the site per day.[16] As of May 2013, Netflix has more than 30 million global subscribers[17], with more than 10.6 million unique users in the United States per month.[18] has an Alexa[19] ranking of 99 globally and 21 in the US.

    Search Interest

    External References

    [1]Netflix – Home

    [2]CrunchBase – Netflix

    [3]Wikipedia – Reed Hastings

    [4]Funding Universe – Netflix Inc. History

    [5]Netflix – Archive from January 17th, 1999

    [6]The Free Library – Business Wire: Lets Consumers Put In Their 2 Cents Regarding Clinton Testimony.

    [7]InstantWatcher – Expiring Titles

    [8]Slate – The Great Netflix Purge

    [9]Mashable – Netflix Will Lose Almost 2,000 Movies Wednesday

    [10]Gizmodo – Here Are the Best Movies on Netflix That Will Disappear Tomorrow

    [11]Forbes – About that ‘great Netflix purge’

    [12]Huffington Post – Netflix Is Losing Almost 2,000 Movies In May

    [13]The Verge – Netflix losing almost 1,800 titles from its streaming library

    [14]Topsy – Tweet statistics for Netflix

    [15]CNN Money – How Netflix Is Fixing Hollywood By finding a market for niche titles--and keeping discs in constant circulation--the online DVD rental pioneer is shaking up the movie biz.

    [16]PC World – Report: Netflix Is Largest Source of Internet Traffic in North America

    [17]Engadget – Netflix added 3 million subscribers worldwide in Q1, will offer a 4-stream $11.99 plan

    [18]Quantcast –

    [19]Alexa –

    [20]Wikipedia – Netflix Prize

    [21]Hacking Netflix – Netflix Prize Rankings

    [22]Moviefone – Coders Crack the Netflix Cinematch Algorithm

    [23]Netflix Prize – Grand Prize awarded to team BellKor’s Pragmatic Chaos

    [24]Techdirt – Why Netflix Never Implemented The Algorithm That Won The Netflix $1 Million Challenge

    [25]New York Times – Netflix to Deliver Movies to the PC

    [26]PR Newswire – Netflix Instant Watching Feature Scores 5 Million Viewings in First 6 Months

    [27]Hot Hardware – Netflix Streaming Finally Coming to the Mac

    [28]Techdirt – Netflix Tries An ‘Unlimited’ Strategy For Movie Downloads

    [29]Gigaom – Netflix Q3: 42 Percent of Subs Streaming, and What’s the Mystery Box?

    [30]Wikipedia – Lilyhammer

    [31]Wikipedia – House of Cards

    [32]NY Daily News – Webby Awards 2013: ‘House of Cards,’ Frank Ocean, Justin Bieber among top winners

    [33]Paste – Netflix CEO: House of Cards Had “Gentle Impact” on Growth

    [34]Wikipedia – List of original programs distributed by Netflix

    [35]Hacking Netflix – Home

    [36]Reddit – /r/Netflix

    [37]Reddit – /r/NetflixBestOf

    [38]Google Image Search – Search Results for “netflix” and “meme”

    [39]Cheezburger – Search results for “netflix”

    [40]FunnyJunk – Search results for “netflix”

    [41]Tumblr – Posts tagged “netflix”

    [42]Quickmeme – Scumbag Netflix

    [43]Quickmeme – Good Guy Netflix

    [44]Tumblr – Summary Bug

    [45]Twitter – @SummaryBug

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  • 07/31/13--14:32: BuzzFeed

  • About

    BuzzFeed[1] is a viral content and entertainment news site founded by American Internet entrepreneur Jonah Peretti in 2006. The site is comprised of more than 20 verticals dedicated to curating a wide variety of viral media and news content, ranging from politics, business, sports, and music to internet memes, animals and celebrities, as well as its own original content.


    BuzzFeed launched on November 1st, 2006 with seven articles containing 10-20 links to other articles on a specific topic, including homosexual Republicans[23], Borat[24] and eating endangered animal species.[25] BuzzFeed founder Jonah Peretti (shown below) had previously been involved with viral web content while studying at the MIT Media Lab. In January 2001, he attempted to order custom Nike sneakers with the word “sweatshop” embroidered on them. After his request was denied, his shared the email correspondence online, which quickly went viral. In May 2005, he co-founded The Huffington Post with Arianna Huffington, Kenneth Lerer and Andrew Breitbart.

    Buzzfeed Motion Pictures

    On August 10th, 2014, The New York Times[32] reported BuzzFeed had recieved a $50 million investment from the venture firm Andreessen Horowitz to expand their original video production division under the newly-branded umbrella of Buzzfeed Motion Pictures. The article went on to suggest that Buzzfeed Motion Pictures would be able to launch full-length films as well as strengthen its shorter video production efforts on YouTube. That same day, the investment deal was announced on the blog of Chris Dixon[34], a tech business mogul and partner of the investing firm.[33] In it, Dixon explained:

    “As a small, early investor in BuzzFeed, I got to observe firsthand how effectively Jonah and the team executed in recent years. The results speak for themselves: BuzzFeed now reaches over 150M people per month, is consistently profitable, and will generate triple digit millions in revenues this year. I believe the future of BuzzFeed – and the media industry more generally – will only get brighter as the number of people with internet-connected smartphones grows, and the internet solidifies its place as the central communication medium of our time.”

    The investment and focus on Buzzfeed Motion Pictures was covered by many sites including The Wrap[35] and[37] Buzzfeed[36] published its official press release regarding the investment on August 11th, which stated:

    “Digital video is the future of the media industry and after two years of growth and success, BuzzFeed will expand its video division and become BuzzFeed Motion Pictures. Ze Frank will lead the division as President of BuzzFeed Motion Pictures and will expand to focus on all moving images from a GIF to feature film. BuzzFeed Video will exist under the new organization to focus on current short form video, while the BuzzFeed Live Development team will create mid-form serialized content, focused on building characters and genres. BuzzFeed Motion Pictures will launch a “Future of Fiction” team to explore the future of long-form, television and trans-media video. Hollywood producer Michael Shamberg and actor/comedian Jordan Peele will join BuzzFeed Motion Pictures as advisors.”



    Much of BuzzFeed’s content is list-based articles known as “listicles” consisting of a specific number of curated photos or GIFs centered on a certain topic, for example 15 Curious Things Found in Library Books[26], 21 Reasons You’re A True Hillbilly[27] and 16 Problems Every Petite Girl Deals With.[28] As early as July 2012, this format has been parodied by other blogs and magazines including McSweeney’s[22], Eater[23] and Vanity Fair.[29] Other news sites have criticized BuzzFeed for using this format to explain serious news[17], including explaining the political climate in Egypt with GIFs from Jurassic Park (shown below).



    On April 5th, 2013, BuzzFeed’s tech vertical FWD posted an oral history of Weird Twitter, containing a number of interviews with Twitter users about their participation in the loosely aligned group of comedic accounts. Two days later, Nate Lamagna, who goes by the handle @vrunt[9], launched the parody blog FeedBuzz.[10] That day, he made the first two posts parodying BuzzFeed’s stereotypical listicle content: 7 Unexpected Breakfast Fails[11] and Top Five Bad Search Engines Throughout History.[12]

    Lamagna invited his Twitter followers to contribute, resulting in more than 400 satirical articles within two months, including pieces by Something Awful writer Jon Hendren, Toothpaste for DInner cartoonist Drew and #ExilePitbull co-creator David Thorpe. In April 2013, FeedBuzz was featured in a satirical review on Fishbowl NY.[13] In early June, FeedBuzz was featured on the Daily Dot.[14]

    BuzzFeed Minus GIFs

    On October 17th, 2013, a single topic blog titled “BuzzFeed Minus GIFs”[31] was launched on Tumblr as a parody of BuzzFeed’s signature GIF-driven article format, highlighting the text without any images that usually comprise the centerpiece of the articles.

    read the original article                                                             read the original article

    read the original article                                                             read the original article

    read the original article                                                             read the original article

    Related Memes

    Aretha’s Hat

    Aretha’s Hat is a photoshop meme featuring the bow-style hat worn by singer-songwriter Aretha Franklin during Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration on January 20th, 2009. That day, a photo of the singer wearing the hat was posted to BuzzFeed and commenters began to photoshop the hat onto other photos of humans and animals. Within hours, BuzzFeed made a second post highlighting some of the submitted photoshopped images.


    Horsemaning is a photo fad started by BuzzFeed in August 2011. After posting a sepia-toned photo[5] (shown below, left) claiming the forced perspective photography had come from the 1920s, the article called it “the new ”/memes/planking">planking and invited readers to take their own photos. However, the astroturfing led writers from Gawker[6] and Rocketboom[7] to criticize BuzzFeed for attempting to force a meme.

    Tobias Fünke’s Blanket

    Tobias Fünke’s Blanket is a photoshop meme that spread on 4chan and Tumblr after a behind-the-scenes photo of actor David Cross wearing a blanket on set was leaked on BuzzFeed on August 9th, 2012, who highlighted a series of photoshopped images based on this strange outfit the following day.


    As of July 2013, BuzzFeed reaches more than 60 million unique visitors per month.[2] The site has an Alexa[3] score of 85 in the United States and 315 globally. BuzzFeed also has a Quantcast[4] rank of 36 in the U.S.

    Search Interest

    External References

    [1]BuzzFeed – Home

    [2]BuzzFeed – About

    [3]Alexa –

    [4]Quantcast –

    [5]BuzzFeed – Horsemaning: The New Planking

    [6]Gawker – Death to the Internet Craze

    [7]Dembot – Horsemaning A Forced Meme? A day in the life of Meme Research

    [8]BuzzFeed – Weird Twitter: The Oral History

    [9]Twitter – @vrunt

    [10]FeedBuzz – Home

    [11]FeedBuzz – 7 Unexpected Breakfast Fails

    [12]FeedBuzz – Top Five Bad Search Engines Throughout History

    [13]Fishbowl NY – Forget BuzzFeed -- FeedBuzz Is Where It’s At

    [14]The Daily Dot – Behind FeedBuzz, Weird Twitter’s blistering BuzzFeed parody

    [15]Smart Planet – How will business news fit among BuzzFeed’s LOL listicles?

    [16]International Business Times – I Can Haz Journalism: The Listicle (And The GIF) As Storytelling Devices

    [17]Digiday – 9 Incredible Examples of The BuzzFeed Backlash

    [18]Bloomberg – Buzzfeed Raises $19M for Listicle Empire

    [19]The Daily Dot – McSweeney’s challenges BuzzFeed to listicle-off, loses

    [20]The Daily Dot – What it takes to get banned from BuzzFeed

    [21]Eater – Here Is a Listicle of 43 Suggested BuzzFeed Food Listicles

    [22]McSweeney’s – Suggested BuzzFeed Articles

    [23]BuzzFeed – Gay Republicans

    [24]BuzzFeed – The “Borat” Movie

    [25]BuzzFeed – Eating Endangered Species

    [26]BuzzFeed – 15 Curious Things Found in Library Book

    [27]BuzzFeed – 21 Reasons You’re A True Hillbilly

    [28]BuzzFeed – 16 Problems Every Petite Girl Deals With

    [29]Vanity Fair – 40 Signs You Are a BuzzFeed Writer Running Out of List Ideas

    [30]BuzzFeed – The Story Of Egypt’s Revolution In “Jurassic Park” Gifs

    [31]Tumblr – BuzzFeedMinusTheGIFs

    [32]New York Times – 50 Million New Reasons BuzzFeed Wants to Take Its Content Far Beyond Lists

    [33]The Hollywood Reporter – BuzzFeed Raises $50 Million, Creates Motion Picture Division

    [34]Chris Dixon’s blog – BuzzFeed

    [35]The Wrap – BuzzFeed Raises $50 Million for Expansion, Motion Picture Division

    [36]Buzzfeed – BuzzFeed Announces Major Expansion Across All Business Lines

    [37] – BuzzFeed Announces Major Expansion Across All Business Lines

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  • 04/08/13--00:55: NeoGAF
  • About

    NeoGAF is an Internet discussion forum dedicated to video game-related topics. Forum members have participated in the creation and proliferation of Internet memes and are particularly active during the annual Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3). The forum is known for having strict moderation, with users waiting months to be approved as a “junior member” and even longer to become regular members. The NeoGAF logo is a green and orange colored circle and has been included in the Nintendo DS puzzle game Scribblenauts as an Easter egg. NeoGAF is now a controversial group for its common banning and social justice in the gaming community.

    In June 2013, GameTrailers did an episode on NeoGAF.


    The video game news website Gaming-Age[9] established the Gaming-Age Forums (GAF) with UBB forum software in 1999. After holding a fundraiser for the forums in the spring of 2004, GAF received new hosting and software. On April 4th, 2006, GAF was relaunched as “NeoGAF” and received the new domain[10] The new site featured “Gaming”[1] and “Off-topic”[2] sub forums with the “Gaming Community” and “Off-topic Community” sections added later.


    Adam Orth’s “Always On” Twitter Gaffe

    A series of controversial tweets by Microsoft Studios creative director Adam Orth defendeding “always-online” video games were heavily derided on the NeoGAF Forums in April of 2013.


    The controversial actions of NeoGAF and Tyler Malka have been described as ‘toxic’ to the gaming community. Evidences of both NeoGAF and Tyler Malka’s hypocrisy, delusion, cyberbullying, social justice, and common banning have been posted on numerous occasions. A Voat group known as NeoFAG[26] is a anti-NeoGAF forum that focuses on the latest controversies from NeoGAF.

    Common Banning

    This controversy is very common in NeoGAF. The mods on NeoGAF are known for banning users who hold differing opinions. There are numerous other ban reasons that are commonly considered ridiculous as the list goes on.


    YouTuber Boogie2988 was once a member of NeoGAF until he describe he became a victim of NeoGAF’s bullying. They spend days bullying Boogie2988 into submission for supporting GamerGate and saying nice things about American author and equity feminist Christina Hoff Sommers. Later Boogie2988 was banned permanently from NeoGAF for not defending NeoGAF’s women in gaming such as Anita Sarkeesian and Zoe Quinn.


    On October 20th, 2014, The Ralph Retort posted a news article about NeoGAF having a pedophile problem. Even though many screenshot evidence were posted around the internet, the admins of NeoGAF denied about the fact they allow pedophiles discussing pedophilia and child molestation.

    During the Jared Fogle Child Porn Investigation, NeoGAF members discuss about having child pornography on your computer hard drive is not a bad thing, and they quote, “I don’t think Jared from Subway is a pedophile.”.

    Revenge Pornography Leak

    On September 21st, 2014, Reddit user exname submitted a thread containing evidence that NeoGAF owner and admin Tyler Malka leaked nude photographs of one of his rival’s girlfriends a few years ago.

    Stolen User Content

    On September 20th, 2014, The Ralph Report submit a news article on NeoGAF selling Kotaku user content without using permission. A tweet on Twitter is posted containing screenshot evidence and details on NeoGAF user Nanashrew having high hopes on putting journalist Milo Yiannopoulos in jail for uncovering NeoGAF’s corruption details.

    Nikki Moxxi Harassment

    On September 23rd, 2016, a Gizmodo article by Bryan Menedus was submitted, discussing about Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey supporting Donald Trump and dating GamerGate supporter Nikki Moxxi. This cause Gizmodo supporters, including NeoGAF,[27] to start a blatant attack on her Twitter page. Nikki Moxxi later closed her Twitter account due to the violent harassment.

    Related Memes

    Translator San

    The photoshop meme Translator San from the 2009 E3 video game event was embraced by many users on NeoGAF in the early stages of its creation.


    Dudebro is a 2D action PC game being developed by NeoGAF members. The game is intended to be a parody of military shooter games, featuring the protagonist John Dudebro and his sidekick Habemus Chicken.

    The project was initially inspired by forum member Cuyahoga’s response to being called a pedophile for enjoying the game Imagine: Babyz Fashion on December 7th, 2009:

    “So, I’m a pedophile because I don’t want to play Dudebro, My Shit is Fucked Up So I Got to Shoot/Slice You II: It’s Straight-Up Dawg Time?”[7]

    All My Friends Are Dead

    On May 19th, 2011, forum member spiderman123 submitted a link to an Amazon page for the book Go the F**k to Sleep by Adam Mansbach. After one user noted that Mansbach’s other book All My Friends are Dead was listed on the page, several members began photoshopping images based on the book’s cover featuring a forlorn-looking dinosaur.

    NeoGAF Asshole

    On December 20th, 2011, NeoGAF[8] member 24FrameDaVinci submitted a link to a Quickmeme[6] page titled “NeoGAF Asshole,” featuring a photograph of a young man wearing a pair of glasses. The captions feature references to video games and inside jokes within the NeoGAF communtiy. As of April 2013, the Quickmeme page has received upwards of 1,000 submissions.


    The term GAF’D is a inside joke directed towards NeoGAF’s free company[23] (guilds) Gather Against Fate (GAF)[22] for the unresponsible actions they done wrong during gameplay from the Ultros server in MMORPGFinal Fantasy XIV. On July 7th, 2014, Final Fantasy XIV release Patch 2.3 Defenders of Eorzea. This patch introduce elite ranked enemies for players to party up and battle for a challenge and greater rewards. NeoGAF members of GAF would purposely pull for themselves without waiting for everyone else to get a chance, causing drama against the free company GAF by shouting “GAF’D!” and along other shouts such as “Dammit GAF!”. This term quickly became a meme and commonly used in shout command for trolling and blaming GAF.


    As of April 2013, is ranked 3,922 in the world according to Alexa[4] traffic rankings.

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 05/30/15--17:17: Sonic For Real Justice
  • Overview

    Sonic For Real Justice is a Tumblr Blog featuring anti-social justice written from the persona of Sonic the Hedgehog characters. The blog reached over 10,000 followers[13] within the first 24 hours of its launch after one of its moderators was banned for attempting to censor the site’s “Ask” feature.


    The Tumblr blog was created on May 30th, 2015 by a group of anonymous friends on Skype.[5] Each moderator took on a persona of a character from the Sonic the Hedgehog universe and used them to engage in a faux-conversation advocating extreme political correctness, a.k.a. social justice warrior practices, using the character traits of the Sonic characters.[1] The blog quickly began garnering attention after Mod Shadow’s edgy self-introduction (shown below, right), which got over 6,800 notes in under a day.[7]

    Notable Developments

    The blog increased in popularity after one of the moderators, Mod Silver, was banned from the blog for disabling the “Ask” feature,[9] which violated one of the group’s code of conducts, according to one of the co-moderators Mod Amy.[10] Furthermore, the group’s tongue-in-cheek rule, “Be kind to Mod Silver”, was also removed from the blog’s rules page[11] as a result of the ban. The ensuing drama was largely met by negative and sarcastic responses from the blog’s fans and followers on Tumblr.

    Meanwhile, Tumblr user radicalruster released a number of parody voice-over recordings of Mod Shadow, with all of them featuring some form of rock music in the background. The most popular version to date has received 2,500 notes in just a few hours.[4] On May 30th, Tumblr user Transyuri created a music video detailing the blog’s formative events, which received over 21,000 notes within 18 hours (shown below).[3]

    That same day, Tumblr user Gemwarp also explained the situation surrounding the Sonic For Real Justice mods in a text post, accompanied screen captures of the discussions among the moderators (shown below). The post received over 22,000 notes within 24 hours.[8]

    On May 31st, Mod Tails resigned from the blog after claiming he was harassed by Mod Amy.[12] A few hours later, Mod Sonic revealed he and Mod Amy had been secretly dating,[17] which caused suspicion amongst the blog’s followers over the integrity of the mod team. Later that same day, Mod Knuckles was recruited into the group, claiming to “play as the peacemaker of the group” and became the only mod allowed to change the rules (shown below).[14] A few hours later, Mod Tikal was banned for breaking the “no special snowflakes allowed” rule after expressing herself as a demigirl.[15][16] On June 1st, another mod was recruited, known as Mod Sally.[18] On June 2nd, Mod Shadow was banned from the blog;[19] followed by Mod Knuckles a day later,[20] which in return also made the “master rule” void (shown below); with Mod Sally resigning that night.[21] On June 4th, Tumblr user manic the bpdhedgehog made a post with a hypothetic diagnose that Mod Sonic could have Borderline Personality Disorder, which Mod Sonic later accepted.[23] Finally, on June 6th, Mod Amy was banned from the board,[22] leaving only Mod Sonic as an active moderator. During the process of the bans, Mod Sonic also changed his name to respectively Mod Super Sonic, after the Mod Knuckles ban; and Mod Dark Sonic, prior to the Mod Amy ban. However, 6 days later, on June 12th, Mod Dark Sonic’s sudden inactivity got him banned, after which Mod Silver and Shadow returned along with a new moderator, Mod Blaze.[24] On June 16th, two new mods, Mod Classic Amy[25] and Mod Classic Sonic,[26] were introduced and were said not to be the original duo. On June 19th, Mod Shadow created a post claiming that Mod Silver’s initial behavior prior to his original ban was an act in order to make the original Mod Amy appear bad.[27] On June 22nd, after a slight period of inactivity, Mod Silver denied the post and apologized for said inactivity. [28] After that post, the account was inactive for over a week which meant it should’ve been deleted, but only Mod Classic Amy and Mod Classic Sonic were banned. [29] Mod Silver then made a post about the asks sent to them over this period of inactivity were deleted by the classic mods, [30] but Mod Shadow made a post saying the “real” reason for the removal will be shown eventually. [31]

    Various Examples

    Search Interest

    External Links

    [1]Tumblr – Sonic For Real Justice

    [2]Tumblr – Search for sonic for real justice

    [3]Tumblr – Transyuri

    [4]Radicalruster – requested by classiccocacola

    [5]Sonic For Real Justice – Sonic’s the name!

    [6]/r/OutOfTheLoop – What’s this sonic for social justice blog on tumblr?

    [7]Sonic For Real Justice – I’m mod Shadow.

    [8]Tumblr – Gemwarp

    [9]Sonic For Real Justice – Silver…you haven’t even fucking posted

    [10]Sonic For Real Justice – Attention

    [11]Sonic For Real Justice – Blog Rules

    [12]Sonic For Real Justice – I’ve made a decision…

    [13]Sonic For Real Justice – BY THEWAY, WE HIT 10,000 FOLLOWERS

    [14]Sonic For Real Justice – I’M KNUCKLES

    [15]Sonic For Real Justice – I’m sorry Tikal but this is the last straw

    [16]Sonic For Real Justice – I’m afraid sonic is right this time

    [17]Sonic For Real Justice – Our relationship attracts weird attention

    [18]Sonic For Real Justice – Sally Introduction

    [19]Sonic For Real Justice – Shadow is next on the ban list

    [20]Sonic For Real Justice – Why am i off the mods page

    [21]Sonic For Real Justice – I think most if not all mods are asleep now

    [22]Sonic For Real Justice – I’m banning Mod Amy. For her own good

    [23]Sonic For Real Justice – I know what’s happening

    [24]Sonic For Real Justice – Mod List on June 12

    [25]Sonic For Real Justice – Mod Classic Amy Introduction

    [26]Sonic For Real Justice – Mod Classic Sonic Introduction

    [27]Sonic For Real Justice – I’m tired of you, Mod Silver

    [28]Sonic For Real Justice – We’ve been really busy lately

    [29]Sonic For Real Justice – PSA

    [30]Sonic For Real Justice – I was hoping to answer asks that were left

    [31]Sonic For Real Justice – You’ll see what happened

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  • 07/22/11--14:11: LazyTown
  • About

    LazyTown was a musical children’s television show promoting healthy lifestyles featuring costumed actors, puppetry and CGI animation. Clips and images of the show have been widely circulated online, spawning several related internet memes and video remixes.


    In the show, the character Stephanie Meanswell (played by Julianna Rose Mauriello and Chloe Lang) inspires the citizens of the fictional LazyTown to stay active and healthy, and is know for her pink outfits and hair. The character Robbie Rotten (played by Stefan Karl) plots and schemes to lure the citizens away from a healthy lifestyle. Additional notable characters include Sportacus, Mayor Meanswell, Ziggy, Trixie, Pixel and Stingy.


    On August 16th, 2004, LazyTown was first broadcast on the children’s television block Nick Jr. on the Nickelodeon channel. The show ran for two seasons, airing a total of 53 episodes, between 2004 and 2007. From 2013 to 2014, two additional seasons were broadcast.

    LazyTown Extra

    In 2008, the spin-off series LazyTown Extra was released in the United Kingdom on the CBeebies television station, which featured characters from LazyTown performing short sketches.

    Online Presence

    On October 14th, 2011, the /r/LazyTown[2] subreddit was launched for discussions about the television show. On March 19th, 2012, the official LazyTown Facebook[1] page was launched, which gathered upwards of 85,500 likes over the next five years. On August 24th, 2012, LazyTown head writer Mark Valenti participated in an “ask me anything” post on the /r/IAmA[5] subreddit. On May 12th, 2013, a page for LazyTown was created on TV Tropes. On June 4th, a LazyTown-themed trollpasta was created on the Trollpasta Wiki.[3] As of September 2016, the fanfiction database has over 430 submissions under the LazyTown category.[4]

    Stefán Karl’s Illness

    In late September 2016, Icelandic news media began reporting that actor Stefan Karl was “seriously ill,” and was in a hospital to remove a possibly malignant tumor.[6][7] That month, video remixes and photoshops featuring Karl playing Robbie Rotten reached the front page of several subreddits, including /r/youtubehaiku,[8] /r/Spongebros[9] and /r/tf2[10] (shown below). On September 28th, Redditor Catacomb82 submitted a post asking about the recent resurgence in LazyTown memes to /r/OutOfTheLoop,[11] to which the top-voted comment noted news reports of Karl’s recent illness.

    Related Memes

    Cooking by the Book

    “Cooking by the Book” is a catchy song from the show that has been widely remixed online, most notably in a mashup with rapper Lil Jon’s vocals from the 2004 rap song “Step You Game Up” by Snoop Dogg (shown below).

    You are a Pirate!

    “You Are A Pirate” is a song performed by a pirate character in a n episode of LazyTown, which subsequently inspired the creation of numerous parodies and animations.

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 09/02/13--14:51: Mighty No. 9

  • About

    Mighty No. 9 is a 2.5D action-platform video game developed by Comcept[1] under the direction of Keiji Inafune[16], a Japanese video game producer best known for classic titles such as Onimusha, Dead Rising and the Mega Man series. In October 2013, the project was successfully funded on Kickstarter and initially slated for digital and console release in 2015, though after several obstacles in development, the game was released on June 21st, 2016.


    Inspired by Mega Man games, Mighty No. 9 is set in the future, where the creation of highly advanced robots has become possible. The most advanced and powerful of those are a set of nine robots called the Mighty Numbers. After a computer virus of unknown origin begins to attack machines around the world, the Numbers are affected, making them evil. The player assumes control of Beck, the titular Mighty No. 9 who was the only Number unaffected by the virus. The game follows his journey to destroy his rogue “siblings” and discover the evil mastermind behind the crisis. Mighty No. 9 is set to be powered by the Unreal Engine, and rough tests using placeholder animations (shown below) have been shared on the game’s official YouTube account.[26]



    Mighty No. 9 was announced on August 31st, 2013, during a panel at the 2013 PAX Prime convention held by Inafune and his team from Comcept. At the end of the panel, they played a video (shown below) revealing the game would be crowdfunded through a Kickstarter campaign[2], which launched the same day. Immediately, a number of game sites covered the announcement, including IGN[17], Polygon[18], Screw Attack[19], Gematsu[20], Complex[21] and GameFront.[22]


    In just over 24 hours, the Kickstarter campaign reached its funding goal of $900,000.[23] A number of stretch goals to create physical and console versions of the game were added, and by September 16th, the game had hit $2.2 million dollars, securing console releases for the PlayStation 3, Xbox 360 and Wii U.[24] On October 1st, the pledges surpassed $4 million, adding releases for the PlayStation 4, Xbox One, PlayStation Vita and Nintendo 3DS.[25] In addition to all this, stretch goals broken include a new playable character with an extra stage and boss, two online modes, and a making-of commentary on the development of Mighty No. 9. On June 10th, 2014, the last e-mail detailing on the making-of documentary was sent out to backers, and has never been mentioned again since. A YouTube link of a teaser to the pilot episode of the documentary was included in the e-mail, which has not been produced to this day.

    English Dub Fundraiser

    At Anime Expo 2014 in the month of July, Inafune announced a new crowdfunding campaign to bring an English dub to the game, with the goal of $100,000. Concerns about the voice-acting crowdfunder arose on August 30th, when footage of the beta was revealed. To the confusion of the backers, the beta was structured in a way that it would suffer from not having a proper language dub, when the Kickstarter campaign didn’t even have such a stretch goal reached. This has made the voice-acting goal all the more urgent, as the game would suffer from poor design without it. The goal was announced to be reached by Comcept on October 6th, however at some point, they raised the goal to $200 thousand to include a Japanese dub with the additional $100 thousand. Later, Comcept compromised and brought the goal back to $100 thousand again, leaving it up to the backers to choose between an English or a Japanese dub. A week later, it was announced that the game will have English voice acting. On October 30th, Comcept announces potential Ray DLC for Mighty No. 9, needing $190 thousand to produce. Backers who funded the DLC would get a free code to download it, if they can secure the fund by the end of 2014.


    On January 2015, Comcept released a new video celebrating the new year, with Inafune saying that development on Mighty No. 9 has pretty much wrapped up, and now they’re moving on to promoting and porting the game. On April 2015, the release date of the game was delayed to September 2015 due to the new partnership with Deep Silver. Comcept assures this will only improve the game for everyone because everyone can now have the Ray DLC, Japanese and French voice-acting, and multi-language subtitles. On May 20th, Mighty No. 9’s beta was taken down. Comcept explains that the takedown was made to do further debugging and ROM testing. The news never got e-mailed to backers and was on the site without any notifications. On July 4th, two months before the game was supposed to be released, Inafune announces a new Kickstarter called Red Ash, a successor to the Mega Man Legends series. In the promotional video, he states that development on Mighty No. 9 has finished and Comcept is moving on. On July 31st, however, rumors of another Mighty delay surfaced from GameInformer, from GameStop retailers. Moderators of the Mighty No. 9 forum denied the rumor. Not even a week after the denial, Mighty No. 9 was announced to be delayed again on August 5th. Comcept said they wanted to tell fans about the rumor before Gamescom started, but Gamescom had already started by the time this news dropped. A moderator at the Mighty No. 9 forums, Josh, said he was too busy with Red Ash’s Kickstarter to clear up the confusion over the rumors of the delay before they even announced it and another mod states that the delay was caused by a problem with the network code for the 2 online modes. On August 28th, Comcept announced they will give backers a trial version of the game on September that contains four levels from the main game and six challenges complete with all the voice acting and language options that will be included in the final game.

    Online Presence

    On August 31st, 2013, Comcept launched a number of social media sites for Mighty No. 9 including a YouTube channel[28] Facebook fan[29] page, subreddit[30] and a Twitter[31] account, which has since gained nearly 15,000 followers. Additional, fans have created a wiki[32] for the game. On September 26th, Keiji Inafune participated in an Ask Me Anything thread on the /r/Gaming[33] subreddit, which received more than 4,800 upvotes, 2,400 points overall and 850 comments. In the thread, Inafune noted that he went to Kickstarter because he knew this was the kind of game fans wanted. In November that year, an official website[34] for the project was launched.


    During the Kickstarter campaign, Mighty No. 9 was discussed on many video game sites such as Polygon[7][8], Blistered Thumbs[5][6] and GameSpot[9][10], as well as message boards like NeoGAF[4]. Additionally, several gaming-focused YouTubers including Angry Joe] (shown below, left), Gaijin Goombah[13] (shown below, right) and Happy Console Gamer[14] among others have expressed their support for the game.

    As time went on, however, due to all the troubled development and history that has surrounded Mighty No. 9, it has been getting more and more backlash from fans and backers alike, as well as those who originally supported it.


    Upon its release[36] on June 21st, 2016, Mighty No. 9 received mixed to negative reviews from critics, getting a 57 overall in OpenCritic.[43]IGN rated it a 5.6 out of 10, stating that “despite its pedigree, Mighty No. 9 doesn’t seem to have a good sense of what was fun about Mega Man, or 2D action-platformers in general.”[44] GameInformer gave the game a 6.0 out of 10, stating that it is “the kind of nostalgic gaming that makes you want to play the original Mega Man games instead.” Gamespot gave it a 5 out of 10, saying “Mighty No. 9 is occasionally fun and inventive, but it fails to leave a lasting impression.”[45] The Jimquisition gave it a 4.0 out of 10.0, saying that “much like an anime fan on prom night, I would rather be at home playing Mega Man than here.”[46]


    Due to the numerous delays, many have voiced their complaints about Comcept overpromising and failing to deliver.[37]

    Dina Karam controversy

    Dina Abou Karam has been met with a lot of criticism regarding her job as a community manager for the game. Fans were getting increasingly skeptical about the legitimacy of Dina, with such things like her Twitter being full of ludicrous feminist posts, her trying to push making Beck a girl, and her having never played a Mega Man game before. The latter fact especially makes backers wary, and wouldn’t give Dina the benefit of the doubt and want answers. Things get even more suspicious when Dina introduced herself on the forums, and claimed that Mega Man X is the best Mega Man, despite saying on her Twitter that she never played a Mega Man game before, giving off the impression that she’s lying to everyone, leading to more concerns and backlash from backers. As a response, Dina locked her Twitter account, and in those few hours that the account was locked, it was unlocked again with all the questionable tweets deleted.[35] Despite her best efforts to hide any discriminating evidence against her, people picking apart the archived tweets she deleted realized that she was supporting the game because her friends and boyfriend were working on it, which means she got her job because of nepotism, and Dina confirmed it on the forums. Dina eventually stepped down from the position and left Comcept.

    Red Ash controversy

    On July 2015, Comcept released two Kickstarter campaigns for a new project called Red Ash: The Indelible Legend, a spiritual successor to Mega Man Legends, one for a game and one for an anime. Fans were skeptical over the shadiness of the Kickstarter campaigns, and bitter over the basic fact that Mighty No. 9 wasn’t out yet at the time and were underwhelmed by its art style change when it was shown at E3 2015. Furthermore, Comcept was being incredibly vague with the product they were trying to sell to their backers, with even less promising concept art and steeper donation goals than what the Mighty No. 9 campaign had, and a prototype that didn’t sell anyone into funding the game. In its last few days before the deadline was reached, and it was clear that the game’s Kickstarter would not reach the goal with little more than half of the target amount, Comcept announced that the game would be fully funded by a Chinese company named FUZE, and the money donated to the campaign, if reached, will solely be used for the stretch goals. This created another backlash as fans took back thousands of dollars they donated to the Kickstarter. While the anime Kickstarter was successfully funded, the game’s campaign ultimately failed to meet its goal.

    Masterclass Trailer controversy

    On May 25, 2016, publisher Deep Silver released a trailer for Mighty No. 9 called Masterclass. The video has gotten negative reception for its overall presentation: the phrase “make the bad guys cry like an anime fan on prom night”, the “Pizzasplosion” that puts the game’s graphics into question, and the narrator trying too hard to make the trailer sound epic.[38] The backlash has gotten to the point where Sonic The Hedgehog and Inti Creates’ official Twitter account criticized the trailer.[39][40] This has also raised questions whether they should still invest in the game,[41] while others say that they should abandon the “hype train”.[42] The trailer garnered over 38,000 dislikes on YouTube.

    “It’s Better Than Nothing” controversy

    When the game was launched, Comcept held a special Livestream hosted by representative Ben Judd to celebrate. During the stream, Inafune respectfully answered questions to fans that participated. However, one answer drew in ire. While translating Inafune’s answers for the stream, Judd claimed that the version of Mighty No. 9 that customers have now is “better than nothing”.[47] Fans were angered at Inafune for saying such a thing, but closer inspection of Inafune’s dialogue revealed that Judd poorly translated Inafune’s answer.

    Fan Art

    Despite the postponement of the game’s release, fan artworks based on the concept art shared on Kickstarter can be found on deviantART[3], pixiv[11] and Tumblr.[27]

    Search Interest

    External References

    [1]Comcept – Official Comcept English Page

    [2]Kickstarter – Mighty No. 9 Kickstarter Page

    [3]DeviantArt – search results for Mighty No. 9

    [4]NeoGAF – Mighty No. 9 Thread on NeoGAF

    [5]Blistered Thumbs – Keiji Inafune’s Spiritual Mega Man Sequel Kickstarter Has Reached its Goal

    [6]Blistered Thumbs – BT PodCast

    [7]Polygon – Mega Man spiritual successor Mighty No. 9 meets Kickstarter funding goal

    [8]Polygon – Interview with Inafune at PAX 2013

    [9]GameSpot – Mega Man creator launches Kickstarter for Mighty No. 9

    [10]GameSpot – Mega Man Creator On How Kickstarter Could Rejuvenate The Japanese Gaming Scene

    [11]pixiv – search results for Mighty No. 9

    [12]YouTube – AJS Vlog: Update & Mighty #9 Pledge!

    [13]YouTube – Mighty No 9 Promo Video (Game Exchange)


    [15]Kickstarter – FUNDED… and Then Some!

    [16]Wikipedia – Keiji Inafune

    [17]IGNPAX: Mega Man Creator Announces Mighty No. 9

    [18]Polygon – Keiji Inafune making Mega Man spiritual successor, Mighty No. 9, with Kickstarter funding

    [19]Screw Attack – [PAX] Keiji Inafune Flips Capcom The Bird With Mighty No. 9!

    [20]Gematsu – Keiji Inafune launches Kickstarter for Mighty No. 9

    [21]Complex – Keiji Inafune Announces “Mighty No. 9” Kickstarter

    [22]GameFront – Comcept’s Mighty No. 9 is a Spiritual Successor to Mega Man

    [23]Destructoid – Inafune’s Mighty No. 9 reaches goal in just over 24 hours

    [24]IGNMighty No. 9 Hits Console Stretch Goal

    [25]GameInformer – Update: Mighty No. 9 Meets Next-Gen Consoles, Handheld Stretch Goals

    [26]VG 24/7 – Mighty No. 9 video shows in-engine footage, game uses Unreal Engine

    [27]Tumblr – Posts Tagged #mighty no. 9

    [28]YouTube – Official Mighty No. 9’s Channel

    [29]Facebook – Mighty No. 9

    [30]Reddit – /r/MightyNo9

    [31]Twitter – @MightyNo9

    [32]Orcz – Mighty No. 9 Wiki

    [33]Reddit – /r/gaming: Hi, I’m game creator Keiji Inafune (Onimusha, Dead Rising, Mega Man, Mighty No. 9). Ask Me Anything!

    [34]Mighty No 9 – The official Mighty No. 9 community site

    [35]Niche Gamer – The Dina Disaster, the Story of Nepotism and Mighty No. 9

    [36]Mighty No 9 – Regarding the Mighty No. 9 release

    [37]Destructoid – Mighty No. 9 is a lesson for future Kickstarters

    [38]Kotaku – Mighty No. 9’s Marketing Is Embarrassing To Everyone

    [39]Twitter – @t_aizu

    [40]Twitter – @sonic_hedgehog

    [41]YouTube – Mighty No. 9 Trailer Sucks – Are Fans Still Invested After All The Drama? – AlphaOmegaSin

    [42]YouTube – When the Hype Train Derails | SideScrollers Podcast #533

    [43]OpenCritic – Mighty No. 9 for PS4, XB1, Wii U, and PC

    [44]IGNMighty No. 9 Review

    [45]Gamespot – Mighty No. 9 Review

    [46]The Jimquisition – Mighty No. 9 Review – Nega Man

    [47]Nintendo Life – Even If It’s Not Perfect, It’s Better Than Nothing, Says Mighty No. 9 Creator Keiji Inafune

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  • 08/23/11--07:12: Club Penguin
  • About

    Club Penguin, commonly abbreviated as CP, is a children’s massively multiplayer online game (MMO) developed by New Horizon Interactive. Using cartoon penguin avatars, players can chat, play mini games and participate in other activities with one another in a snow-covered virtual world. Though a large amount of the game can be played for free, some of features are not available unless a membership is purchased.


    Experimental Versions

    In 2000, RocketSnail Games released the game Experimental Penguins, in which players could interact with each other using penguin avatars. The following year, the game was taken offline. In 2002, Penguin Chat[1] was released by RocketSnail Games as the successor to Experimental Penguins, which was subsequently followed by Penguin Chat 2 (2003) and Penguin Chat 3 (2005).

    Club Penguin

    On October 24th, 2005, Club Penguin[3] was released as a web browser game on the Flash site Miniclip to the general public after a short beta-testing period. In August 2007, Disney bought Club Penguin for $350 million and an additional $350 million in potential bonuses


    On January 30th, 2017, Club Penguin[4] announced that they would be discontinuing Club Penguin game on desktop and mobile devices on March 29th, 2017 and launching a new game, “Club Penguin Island,” for mobile. That day, a thread about the news was posted to /r/bnnedfromclubpenguin[5] where it gained over 15,500 upvotes. The Daily Dot[6] also covered the news, giving a rundown of Club Penguin’s long history and it’s relation to memes.


    Club Penguin players can interact with each other in a variety of virtual locations navigated with their penguin avatars. The game was designed for children of ages 6 to 14, but players of any age can join the game. Developers employed a number of child safety features to confront this, including an “Ultimate Safe Chat” mode in which users can only select comments from a menu of pre-chosen terms.

    Related Memes

    Tip The Iceberg

    Tip the Iceberg is a Club Penguin game in which players attempt to tip the secret Iceberg location by dancing while wearing a hard hat, miners helmet, construction hat or green hard hat item to make the penguin avatar use a large drill (shown below)

    On January 31st, 2017, YouTuber punpun uploaded a video to YouTube of the penguins finally tipping the iceberg, revealing a secret dancefloor.

    Club Penguin Bans

    Since the game was designed for children, rules prohibit any inappropriate, violent or suggestive themes. If a player breaks the rules, a moderator will ban their account. On February 25th, 2013, the /r/bannedfromclubpenguin[2] subreddit was launched, featuring screenshots of users being banned from the online game.

    Purple Republic

    The Purple Republic is a group originating on 4chan’s /v/ board dedicated to raiding Club Penguin servers with purple penguins, similar to the Anonymous “Pool’s Closed” phenomenon associated with Habbo Hotel.

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 01/24/15--21:25: Cuck
  • About

    Cuck, short for “cuckold,” is a term referring to a man with a female significant other who engages in sexual activities with other men. Online, the term is often used as a pejorative to condescendingly describe a male who is sexually inadequate or sexually submissive.


    The world “cuckold” originated in 1250 in the the satirical poem “The Owl and the Nightingale” and is derived from the cuckoo bird, referring to some species of the animal that practice brood parasitism.[1] On January 18th, 2007, Urban Dictionary[2] user feaner submitted an entry for the term “cuck,” defining it as a shortened form of “cuckold.”


    Eron Gjoni

    After Eron Gjoni published the Zoe Post expose in August 2014, which detailed the alleged infidelity of his girlfriend Zoe Quinn, many 4chan users began referring to Gjoni as a “cuck.” On August 25th, 2014, Gjoni participated in an AMA thread on the /r/Drama[3] subreddit, where he discussed being called a “beta cuck” and posted a photoshopped image of Quinn and several men with the caption “Cuck Tales” (shown below).

    “It hasn’t changed my views. But it has allowed me to note that both sides are prone to thoughtless vitriol. The difference between SJ circles and say, 4Chan though, is that 4Chan will find amusing ways to call me a beta cuck, whereas SRS will give me a careful nuanced analysis of the greater social context in which I am a beta cuck.”

    Louis Cuck King

    In October 2014, 4chan users began referring to comedian Louis C.K. as “Louis Cuck King,” accompanied by criticisms of his stand-up routines which some interpreted as being anti-white or promoting cuckoldry. On October 22nd, a 4chan user submitted a post to the /tv/[5] (television & film) board with a picture of Louis C.K. accompanied by the green text“All white women should try the BBC and fill their wombs with superior PoC seed” (shown below).

    Over the next few months, many photoshopped images depicting the comedian as a cuckold began circulating on the site (shown below).

    Christopher “Moot” Poole

    In December 2014, 8chan and 4chan users began referring to 4chan founder Christopher Poole (a.k.a. “moot”) as a cuck after discovering photographs of a female friend of his with another man. On December 7th, 4chan users reported that the word “cuck” was being redacted from posts on the site’s /pol/ (politics) board.[4] On December 8th, a composite image featuring photographs of Poole and his friend titled “Moot is a cuck” was submitted to the /r/4chan[6] subreddit.

    Search Interest


    [1]Wikipedia – Brood parasite

    [2]Urban Dictionary – cuck

    [3]Reddit – Im Zoe Quinns Ex AMA

    [4]Reddit – What is happening to 4chans pol

    [5]4plebs – All white women

    [6]Reddit – Moot is a cuck

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  • 05/13/16--08:30: It's High Noon
  • About

    “It’s High Noon” is a memorable quote uttered by the playable hero character McCree when executing his ultimate ability Deadeye in the first-person shooter video game Overwatch.


    In Overwatch, each of the 21 playable characters has an ultimate ability that can be activated once fully charged. When activating McCree’s Deadeye ability, he loudly announces “It’s high noon” while locking on to all enemies within his field of view. If the trigger is pulled after fully locking on to enemy players, they will all be hit with a shot that instantly kills them (shown below).


    On October 29th, 2015, Imgur[3] user DoctorMacaa submitted a “Good Heavens, Just Look at the Time” parody image featuring McCree (shown below, left). On November 5th, YouTuber vamroth uploaded a clip of McCree earning a “Play of the Game” by killing three enemies with the Deadeye ultimate ability (shown below).

    On May 19th, 2016, Tumblr user dandycalamity[1] uploaded a webcomic in which McCree reads a watch with the words “high noon” repeated across the surface (shown below). Over the next two weeks, the post gained over 20,000 notes. On May 24th, Redditor Evillisa submitted the comic to /r/Overwatch,[2] where it received more than 6,100 votes (91% upvoted) and 200 comments in one week.

    On May 29th, YouTuber TheBetamanique uploaded a YouTube-poop style video featuring a music remix of McCree singing “It’s High Noon” (shown below, left). The same day, YouTuber Bartol Babich uploaded a “When I’m Bored” remix featuring a montage of McCree clips (shown below, right).

    Various Examples

    Search Interest

    External References

    [1]Tumblr – dandycalamity

    [2]Reddit – High Noon

    [3]Imgur – Its high noon somewhere

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  • 06/10/15--18:57: Send Nudes
  • About

    “Send Nudes” is an expression used to request sexually explicit photographs from someone via various forms of communication, including web based services and text message. Online, the phrase is often referenced as an unexpected punchline in images and videos, and has circulated on the Brazilian web with the Portuguese translation “manda nudes.”


    On March 4th, 2005, Urban Dictionary[11] user madmaxxx submitted an entry for “nudes,” noting that internet users will often request nude photographs with phrases like “n00dz plz.”

    On February 12th, 2008, Flickr[12] user Allen posted a photoshopped picture of a kitten with a gun held to his head with the caption “Send Nudes Or I Shoot The Fucking Cat” (shown below).


    On February 19th, 2014, Redditor hubble_butt submitted a stock photo of two children talking through tin cans with the caption “Send the nudes bitch” (shown below, left). Prior to being archived, the post gained over 2,200 votes (96% upvoted) on the /r/youdontsurf subreddit.[7] On April 9th, Redditor Hailz__ posted a chat conversation in which a picture of a blue-faced woman with no torso is sent to a person requesting nudes, garnering upwards of 2,900 votes (97% upvoted) and 50 comments before it was archived on /r/creepyPMs[10] (shown below, right).[10]

    On September 20th, 2016, Redditor ThreadlessJon submitted a screenshot of a chat conversation in which a man asks a religious woman to provide nude photographs or “ignore if you love Satan” to /r/BlackPeopleTwitter,[9] where it received more than 3,600 votes (96% upvoted) in two months (shown below).

    On November 21st, Instagram user carteltwins posted a video in which a person is shown attempting to use chopsticks before panning over to the phrase “send nudes” written in noodles (shown below). Within one week, the video accumulated upwards of 31,000 views and 300 comments.

    On November 29th, Redditor spitonem uploaded an animation of a Linerider video game level that spells out the phrase “send nudes” to /r/gifs, where it garnered more than 8,800 votes (86% upvoted) and 1,900 comments in 24 hours (shown below). That day, the /r/send_nudes[8] subreddit was launched, describing itself as a “safe for work subreddit for posting gifs and images requesting nudes in an elaborate/unexpected way.” Within 24 hours, the subreddit gained over 4,800 subscribers.

    Also on November 29th, the @BuzzFeedVideo Twitter feed posted a short clip of a brush being dropped on the floor next to the words “send nudes” spelled out in make-up products (shown below).

    Manda Nudes

    On March 11th, 2015, the Manda Nude (“send nude” in English) Tumblr[1] blog was launched, featuring various company logos photoshopped with the Portuguese phrase “Manda Nudes” (shown below)

    Comparison between original logo / Manda Nudes version

    On March 19th, the Brazilian blog Não Salvo[2] highlighted several “manda nudes” photoshops. On May 4th, 2015, YouTuber Luz, Camera, Revolucao! uploaded an edited Marvel Comics intro sequence edited with “Manda Nudes” over the company logo (shown below, left). On June 24th, YouTuber Arthur Brito uploaded a video of a PlayStation start-up screen displaying the words “Manda Nudes” (shown below, right).

    On August 17th, 2016, the creative studio Nelson Cash tweeted a list of the top keywords submitted to their Make It Stranger generator, which included “manda nudes”, “butt stuff” and “rip harambe” (shown below).[13]

    Multitap Sequence

    In December 2016, Twitter users began tweeting 7777 33 66 3 66 88 3 33 7777, a numeric sequence that translates to “send nudes” in multi-tap text messaging, as a throwback to the early days of mobile texting before the arrival of touch-screen keyboards. Throughout January and February 2017, dozens of messages bearing the multi-tap sequence surfaced on Twitter[14] and Reddit[16], many of which were accompanied by comments in the vein of age test and “only 90s kids know” jokes.

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 10/08/15--09:57: Milo Yiannopoulos
  • About

    Milo Yiannopoulos is a British journalist who is an technology editor at the conservative news and opinion site Breitbart. He has gained much notoriety online for frequently covering the Gamergate controversy and for being an outspoken critic of third-wave feminism.


    In May 2007, Yiannopoulos launched the @Nero[5] Twitter feed, gaining over 162,000 followers over the next eight years. In November 2011, Yiannopoulos launched the online tabloid magazine The Kernel along with friends David Rosenberg and David Haywood Smith, journalist Stephen Pritchard and former Telegraph employee Adrian McShane. The magazine was subsequently closed in 2013 and was purchased by The Daily Dot in 2014.

    Gamergate Coverage

    On September 1st, 2014, Breitbart published an article by Yiannopoulos titled “Feminist Bullies Tearing the Video Game Industry Apart,” which criticized the politicization of video game culture and video game developer Zoe Quinn. That month, Yiannopoulos wrote several articles about a private Google group mailing list titled “GameJournoPros,” purportedly used by gaming journalists cooperating to work against GamerGate.[2][3][4] In December, Yiannopoulos announced he was working on a book about the Gamergate controversy. On September 30th, 2015, Yiannopoulos appeared on the Joe Rogan Experience podcast, where he discussed a variety of issues, including Gamergate, homosexuality, religion and feminism (shown below).

    Sky News Appearances

    Yiannopoulos is a frequent guest on the British news station Sky News. On June 16th, 2015, YouTuber Captain Nemo uploaded footage of Yiannopoulos defending Nobel Prize-winning British biochemist Tim Hunt (shown below, left). On July 29th, YouTuber Captain Nemo uploaded a Sky News segment in which Yiannopoulos debates the issues body shaming and fat acceptance (shown below, right).

    University of Manchester Debate

    On October 6th, 2015, Yiannopoulos and Guardian journalist Julie Bindel were banned from appearing at an upcoming debate titled “From liberation to censorship: Does modern feminism have a problem with free speech?” at the University of Manchester. In an announcement from the University of Manchester’s Students’ Union, Bindel, a second-wave feminist, had been barred from the debate for her “views and comments towards trans people” which violated the school’s “safe space policy.”[6] The ban was subseqeuntly extended to Yiannopoulos for “comments lambasting rape survivors and trans people.”


    On January 8th, 2016, Yiannopoulos tweeted a screenshot of an email from Twitter informing him that his verified badge had been removed “due to recent violations of Twitter Rules” (shown below).[7] Within 48 hours the tweet gained over 2,100 likes and 1,600 retweets.

    Yiannopoulos subsequently claimed Twitter did not explain which rule he had violated and speculated he was being punished for being an outspoken conservative. To protest the badge removal, Twitter users began changing their profile pictures to photographs of Yiannopoulos and posting the hashtag #JeSuisMilo,[8] in reference to the French slogan “Je Suis Charlie”. That day, the hashtag was the #1 trending topic in the United States and #3 worldwide. Meanwhile, Twitter executive Nathan Hubbard posted a tweet speculating that the badge removal may have been a reaction to complaints that Yiannopoulos was “encouraging harassment” (shown below). The following day, Yiannopoulos disputed the complaint, claiming he told a friend “you deserve to be harassed” as a joke (shown below, right).[14]

    Also on January 9th, several news sites published articles about the controversy, including The Blaze,[10] BuzzFeed,[11] Breitbart[12] and Twitchy.[13]


    On July 19th, 2016, Twitter suspended Yiannopoulos’ account following a campaign that Twitter alleges he led to tweet racist and sexist things towards Ghostbusters actress Leslie Jones. It appears that Twitter, notorious for its inability to effectively deal with trolls, made the move in an effort to show it is cracking down on harassment, noting that they had suspended Yiannopoulos not for the offensive content of his tweets, but for violating Twitter’s rules[21] regarding the harassment of individuals. A screenshot of the full statement Twitter gave to Buzzfeed[15] is below.

    In a statement on Breitbart[16], Yiannopoulos called the suspension “cowardly” and declared “This is the end for Twitter. Anyone who cares about free speech has been sent a clear message: you’re not welcome on Twitter.”

    Yiannopoulos’s suspension prompted the #FreeMilo hashtag to trend nationwide on Twitter.[17] Conservative supporters have used the hashtag to argue that the suspension is an indication of a left-leaning double standard on Twitter; others have used the hashtag to troll.[18]

    On July 20th, 2016 news outlets including Buzzfeed, The New York Times,[19] and Fusion[20] picked up the story.

    Book Deal

    On December 29th, Yiannopoulos announced his upcoming autobiographical book Dangerous,[23] set for release in March 2017. That day, The Hollywood Reporter published an article revealing that Simon & Schuster’s Threshold Editions gave Yiannopoulos a $250,000 advance for the book, including a statement from the author:

    “They said banning me from Twitter would finish me off. Just as I predicted, the opposite has happened. Did it hurt Madonna being banned from MTV in the 1990s? Did all that negative press hurt Donald Trump’s chances of winning the election?”

    That day, the Chicago Review of Books tweeted they would abstain from covering a single Simon & Schuster book for the rest of 2017 in protest of Yiannopoulos’ book, referring to it as a “disgusting validation of hate” (shown below, left). Meanwhile, comedian Sarah Silverman posted a tweet denouncing the publishing company for giving Yiannopoulos a “platform” (shown below, right).

    That day, Yiannopoulos became a trending topic on both Facebook and Twitter. On Facebook, Yiannopoulos posted a response to the online backlash, stating “your impotent fury heats my pool” (shown below, left). On December 30th, a large influx of preorders caused Dangerous to become the top selling book on Amazon (shown below, right).[22]

    UC Berkeley Protest

    Full Article: 2017 Milo Yiannopoulos UC Berkeley Protest

    In early February of 2017, Yiannopoulos was scheduled to hold a talk to the students of UC Berkeley, when a large group of protesters arrived to the student union building and begun to tear down metal barricades, smash windows and set fires outside of the building. The protest gained heavy controversy.

    Pedastry Controversy

    On February 19th, 2017, the @ReaganBattalion Twitter feed posted a video from an episode of the Drunken Peasants podcast in which Yiannopoulos seemingly defends sexual relationships between adult men and teenage boys when discussing age of consent ideas as “arbitrary and oppressive” (shown below).

    On February 20th, Fox News contributor Guy Benson tweeted that Yiannopoulos had been disinvited from speaking at the upcoming Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC).[24] Meanwhile, Yiannopoulos published a post condemning pedophilia and “adults who sexually abuse minors,” as well as claiming he was a “child abuse victim” (shown below).

    That day, Simon & Schuster spokesperson Adam Rothberg tweeted that the publisher had cancelled Dangerous“after careful consideration” (shown below).[23] Also on February 20th, Fox Business reported that there was “fierce debate” inside Breitbart regarding Yiannopoulos’ employment at the company.[25]

    Following the cancellation, screenshots of a 4chan thread began circulating in which a poster claimed to be part of a mainstream media email list, and that journalists had planned to “destroy” Yiannopoulos career by depicting him as a pedophile.[26]

    Resignation from Breitbart

    On February 21st, Yiannopoulos released a statement that he would be resigning from Breitbart and that the decision “mine alone” prior to holding a press conference regarding the controversy:

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 01/25/16--15:53: iDubbbz
  • About

    iDubbbz is the YouTube handle of Ian Carter, an American vlogger and social media critic best known for his Kickstarter Crap and Content Cop web series. In addition to producing original video content, iDubbbz has made guest appearances in collaboration with other YouTube personalities, most notably Filthy Frank and Maxmoefoe.

    Online History

    On August 30th, 2012, iDubbbz posted the first video to the iDubbbzTV YouTube channel, in which he is shown playing the game Overgrowth. In the beginning of his YouTube career, iDubbbz built his audience base through a series of Let’s Play-style walkthroughs and video game commentaries, before shifting his focus to more in-depth commentaries on social media trends and analysis of YouTube’s vlogging subculture with the launch of Kickstarter Crap in March 2013, followed by the premiere of Content Cop in December 2015. Many of his early videos have since been removed from the channel. As of February 2017, iDubbbzTV has more than 3.5 million subscribers on YouTube.


    Kickstarter Crap

    Kickstarter Crap is a web series in which iDubbbz mocks and criticizes a variety of poorly conceived campaigns and projects found on the online crowdfunding platform Kickstarter. He later launched the spin-off series Indiegogo Excrement, investigating similar crowdfunding campaigns on Indiegogo.

    Content Cop

    Content Cop is a satirical web series in which iDubbbz offers his criticism and honest review of popular channels and content creators on YouTube. Each episode of Content Cop opens with a comedy sketch of iDubbbz dressed in a police uniform chasing after and bringing down a suspect, before cutting to iDubbbz’ production studio where he rants about the YouTube content creator in question at length. Since its premiere on December 13th, 2015, which featured a review of YouTube reaction vlogger Jinx (shown below), iDubbbz has released a total of ten Content Cop episodes on several celebrity vloggers, including Leafy, Keemstar and The Fine Bros, as well as popular subgenres of original video content on YouTube, such as hidden camera pranking, unboxing and other consumer product reviewers. As of February 2017, Content Cop has accrued nearly 64 million views in aggregate.

    Bad Unboxing

    Bad Unboxing is a web series in which iDubbbz parodies the genre of unboxing videos by opening and reviewing a variety of monthly subscription-based products, as well as miscellaneous gifts and mails sent from his fans. The series premiered on August 6th, 2014 with the pilot episode on a box of sample toothbrushes (shown below).


    iDubbbz’ stage persona and style of humor has been celebrated by his fans as provocative, ironic and highly satirical, while his critics have slammed his frequent use of racial and homophobic slurs for comedy as lowbrow and offensive. For more context, please refer to the sections below.


    Feud with Leafy

    On September 12th, 2016, iDubbbz released an episode of Content Cop in which he roasts the popular YouTube vlogger Leafy for having a “weak chin” complex, speculating that Leafy seems to be trying to hide the lower end of his face when posing for photographs (shown below). Within 48 hours, the video gathered upwards of 4.9 million views and 120,000 comments. In the following days, Leafy began to lose his subscribers en mass at a rapid rate, presumably as a result of iDubbbz’ Content Cop episode. Eventually, iDubbbz tweeted a message chastising his subscribers for unsubscribing from Leafy’s channel using the hashtag #WeLoveYouCalvin.

    Feud with Tana Mongeau

    Note: This section contains uncensored references to a racial slur; viewer discretion advised.

    On December 10th, 2016, YouTube vlogger Tana Mongeau posted a series of tweets slamming iDubbbz for using the “n-word” and “retard” in his videos. (shown below).

    While iDubbbz didn’t publicly acknowledge her criticism, he responded by staging an elaborate stunt wherein he traveled to San Francisco to attend a VIP meet-and-greet event with Mongeau, during which he approached the celebrity vlogger for a photograph and blurted out “say nigger!” (shown below, left). iDubbbz was promptly kicked out of the event. The prank was also recorded on camera by his girlfriend and fellow vlogger Raihnbowkidz), which was eventually posted to iDubbbz’ secondary channel in early February (shown below, right).

    On January 24th, 2017, Mongeau, unaware of the identity of the prankster, recounted her unpleasant encounter with a mysterious intruder at her event in a video titled “The N Word” (shown below). Within 24 hours, the video racked up more than 1.2 million views. Meanwhile, some of her fans began sleuthing online in order to identify the agent provocateur, which ultimately resulted in the exposure of iDubbbz’ involvement.

    However, the tide of the feud took an unexpected and drastic turn later that same day, when a video clip of Mongeau aggressively yelling the phrase “you fucking nigger” surfaced on YouTube (shown below, left). On January 26th, YouTube personality Philip DeFranco uploaded a video to share his thoughts on the controversy (shown below, right). On January 27th, Redditor Filterg submitted a post chronicling several times Mongeau had used the slur in the past to /r/idubbbz.[3]

    On February 6th, iDubbbz released a new Content Cop episode criticizing Mongeau’s video for exaggerating their encounter in San Francisco, as well as her use of the same racial slur in the past (shown below, left). Within 24 hours, the video gained over 3.5 million views and 158,000 comments. Same day, Redditor AsianWithGlasses submitted the Content Cop video to /r/videos,[4] where it gained over 174,000 votes (66% upvoted) and 7,100 comments within 24 hours.

    In response to the revelations about her own past, Mongeau tweeted that she had “made a lot of mistakes” and “an apology will be coming soon” (shown below).

    Related Memes

    “Hey! That’s Pretty Good”

    Hey! That’s Pretty Good is a reaction image of YouTuber iDubbbz, from the video “Dumbass Gets PewDiePie Tattoo,” which was uploaded on the Filthy Frank channel.

    “I’m Gay”

    “I’m Gay” refers to a memorable quote uttered by iDubbbz while jumping off a table in a video uploaded by MaxMoeFoe in mid May 2016. The scene has been widely used in various remixes on the YouTube and Vine, often paired with clips of people falling to the ground.

    “I Have Crippling Depression”

    “I Have Crippling Depression” is a memorable quote from iDubbbz’ “Disabled Pokemon Go – Eevee + Zubat” video (shown below).

    Search Interest

    External References

    0 0
  • 09/15/11--09:10: Tobuscus
  • About

    Toby Joe Turner, better known by his YouTube handle Tobuscus, is an American comedian and vlogger who produces and hosts a variety of online video content, including comedy skits, gaming reviews and the daily vlog series LazyVlogs.

    Online History

    On June 23rd, 2006, Turner uploaded his first video to the Tobuscus channel,[14] featuring a comedy sketch in which he uses a time manipulating remote control during a game of poker (shown below). Over the next 10 years, the video received upwards of 870,000 views and 5,600 comments.

    In 2008, Turner moved to Los Angeles, California. On January 23rd, 2010, the romantic comedy film New Low was released, in which Turner plays a stand-up comedian named Dave (shown below).

    Literal Trailers

    On December 8th, 2009, Turner uploaded the first in his Literal Trailers series, featuring a parody song about the film Clash of the Titans (shown below). In seven years, the video gathered more than 4.2 million views and 5,800 comments.


    On August 11th, 2010, Turner began his “LazyVlog” series on the TobyTurner YouTube channel, where he documents his daily life activities (shown below, left). On July 31st, 2011, TobyTurner uploaded a video featuring children from The Fine Brothers’“Kids React” series at the annual VidCon conference as a LazyVlog, which gathered upwards of 1.6 million views and 6,800 comments in the next five years (shown below, right).

    In one of his LazyVlogs, Turner revealed that the name “Tobuscus” was given by his friend Lance while they were performing in a play together (shown below).


    In July 2010, Turner launched the TobyGames YouTube channel, featuring footage of Turner playing and reviewing various video games. Over the next six years, the channel received more than 1.9 billion views and 6.8 million subscribers.

    Games Featured

    Game First Posted Last Posted Total Parts  Completion Status
    Halo: Reach September 22, 2010  November 11, 2010 51 Complete
    StarCraft II October 8, 2010 October 30, 2010 22 Incomplete
    Fallout: New Vegas October 19, 2010 January 24, 2011 100 Incomplete
    Call of Duty: Black Ops November 9, 2010 December 7, 2010 35 Complete
    Assassin’s Creed: Brotherhood November 16, 2010 February 17, 2011 98 Complete
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent December 11, 2010 February 1, 2011 55 Complete
    Dead Space 2 January 30, 2011 April 4, 2011 67 Complete
    LittleBigPlanet 2 February 12, 2011 May 26, 2011 32 Incomplete
    Call of Duty: Black Ops (Online) February 16, 2011 February 18, 2011 3 N/A
    BulletStorm February 23, 2011 April 14, 2011 43 Complete
    Halo: Reach (Online) March 2, 2011 March 6, 2011 3 N/A
    Homefront March 16, 2011 April 8, 2011 22 Complete
    Crysis 2 March 22, 2011 May 25, 2011 59 Complete
    Amnesia: The Dark Descent – Justine (DLC April 14, 2011 May 14, 2011 13 Incomplete
    Gears of War 3 (Multiplayer Beta) April 18, 2011 April 20, 2011 3 N/A
    Portal 2 April 19, 2011 June 10, 2011 54 Complete
    Brink May 10, 2011 May 13, 2011 4 Incomplete
    LEGO Pirates of the Caribbean May 14, 2011 May 27, 2011 11 Incomplete
    L.A. Noire May 18, 2011 September 29, 2011  121 Incomplete
    Duke Nukem Forever June 16, 2011 August 31, 2011 69 Complete
    Terraria June 17, 2011 February 9, 2012 208 N/A
    FEAR 3 June 24, 2011 August 1, 2011 39 Complete
    Deus Ex: Human Revolution August 31, 2011 September 18, 2011 17 Incomplete
    Dead Island September 7, 2011 December 6, 2011 81 Incomplete
    Left 4 Dead 2 September 28, 2011 October 7, 2011 10 Complete
    Words with Friends October 9, 2011 October 14, 2011 6 N/A
    Batman: Arkham City October 19, 2011 November 1, 2011 14 Incomplete
    Uncharted 3: Drake’s Deception November 2, 2011 March 27, 2012 51 Complete
    Skyrim November 17, 2011 October 5, 2012 323 Incomplete
    Assassin’s Creed: Revelations December 4, 2011 February 16, 2012 75 Complete
    Limbo February 10, 2012 February 16, 2012 26 Complete
    Rayman Origins February 17, 2012 March 3, 2012 16 Incomplete
    Legend of Zelda: Skyward Sword March 28, 2012 June 24, 2012 81 Incomplete
    Street Fighter X Tekken March 7, 2012 March 11, 2012 5 Incomplete
    Diablo 3 (Beta) April 24, 2012 April 25, 2012 2 N/A
    Bloodforge April 28, 2012 May 3, 2012 6 Incomplete
    War Inc. April 29, 2012 June 6, 2012 6 N/A
    Max Payne 3 May 16, 2012 June 4, 2012 19 Incomplete
    Slender August 9, 2012 September 26, 2012 10 N/A
    The Walking Dead September 29, 2012 December 4, 2012 60 Complete
    Black Mesa October 7, 2012 October 13, 2012 7 Incomplete
    Dishonored October 13, 2012 November 4, 2012 22 Incomplete
    Need for Speed: Most Wanted November 4, 2012 November 4, 2012 1 Incomplete
    Assassin’s Creed III November 5, 2012 December 6, 2012 31 Incomplete
    Far Cry 3 December 2, 2012 March 6, 2013 90 Complete
    Just Dance 4 December 5, 2012 December 22, 2012 2 N/A
    Haunt December 24, 2012 December 27, 2012 4 N/A
    Halo 4 December 28, 2012 January 9, 2013 12 Incomplete
    Planetside 2 December 29, 2012 January 15, 2013 5 Incomplete
    Dead Space 3 February 7, 2013 March 12, 2013 29 Incomplete


    On September 22, 2011 Toby uploaded his first Minecraft video titled “Minecraft – BROTHERPIG– Part 1” to TobyGames, which subsequently became his longest running and most popular playthrough. On November 19th, 2011, Turner uploaded a video featuring the Mincraft Enderman, which gained over 7.8 million views and 14,800 comments in the next five years.


    In September, 2010, Turner launched the cutewinfail[5] channel, which features various videos placed under the categories “cute,” “win” or “fail.” As of April 2016, the channel has accumulated upwards of 64 million video views and 229,700 subscribers.

    Appearances in Other Popular Media

    Turner has appeared in the "Annoying Orange ": aired on Cartoon network as the scientist named Nerville (Shown below, left) and in various commercials, including an ad for the food Hot Pockets (shown below, right).

    Tobuscus Adventures: The Game

    On May 21st, 2013, Turner announced the release of the mobile game Tobuscus Adventures[13], featuring Turner as a wizard character in a world populated by zombies (shown below).

    Quotes and Catchphrases

    “Black, Red and White”

    At the beginning and end of each LazyVlog, Turner will often place his finger of over the lens of his camera in order to cause the camera feed to go black and red as he slowly removes his finger, then white as the camera readjusts to the ambient light. This method effectively gives Toby an “Intro of Darkness, then Redness, then Whiteness!”, a phrase which he commonly adapts depending on the surroundings and kind of video. Additionally, the colors black, red, and white have been made Toby’s “colors”.[8]


    Turner frequently utters the words “hot hot hot” in succession when encountering an attractive woman.[9]

    “Roll the Next Clip Steven!”

    Steven is Turner’s imaginary employee who he constantly orders to “roll the next clip” in CuteWinFail videos. This phrase has since been adopted by fans reacting to Turner’s videos in comment sections.

    Badadododododododododo SUBSCRIBE!

    At the end of his daily LazyVlogs, Turner is known to sign off by saying “Badadododododododo SUBSCRIBE.”

    Gaming catchphrases

    Turner’s gaming videos also feature several specific catchphrases. Every video almost always starts with “Hello once again, Audience!” and ends with “I gotta pause it. Thanks for watching! Click adnotation on the top right to watch next video. Bless your face. If you sneezed during this video bless you. Peace off. Boop!”.
    For more situational quotes, Toby is known to scream “God dangit!” when he fails or dies in the game:


    Rape Allegations

    On April 8th, 2016, vlogger AprilEfff published a blog post on Tumblr[20] accusing Turner of emotional, physical and sexual abuse while they had dated several years prior. In the post, she claims Turner emotionally manipulated her for years and drugged her with MDMA at one point. That day, YouTuber DJ Keemstar uploaded a video to the DramaAlert YouTube channel about the controversy, featuring a reading of AprilEfff’s post (shown below, left). Also that Day, YouTuber Amelia Talon uploaded a video titled “The Toby Turner story – Standing with April,” in which she tells several anecdotes about Turner pressuring her into doing “weed” and “molly.”[21] The video was subsequently made private.

    On April 9th, Turner’s ex-girlfriend and fellow vlogger Jaclyn Glenn uploaded a video titled “Toby Turner Rape Allegations,” in which she revealed that while Turner was a terrible boyfriend, she didn’t believe he was a criminal or rapist (shown below, left). On April 9th, YouTuber Pyrocynical posted a video titled “Keemstar and Tobuscus Rant,” which encouraged people to not jump to conclusions without adequate evidence, criticized the use social media in lieu of law enforcement and derided herd mentality on the internet (shown below, right).

    On April 11th, Turner posted a video titled “The Truth,” in which he calls the allegations “false” and says he never did anything “without her consent” (shown below, left). The same day, YouTuber Philip DeFranco posted a video about the controversy, in which he reveals that while he thinks Turner is likely abusive a drug addict, he isn’t sure if he is a rapist (shown below, right).

    Also on April 11th, YouTuber Melanie Murphy posted a video titled “Sexual Consent & MY Time With Toby,” in which she revealed that while her relationship with Turner was “toxic and destructive” and that he cheated on her, she was never abused or raped (shown below).

    Search Interest

    External Refernces

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  • 08/21/10--17:21: Doug Walker
  • About

    Douglas Darien “Doug” Walker, born November 17, 1981,(widely known for creation “The Nostalgia Critic”) is an internet personality, and one of the main reviewers and co-founder of reviewing site That Guy With The Glasses.

    Online History

    Doug Walker first gained notoriety on YouTube, where he started The Nostalgia Critic and 5 Second Movies. However, shortly after, his videos garnered complaints from companies such as 20th Century Fox and Lions Gate over copyright Infringement. Despite Walker explaining his videos were satirical, and thus protected by the United States First Amendment[1], YouTube took the videos down anyway. In April 2008, Walker created his own site named That Guy With The Glasses, as a means to escape YouTube deleting the videos. As of June 2008, all of Walker’s videos were taken off YouTube.


    When Walker first started making videos, he garnered a giant fanbase for both 5 second videos and Nostalgia Critic. The Nostalgia Critic has received high praise from critics and audiences. The show averages 100,000 to 200,000 viewers per week. In the third quarter of the 2009 fiscal year alone, the series generated $54,000 in income from its advertising. This income allowed Walker to quit his previous job as an illustrator and to create web television professionally.
    The series and character gained increased fame from a fictional feud between the Critic and fellow web reviewer character The Angry Video Game Nerd (played by James Rolfe). This began with the Critic launching a satirical attack in an early video. The feud took place over many videos in 2008–09. The two characters, and real-life comedians, are now the best of friends. Walker has informed viewers of Rolfe’s projects, and Rolfe has contributed to some of the Critic’s subsequent videos, such as the Voice in Suburban Knights, an attacker in his review of Ponyo for the 200th episode of the Nostalgia Critic, and a masked alien in To Boldly Flee. Walker posted on his Twitter account that he will make a cameo appearance in Rolfe’s Angry Video Game Nerd film adaptation.
    This carried on for a few years, until his fanbase started to decrease, with many saying that the videos were starting to get boring, and filled with mindless yelling. This unpopularity reached it’s peak when Walker released a Let’s Play of Bart’s Nightmare[2]. Many fans saw this as his worst video, and became infamous in the Let’s Play community, with Slowbeef[3], the original creator of Let’s Play, tearing apart the video and the Nostalgia Critic[4]. This led Walker to spend the first part of his James and the Giant Peach review[5] apologizing.

    The Nostalgia Critic

    The Nostalgia Critic is Walker’s most famous character, and one of the sites most watched series. He is a reviewer who reviews old nostalgic movies and tv shows from the 80’s and 90’s. The critic grew in popularity after a fictional feud with the Angry Video Game Nerd, which took place through many episodes, ending with the two, as well as other TGWTG reviewers, having a group fight for the site’s first anniversary.

    Feud with Wiseau films

    On July 13 2010, Walker released a Nostalgia Critic review of cult film The Room, to positive feedback. However, soon afterwards, The compny behind The Room, Wiseau films, complained about Copyright Infringement and got the video taken down. In response to this, Doug created a video poking fun at Wiseau films on 20 July. Soon, the original video was put back up, and as of September 2012, has not been taken down.

    The “Death” and Return of the Nostalgia Critic

    On August 23 2012, Walker released the 1st part of the sites fourth anniversary special, To Boldly Flee, in which The Critic as well as other reviewers from the site, set out to try and save Ma-Ti, a character from the 90’s cartoon, Captain Planet[6]. The final part was released on September 13, in which the Nostalgia Critic sacrifices himself to save the world. This lead to many fans speculating to whether or not this meant the end of the Nostalgia Critic. A day after, on September 14, Walker released a video stating that there would no longer be weekly episodes of the Nostalgia Critic (even though the Critic may still appear in future specials) and Walker would be moving on to make other series.

    On January 22, 2013, a video titled The Review Must Go On announced the return of the Nostalgia Critic. The video serves as a followup to To Boldly Flee and a conclusion to Demo Reel, his then current and biggest project. It revealed that the Demo Reel show was a Purgatory for the character, with Donnie being the Nostalgia Critic reincarnated, to help him recognize the feelings of being ridiculed. At the end Donnie was restored to the Critic persona, resulting in the Demo Reel world to be merged with the Plot Hole. The video was framed by a fictionalized version of Walker having a writer’s block and pondering whether to revive The Nostalgia Critic after watching The Odd Life of Timothy Green and finds himself ranting about it like the Critic.

    The schedule is changed to two weeks to provide Walker more time to work on his review. Also, the Nostalgia Critic is now reviewing newer movies more often so long as they are not currently playing in theaters and available on DVD or any other releasable forms so that he can get the footage needed. The official return of the Nostalgia Critic was announced and debuted on February 5, 2013 with the first episode being The Odd Life of Timothy Green. In addition, Walker’s Demo Reel costars, Malcolm Ray and Rachel Tietz, joined the cast for sketches throughout the review.

    5 Second Videos

    5 Second Videos, is a video blog in which Walker attempts to explain different movies in a short amount of time. 5 Second Videos was one of the two series which walker started on YouTube, with the other one being Nostalgia Critic. This meant that the majority of videos were taken down due to copyright infringement. In 2008, Walker discontinued the series, due to concerns the series would become stale. Despite this, other site reviewers continued the series with their own versions.

    Ask That Guy With The Glasses

    Ask That Guy With The Glasses, or known simply as Ask That Guy, is a show with centers around the titular character, played by Walker. In it he’s presented with questions send by fans, read by a narrator. He then proceeds to respond with the most sick and spiteful answers possible.This often reveals horrifying and downright disturbing facts about various aspects of his life.

    Bum Reviews

    Bum Reviews is a series in which Walker plays Chester A. Bum, a tramp who reviews recent movies in a fast style, similar to the Nostalgia Critic’s review of Transformers. The first review was released in May 2008, and starting with the Thor review, Walker releases a separate video detailing his real opinions of the films. That segment evolved eventually into Sibling Rivalry, a show in which he discusses the films together with his brother, Rob Walker.

    Demo Reel

    Demo Reel was Doug Walker’s main project after finishing the Nostalgia Critic. It is notable for being filmed in a proper studio, rather than Walker’s basement as the Nostalgia Critic was. The show began on October 30, 2012 with a parody of Christopher Nolan’s Batman films.
    The story revolves around Donnie DuPre (played by Walker), the founder of an independent film studio called “Demo Reel”, who believes he can not only remake famous movies, but also make them better with a shoestring budget.
    Doug Walker described it as his personal dream project. Demo Reel, while still poking fun at movies and Hollywood in general, was a far more darker and character-driven show than the Nostalgia Critic. Unfortunately, the fans were very polarized about it, praising some funny jokes and character development but criticizing the pacing issues and lack of focus. This, in turn, resulted with Demo Reel ending with the return of the Nostalgia Critic.

    How to be a Pirate

    How to Be a Pirate was a show by Doug Walker that debuted on the site on October 21st, 2010. In it, a pirate named Black Dog Bill (who’s real name is Howard) tells the viewers proper use and stories about certain aspect’s of a pirate clothing and accessories. As the video progresses, he attempts asking the patrons of the bar he at which he shoots the video their opinions on certain matters. When they refuse to socialize with him, Black Dog Bill tells the audience a bit of gossip about said patron. Every video ends with Black Dog Bill telling the people stories of Blood Beard Joe, a legendary pirate famed for impossible feats.
    Doug has admitted that the reason for creating this show was to build up a role that Black Dog Bill would play in the original idea for the 3rd Year anniversary, then called Ninjas vs Pirates, before it eventually became Suburban Knights.

    Merry Zodmas

    Merry Zodmas was a show where Doug dresses up like Terrance Stamp’s General Zod from Superman II. The show showed up in time for Christmas 2010 and has Zod analyze certain aspects of the holiday season, like snowmen and gifts.

    Video Game Confessions

    In this show Walker plays the role of Dominic the Bartender, who retells stories he has heard from patrons at the “Pixel Palace”. The clientele are usually the classic video gaming elite such as Mario, Sonic, Samus etc.. The video game characters tell Dominic the story and he retells them, usually drawing what was happening in the story. The first episode aired April 7th, 2009.

    Search Interest

    External References

    [1]Wikipedia – First Amendment to the United States Constitution

    [2]That Guy With The Glasses – Let’s Play Bart’s Nightmare

    [3]YouTube – Slowbeef’s Channel

    [4]Blip – Retsupurae vs the Nostalgia Critic

    [5]That Guy with the Glasses – James and the Giant Peach review

    [6]Wikipedia – Captain Planet

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  • 01/15/13--17:50: Morgan Freeman
  • About

    Morgan Freeman is an award-winning actor, director and narrator known for his appearances in several famous films, including Unforgiven, Seven, Bruce Almighty, The Dark Knight Trilogy, and for lending his voice as the narrator in documentaries such as March of the Penguins. Due to his signature speaking voice, Freeman is often impersonated in YouTube videos and referenced in Read This in My Voice images.

    Online History

    Read This in Freeman’s Voice

    On August 13th, 2008, the webcomic Xkcd published a comic joking about a satirical condition known as “Freeman Paracusia,” which causes the sufferer to read everything in Morgan Freeman’s voice (shown below).

    On February 8th, 2009, a Facebook[2] page titled “Morgan Freeman’s Voice” was launched, gaining more than 968,000 likes in the first four years. Freeman’s voice soon became a staple choice in the popular imageboard game read this in my voice that first emerged in May 2009. On May 17th, 2011, a new Facebook[1] page titled “Morgan Freeman” was created, which received over 2.7 million likes in the next two years. On January 31st, 2013, TV Tropes[7] user TrollBrutal submitted an entry for Morgan Freeman.


    On September 20th, 2012, YouTuber SeaNanners uploaded footage from a session of the Half Life 2 modded game The Hidden, in which he recorded GassyMexican, one of the other players on his server, impersonating Morgan Freeman while hunting his enemies (shown below). Within the first seven months, the video gained more than 7.6 million views and 16,400 comments.

    On January 10th, 2013, online performance artist Ze Frank uploaded a video to his YouTube channel titled “True Facts About Morgan Freeman,” in which Frank lists several satirical factoids about the actor read in his signature baritone voice (shown below). Within three months, the video received over 2.1 million views and 4,400 comments.

    Other YouTubers have uploaded videos featuring notable impersonations of the actor, many of which feature dramatic readings of humorous material.

    “Titty Sprinkles”

    In Season 11 Episode 8 of the animated television series South Park, originally aired on October 3rd, 2007, the character Cartman fakes having Tourette’s syndrome in order to say whatever he wants without consequences. While speaking in front of an audience, Cartman concludes his monologue by saying the phrase “titty sprinkles” (shown below).

    On January 19th, 2012, Redditor assblaster7 submitted a photograph of Morgan Freeman accompanied by a fake quote ending with the phrase “titty sprinkles” (shown below). Prior to being archived, the post gained upwards of 14,500 up votes and 500 comments.

    On April 15th, a Facebook[11] page titled “Titty Sprinkles” was created, which accumulated more than 83,000 likes in the following year. On September 4th, YouTuber Robert Thompson uploaded a video of himself impersonating Morgan Freeman’s voice by reading the copypasta from Redditor assblaster7’s image macro. Within seven months, the video received over 772,000 views and 770 comments.

    Fake Twitter Accounts

    Several unverified Twitter accounts have been created claiming to be Morgan Freeman, including @TheRealMorganF,[3] @Morrgan_Freeman,[4] @realmorgan[5] and @MorganFreeman_[6]. On August 12th, 2012, the now-defunct fake account @MorgonFreeman tweeted a statement about the word “homophobia” (shown below), which became misattributed to the actor according to the hoax investigation site Snopes.[10]


    AMA Controversy on Reddit

    On April 11th, 2013, Morgan Freeman purportedly participated in an “ask me anything” (AMA) thread on the /r/IAmA[8] subreddit under the handle “OblivionMovie.” Many Redditors suspected that the AMA was actually being handled by the public relations team for the upcoming science fiction film Oblivion, in which Morgan Freeman appears as the resistance leader Malcolm Beech. For verification, the OblivionMovie account posted a photograph of Freeman sleeping on a couch with a sign that read “Hi Reddit / This is Morgan Freeman” (shown below).

    Redditor amf13 commented[9] that the picture appeared to be photoshopped and that the sleeping photo felt like a “slap in the face.” On the following day, Redditor kingleo1 posted a YouTube video titled “Morgan Freeman’s Reddit AMA Was a Fraud! Proof!” to the /r/videos[12] subreddit, which featured an amateur photographic analysis of the verification photo (shown below). Within six days, the post received over 33,600 up votes and 3,500 comments and the video received more than 830,000 views and 1,150 comments.

    In the following 24 hours, many image macros and photoshopped pictures joking about the AMA began circulating on the social news site, including examples using Futurama Fry (shown below, left) and Matrix Morpheus (shown below, middle).

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 10/10/16--08:08: Ken Bone
  • About

    Ken Bone is a man who asked a question during the second 2016 United States Presidential Election Debate, which had a town hall format in which selected undecided voters ask questions directly to the candidates. Bone asked a question about the candidates’ energy policies, but because of his name and appearance, he immediately became popular on social media as users joked about him and engaged in ironic fandom.


    Towards the end of the second presidential debate of the 2016 United States Presidential Election, moderator Anderson Cooper called upon Bone, who asked a question regarding the energy policies of Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump.


    Immediately after his question, social media users, particularly on Twitter, began sharing posts in joke-adoration of Kenneth Bone.

    Within an hour of the debate’s end, New York Magazine’s internet-focused blog Select All[1] wrote a piece devoted to the popularity of Ken Bone on Twitter. Other major news sites including CNN,[2] Daily Dot,[3] and Business Insider[4] immediately covered Bone’s rise to internet stardom. CNN theorized Bone grew popular because of his red cardigan and glasses, and Daily Dot theorized it was because of his suggestive last name, mustache, and gentle aura.

    Various Examples

    Parody Accounts

    Bone’s Twitter account[5] quickly gained over 1,000 followers as he responded to his surge in popularity. For example, responding to one Twitter user who theorized “Ken Bone probably has a hot wife,” Bone wrote, “Yeah he does,” in a tweet that has gained over 1,900 retweets and 2,500 favorites.

    A parody Twitter account for Ken Bone, @TheKenBone,[6] launched and gained over 65,000 followers in one day. On Facebook, Ken Bone was a trending topic the following morning, and a Kenneth Bone fan page[7] gained over 4,500 followers overnight.

    Post-Debate Footage

    Additional footage of Bone on the set after the conclusion of the debate further boosted his popularity, particularly videos of him interacting with former President Bill Clinton and taking photographs with a disposable camera.

    Pants-Splitting Story

    The following day, Bone appeared on CNN and explained that the popular red sweater he wore was his backup plan. He initially was going to wear an olive suit, but when he was getting in his car to travel to the debate, he split the seat of his pants open.

    Media Appearances

    On October 10th, Bone appeared on several political talk shows, where he talked about his sudden fame and whether he had decided who he would vote for. He also appeared on Jimmy Kimmel Live (below, left), and was the topic of the following night’s opening segment on The Daily Show (below, right).

    CamSoda Request

    On October 10th, adult site CamSoda issued an offer to Bone of $100,000 and 25 disposable cameras to talk on their site for one hour. In a letter, they did not explicitly state that Bone would have to participate in pornographic activities, but they did mention they hoped he would take viewers to “The Bone Zone.”[8]


    Online retailer Redbubble created dozens of products featuring Bone, including shirts, pillows, and stickers.[9][10] created a “Sexy Ken Bone” halloween costume that they priced at $100 and it sold out within a day.

    Reddit AMA

    On October 13th, Bone participated in a RedditAMA.[11] He participated in the event using his regular reddit screen name, “StanGibson18,” prompting users to dig into his comment history. They found comments left by Bone regarding how he looked at Jennifer Lawrence’s leaked Fappening nudes, his thoughts on Trayvon Martin’s Death, and Power Rangers.

    The fact Bone was shown to frequent adult websites and leave commentary drew some backlash, and was covered by Uproxx,[12] Gizmodo,[13] The Daily Beast.[14]

    Search Interest

    External References

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  • 07/04/14--22:24: 2014 Tumblr-4chan Raids
  • Overview

    2014 4chan-Tumblr Raids were a series of back-and-forth spamming and other hostile acts carried out by sites Tumblr and 4chan against each other in early July 2014.


    On June 9th, 2014, Tumblr blog shutdown4chan[1] posted a slide outlining a plan to carry out a raid on 4chan during the American Independence Day on the 4th of July. The post condemned the image board community as “racist, misogynistic and pure evil” and revealed that the goal of the mission was to shut down the site. It has been since rumored that the blog post might have been originally created by 4chan’s /pol/ board to trigger the war in the first place.

    During the raid day, several posts attributed to the social justice blogosphere on Tumblr were made on 4chan’s boards, which accused the authors of their own prejudice and injustice. After that, users of 4chan retaliated by flooding a wide range of Tumblr tags related to feminism, social justice, and popular fandoms with gore and other unrelated shock images. Tumblr counter-acted by burying those posts with with their own posts of cute things, blocking the spammers, and advising other users to stay away from the tags until things clear up.

    Notable Developments

    Following the initial exchange, several petitions were created with the goal of shutting down 4chan[2][3]. In retaliation, 4chan users launched a counter-petition to label users of Tumblr as “mentally handicapped landwhales”[4].

    On July 5th, the day after the raid, YouTuber InternetAristocrat uploaded a video featuring a sarcastic commentary of the events that transpired that day. In less than 24 hours, the video already gained 13,200 views and 1,645 thumbs up.

    Notable Examples

    External References

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  • 01/05/12--19:38: Amanda Cummings' Death
  • Overview

    Amanda Cummings was a teenager who was reported dead after throwing herself in front of a city bus in December of 2011. The news of her death became a cyberbullying controversy after her Facebook memorial page “R.I.P. Amanda Cummings”[2] was vandalized with offensive comments on the wall.


    An article published on the news blog Opposing Views[5] reported that Cummings posted a status update contemplating her suicide on December 1st, 2011. On December 6th, Cummings posted a status update that read “When i say im ok i want that one person t[sic] look me in the eye, hug me & say no ur not.” According to the news blog Silive[6], Cummings jumped in front of a city bus while clutching a suicide note on December 27th, and passed away 6 days later at the age of 15.


    Vandalism on Facebook

    After her death was reported, some Internet users began posting offensive messages on the Facebook memorial page “R.I.P. Amanda Cummings,” similar to the “An Hero” incident. According to Silive[6], the trolls came from both 4chan’s /b/ (random) board and from the comedy blog 9gag after a bulletin message calling on people to raid Cumming’s Facebook page began to circulate.

    News Media Coverage

    On January 3rd, NBC New York published an article revealing that bullying may have been the cause of the teen’s suicide.

    Keith Cummings, her uncle, told NBC New York his niece was tormented by bullies and was dealing with romantic problems. “Supposedly, before Christmas recess, there was a girl in school that pulled a knife on her,” he said. “And she had to be picked up in school for three days because the girl was going to beat her up.” He said the bullies mocked her and took her phone, shoes and jacket.

    In the following days, many local and national news publications picked up on the story, further highlighting the issue of cyberbullying on social networking sites. Following the news coverage, the Facebook memorial page was taken down due to complaints about the trolls.

    Online Reaction

    On January 6th, a petition titled "Tell Facebook to End Cyber-Bullying Now: Prevention of “Trolling” by adults and peers" was posted to the site[8] and received over 650 signatures within 5 days.

    On January 10th, The Huffington Post[4] reported that Senator Jeffrey D. Klein (D – New York), was sponsoring a bill that would create harsher penalties for cyberbullies. The legislation would add electronic communications to the crimes of Third Degree Stalking and Aggravated Harassment, Class A misdemeanors that can lead to up to a year of imprisonment. The article cited a 2007 study by The National Crime Prevention Council[7] that showed 43 percent of teens, and 53 percent of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youths are subject to cyberbullying.

    On YouTube

    After Cummings’ death, several YouTubers uploaded memorial videos and vlog responses addressing the bullying issue.

    Search Interest

    Search queries for “amanda cummings” rose sharply following her death in early January of 2012.

    External References

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  • 05/07/13--07:50: Charles Ramsey's Interview
  • Overview

    Charles Ramsey is a Cleveland, Ohio resident who rose to internet fame in early May 2013 after assisting three women who had been missing for nearly a decade after being abducted by captor Ariel Castro. As the shocking story unraveled, Ramsey appeared in an interview segment for a local news report and gave a colorful account of how it all happened. Following the YouTube upload of the interview clip, Ramsey instantly became hailed as a hero on the web.


    On May 6th, 2013, Amanda Berry, Georgina DeJesus, and Michele Knight, three women who had been missing for a decade, were found alive in a residential area south of downtown Cleveland, Ohio. According to the news reports, the women were able to escape from their captor’s house with the assistance of Charles Ramsey, a neighbor who promptly responded to Amanda Berry’s call for help and set them free by kicking a hole in the locked door. Later that same day, Ramsey appeared in a news interview with ABC affiliate NewsNet5 and provided a colorful witness account (shown below). Within 72 hours, the WEWSTV YouTube channel’s upload of the interview received over 5.68 million views and 9,200 comments.

    Notable Developments

    On Reddit

    During the early hours of May 7th, several news articles, image macros and discussions related to the story were featured on the front page of Reddit[2], with many readers fixating on Ramsey’s role in the rescue and his memorable quotes from the news interview clip. By 6 p.m. (ET), more than 130 posts[3] about Charles Ramsey had been submitted to the site, including quite a few image macros praising him as a hero dubbed “Good Guy Charles Ramsey.”[4]

    On Twitter

    Around the same time, American stand-up comedian Patton Oswalt posted a tweet conveying his admiration for Ramsey. Within 14 hours, the tweet received over 2,200 retweets and 1,100 favorites.

    According to the Twitter analytics site Topsy,[5] tweets mentioning “charles ramsey” peaked on May 7th at 9:49 a.m. ET (shown below). Throughout the day, the keywords “Charles Ramsey” were listed as a worldwide trending topic on the microblogging and social networking site.

    At 11:11 a.m. (ET), the viral content site BuzzFeed[6] posted a compilation of notable tweets referencing Ramsey, many of which included image macros joking about the video (shown below, left) and Totally Looks Like photos comparing Ramsey to the villain Sho’nuff from 1985 martial arts film The Last Dragon (shown below, right).

    At 2:40 p.m. (ET), the official McDonald’s Corporation Twitter feed congratulated Ramsey for his bravery and said they would “be in touch.”

    On YouTube

    On May 7th, YouTuber AmazingLife247 uploaded a recording of Ramsey’s 911 call with the police after rescuing Amanda Berry (shown below). Within 72 hours, the video received over 1.03 million views and 2,400 comments.

    Ramsey’s interview clips and audio recording of his 911 emergency call instantly became fodder for auto-tune and musical mash-ups on YouTube, leading to a handful of remixes including YouTuber G Money’s “Little Pretty White Girl” and Schmoyoho’s “Dead Giveaway” (shown below). In less than 48 hours of upload, the videos gained more than 500,000 views and 1 million views respectively.

    Anderson Cooper Interview

    On May 7th, Ramsey was interviewed by CNN anchor Anderson Cooper, who said he did not feel like a hero and that any reward should go to the victims he rescued.

    Castro’s Imprisonment

    On May 8th, 2013, Ariel Castro was charged with four counts of kidnapping and three counts of rape, with a bail of $2 million set the following day. On June 7th, a grand jury indicted Castro with 329 counts, including two murder charges for the unwanted termination of two of the captive women’s unborn children. The indictment was expanded to a total of 977 counts on July 12th. On July 26th, Castro agreed to a plea bargain by pleading not guilty to 937 of the counts to be sentence to life in prison without the change of parole and was formally sentenced on August 1st. Prior to his sentencing, Castro spoke to the court defending himself by saying he was “not a monster” but suffered from sex, pornography addiction and previous sexual abuse.

    Castro’s Suicide

    On September 3rd, prison staff at the Correctional Reception Center in Orient, Ohio, discovered Castro hanging from a bed sheet in his cell and was pronounced dead at 10:52 p.m. that evening after several failed attempts to resuscitate him. On the following day, coroner Dr. Jan Gorniak declared Castro’s death a suicide by hanging. Also on September 4th, several Reddit[17][18][19] posts related to the story reached the front page of the social news site, several of which featured image macros mocking Castro’s suicide (shown below)

    On September 5th, The Huffington Post[16] published an article highlighting notable sarcastic tweets confusing Ariel Castro with the former Cuban President Fidel Castro.


    As Charles Ramsey’s story continued to make the rounds, several news publications ran op-ed columns raising concerns that there may be a recurring pattern of working-class African American subjects getting exploited as racial stereotypes in the online remix culture, including The Atlantic[10], Slate[11], NPR[12] and ThinkProgress[13] among others.


    The Ramsey Burger

    On May 14th, Cleveland Plain Dealer[14] reported that Hodge’s, a restaurant in downtown Cleveland where Ramsey works as a dishwasher, began selling a new burger dish called “The Ramsey Burger” in tribute to his heroism and penchant for the classic American sandwich (shown below). While the burger was initially introduced as a temporary menu item, it has since become a part of the permanent menu and even inspired copycat items in other local eateries.

    Free Burger for Lifetime

    On May 22nd, Cleveland news sites[15] reported that more than a dozen of Ohio restaurants and at least one in Pennsylvania have pledged to provide Charles Ramsey with free burgers for life in recognition of his heroism. According to Scott Kuhn of Driftwood Restaurant Group, local business owners wanted to honor the man who stopped his meal midway through, so they decided to gift Ramsey with a “Chuck Card” which he can present at any of the participating restaurants to get a free burger.

    Notable Examples

    Search Interest

    External References

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    On January 4th, 2011, Metro Weekly[1] published an article titled “Is Chick-fil-A restaurant against gay rights?”, which reported that the anti-gay marriage organization Pennsylvania Family Institute (PFI) listed American fast food restaurant chain Chick-fil-A as a co-sponsor of two marriage conferences. On January 6th, Chick-fil-A posted a statement on its official Facebook[2] page, downplaying the company’s relationship with PFI by claiming it only provided sandwiches to the marriage seminars.

    On November 1st, the LGBT advocacy group Equality Matters[3] published a report revealing that Chick-fil-A’s charitable arm WinShape had donated over $1.7 million to anti-gay groups in 2009. On July 2nd, 2012, Equality Matters[4] published another report, stating that WinShape donated over $1.9 million to anti-gay groups including the Marriage & Family Foundation and the Family Research Council in 2010.

    On July 16th, an interview with Chick-fil-A’s chief operating officer Dan Cathy was published in the Christian news service Baptist Press, in which Cathy revealed that the company did support a “traditional family.” On July 18th, Cathy appeared on the syndicated radio show “The Ken Coleman Show” and stated that he believed advocating same-sex marriage would be “inviting God’s judment on our nation.”[5]

    Notable Developments

    Online Reaction

    On July 20th, Boston mayor Thomas Menino sent a letter to Chick-fil-A COO Dan Cathy denouncing the company’s stance on gay marriage (shown below). The same day, the Boston Herald[9] published an interview with Menino, in which he stated he was looking to block Chick-fil-A from opening any restaurants in the city.

    That same day, the Jim Henson Company posted an update on their official Facebook[8] page announcing they had notified Chick-fil-A that they no longer wished to partner with the restaurant chain in the future and that they would donate the payments they received from the company to the LGBT advocacy organization GLAAD (The Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation). The Facebook announcement gained nearly 15,000 likes and more than 6,200 shares, as well as inspiring the anti-corporate interest group The Other 98% to create a Muppets-themed poster featuring the quote, which went on to receive more than 34,000 likes and nearly 53,000 shares.

    On July 23rd, a Facebook[6] event was created for “National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A”, which urged gay-marriage supporters to visit a local Chick-fil-A restaurant and record themselves kissing a member of the same sex on August 3rd. Initiated by Carly McGehee, Michael GetEqual Diviesti and Skylar Buffington, the event page was met by more than 14,000 RSVPs. Meanwhile, in countering the “Same Sex Kiss Day” event, former Republican presidential candidate and Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee launched a Facebook event titled “Chick-fil-A Appreciation Day,” which called on all supporters of Christian principles to visit a Chick-fil-A restaurant on August 1st show their solidarity with its stance on gay-marriage. Huckabee’s proposition via Facebook was met by more than 670,000 RSVPs.

    On July 25th, 2012, Redditor absurd_olfaction submitted a post to the /r/atheism subreddit titled “Chick-fil-A damage control FAIL”, which included a screenshot of a Facebook post in which a user profile is exposed for being fake (shown below).

    Several prominent YouTubers also chimed in on the controversy with reaction videos, including mention over a proposed boycott (shown below, bottom, right) and a cooking guide for making a “Chick-Fil-Gay” sandwich (shown below, bottom, left).

    On July 25th, 2012, Antoine Dodson uploaded a video to YouTube titled “Chick-fil-A?”, showing Dodson drinking from a Chick-fil-A cup while defending his choice to eat at the restaurant. The same day, Dodson uploaded another video titled “Ya’ll made me pull my hair back lol!”, in which he argued that boycotting the restaurant would only hurt the Chick-fil-A’s employees.


    Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day

    On August 1st, major U.S. news outlets including CNN, New York Times and Los Angeles Times reported that hundreds of thousands of people visited Chick-fil-A restauarants to show their solidarity with the fast-food chain’s stance on gay marriage, spawning hundreds of photographs of long lines outside of Chick-fil-A stores across the country on Twitter and Facebook.

    On the following day, Chick-fil-A’s executive vice president of marketing Steve Robinson released a statement to the LA Times revealing that the company set a new record in sales.

    “We are very grateful and humbled by the incredible turnout of loyal Chick-fil-A customers on August 1 at Chick-fil-A restaurants around the country. While we don’t release exact sales numbers, we can confirm reports that it was a record-setting day.”

    Same Sex Kiss Day

    On August 3rd, photographs of same sex couples and equal rights supporters partaking in the “Chick-fil-A Kiss-In” began pouring in on Facebook and Twitter, several hours before the official protest scheduled to begin at 8 p.m. (ET). The event’s official Tumblr blog National Same Sex Kiss Day at Chick-fil-A[14] also began featuring user-submitted photos of same-sex people kissing each other on the premise of the fast food restaurants.

    Meanwhile, internet news site DailyDot[13] reported on some hostile exchanges between the two camps on Twitter, citing several examples of tweets insinuating that “kiss-in” protests may be met by violence from the detractors.

    Search Interest

    External References

    0 0


    United Kingdom Withdrawal From the European Union, colloquially known as Brexit (short for “British Exit”), refers to the withdrawal of the United Kingdom (UK) from the European Union (EU), a regional political-economic union that the country has been a member of since joining its precursor organization, European Economic Community (EEC), in 1973. While the UK’s membership status within the EU has been a long-standing topic of debate in the country for decades, the public interest surrounding the issue saw an unprecedented resurgence during the months leading up to its EU referendum in June 2016. The referendum ended with 51,9% of the voters voting to leave the European Union.


    Following the end of the World War II in 1945, many European countries called for a closer political and economic integration at the regional level. During the early years of the discussions, the United Kingdom played a vital role in paving the road for several regional organizations in Europe, beginning with the Treaty of London in 1949 which established the Council of Europe, followed by the admission into the European Economic Community (EEC), the official predecessor to the EU, alongside Denmark and Ireland in 1973. Two years after joining the EEC, the UK held a referendum to decide whether the country should remain in the organization, which resulted in a 67% approval of a continued membership.

    1975 EEC Referendum

    On June 5th, 1975, the UK held a referendum on whether it should remain in the EEC. With nearly all major political parties in favor of remaining in the EEC, except for an anti-European faction within the ruling Labour party, the referendum resulted in the continuation of the UK membership by an overwhelming majority.

    Euroscepticism in the UK

    Over the following decades, euroscepticism gained significant traction in the UK under the leadership of the Conservative Party and renowned British prime minister Margaret Thatcher, who had supported the UK’s EEC membership in the 1975 referendum but vocally opposed the concept of European integration at large. In 1991, the growing sentiment of euroscepticism led to the foundation of the Anti-Federalist League, a minor cross-party coalition against the UK’s involvement in European integration, which would later rename itself as the UK Independence Party (UKIP). In 1992, the UK signed the Maastricht Treaty, a pillar structure which effectively created the European Union and the single-currency zone, though it opted out of joining the Euro currency and social chapter in order to preserve its autonomy. September 16th, 1992, the date on which the UK decided to leave the British pound out of the proposed currency system, has since become known as “Black Wednesday.” The UK’s opt-out decision was later weakened with the signing of the Lisbon Treaty under Tony Blair’s leadership in 1997, but euroscepticism saw a resurgence during the early 2010s following the rise of the Conservative Party’s David Cameron to power.

    Notable Developments

    Proposal of 2016 EU Referendum

    After the Conservative Party’s victory in the 2010 general election, UK Prime Minister David Cameron formally announced his support for a referendum on the nation’s EU membership since as early as in 2013, following through with the pledge he had frequently made during his campaign. Following his re-election to the office in 2015, Cameron re-negotiated several aspects of the UK’s membership in February 2016 and announced that the referendum, which will determine whether or not the United Kingdom will stay as a member or leave the EU completely, would be held on June 23rd, 2016.


    Brexit, a portmanteau of “Britain” and “Exit,” refers to the hypothetical departure of the United Kingdom from the European Union. Stemming from the term “Grexit”, which was introduced by Citigroup’s chief analysts Willem H. Buiter and Ebrahim Rahbari in February 2012 to describe a similar scenario in Greece that was gaining public support during the country’s prolonged financial crisis, the earliest use of the word “Brexit” can be found in a tweet posted by British Influence, a UK think tank group that generally advocates Eurocentrism, on May 15th, 2012 (shown below).

    About a month later on June 21st, The Economist[19] ran an article titled “A Brixit looms,” introducing the term to a larger audience.

    The chances of Britain leaving the EU in the next few years are higher than they have ever been. A Brixit looms for several reasons.


    There are two main political campaigns associated with the UK’s upcoming referendum on the EU membership: Vote Leave[2], the official advocacy campaign in support of leaving the EU, and Britain Stronger in Europe[3], the official advocacy campaign in favor of remaining in the EU.

    Brexit Supporters

    The Vote Leave campaign is supported by several prominent figures within the Conservative Party, including Boris Johnson (Former Mayor of London) and Michael Gove (Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice), virtually all members of the UK Independence Party and a minor faction within the Labour Party known as “Labour Leave,” as well as supporters of two other pro-Brexit campaigns, Grassroots Out and[1] Other notable advocates of Brexit include actor Michael Caine[4], professional cricket player Ian Botham[4], former English football player Sol Campbell[6], as well as the British news outlets The Daily Mail and Daily Express.

    Pro-EU Supporters

    The “Britain Stronger” campaign is supported by several leading members of the Conservative Party, including David Cameron (Prime Minister), George Osborne (Chancellor of the Exchequer) and Theresa May (Home Secretary), as well as the leaders of the Labour Party, Liberal Democrats, Green Party of England and Wales and Scottish National Party (SNP). Other notable supporters include actor Emma Thomson[4], Top Gear host Jeremy Clarkson[4] and Stephen Hawking.[5]

    Campaign Highlights

    “Britain’s Coming Home”

    On February 22th, 2016, Mandy Boylett, a former candidate of UKIP in the 2015 general election, uploaded a video to YouTube featuring her appearing as two women, one with a blond wig, singing a pro-Brexit parody version of the song “Three Lions”, the official anthem of the English football team. The video was highlighted by major news media outlets, such as Daily Mail[7] and the Huffington Post, which called it the worst song to come from British politics yet,[8] and Daily Express.[9] One of the singers of the original song, David Baddiel, said that while he and Frank Skinner, the other singer, did not give permission for the parody to be made, they might have done it due to it being “brilliantly naff”.[10] As of May 2016, the song has over 575,000 views on Youtube.

    Barack Obama’s Speech

    On April 24st, 2016, President of the United States Barack Obama held a press conference with David Cameron during his visit to the United Kingdom. Obama said during the conference, that if the UK were to leave the European Union, a trade deal with the US could take up to ten years to make.[40] Obama was afterwords criticised by the leave campaign for trying to intervene in another country’s affair[41]. On April 28th, four days after Obama’s press conference, a poll put leave ahead of the remain campaign.[42]

    David Cameron’s WWIII Statement

    On May 9th, 2016, David Cameron, speaking to a crowd at the British Museum in London, claimed that leaving the EU may cause Europe to descend into war:

    “Can we be so sure peace and stability on our continent are assured beyond any shadow of doubt? Is that a risk worth taking? I would never be so rash to make that assumption… What happens in our neighbourhood matters to Britain. That was true in 1914, 1940, 1989…. and it is true in 2016.”

    Cameron’s remark was reported on by major news media such as the Telegraph[27], The Guardian[28], the Mirror[29] and the Daily Mail[30]. Boris Johnson quickly responded and said that “I think all this talk of World War Three and bubonic plague is totally demented frankly.”[31]

    Battle of the Thames

    On June 15th, 2016, in an event organized by Fishing for Leave, UKIP Leader Nigel Farage, Conservative minister George Eustice and Labour MP Kate Hoey, led a pro-Leave flotilla up the River of Thames, with the boats filled with pro-Leave flags and banners. Later, pro-remain campaigner Bob Geldorf showed up alongside a pro-remain flotilla and tried to hijack the protest. The two flotillas then started “attacking” each other, spraying one another with water and the Remain side blasting the brexit side with music. The so-called “Battle of the Thames” was highly mocked on Twitter.[32]

    Murder of Jo Cox

    On June 16th, 2016, Jo Cox, member of the British Parliament for the Labour Party, was murdered in West Yorkshire as she was making her way to the local Library where she was supposed to speak. The attacker, armed with a knife and a gun, managed to stab and shot Jo Cox, before he was tackled by witnesses. The suspect of the attack, Thomas Mair, had been having a serious case of mental illness for several years, Mair’s brother says.[33] Although some media claimed that the attacker had shouted “Britain first”, the name of a far-right political party in the UK, when he attacked Jo Cox, some eyewitnesses deny that claim. One who supported the claim was found to be a member of the British National Party, which are known to be hostile towards Britain First.[34] The murder was widely condemned by British politicians from both side of the political spectrum. Prime Minister David Cameron called the attack “tragic and dreadful”[35], while Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the Labour Party called the attack an “attack on democracy”.[36] Other countries, such as the Czech Republic[37], Canada[38] and Australia[39], also gave their condolences. In addition, UK Prime Minister David Cameron and Labour Leader Jeremy Corbyn showed up together to lay flowers as a tribute to Jo Cox. Other party leaders, such as UKIP Leader Nigel Farage, also showed up with flowers.

    #CatsAgainstBrexit and #CatsForBrexit

    On June 18th, 2016, Scottish internet law scholar Lilian Edwards[21] tweeted a photograph of her cat with the hashtag #CatsAgainstBrexit and an anti-Brexit message urging others in the camp to retweet the message with pictures of their own cats.

    By June 20th, #CatsAgainstBrexit[22][24] and #CatsForBrexit[23][25] began making the rounds on UK’s Twitter and Instagram as hundreds of British internet users made their final push in campaigning for and against Brexit with photographs of cats, including British conservative politician and member of the European Parliament (MEP) Daniel Hannan[26] who tweeted a pro-Brexit message using a photograph of Grumpy Cat (shown below, top left). Hannan’s tweet garnered more than 1,200 retweets and 2,200 likes within the first 48 hours.

    The Referendum

    At 7:00 a.m. (BST, local time) on June 23rd, 2016, the EU membership referendum commenced at 41,000 polling stations across 382 local counting areas in all four countries of the United Kingdom (England, Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales) and Gibraltar. The referendum ended at 10:00 p.m. (BST, local time)


    On June 23rd, as the referendum went underway across Britain, many voters began sharing images of their dogs sitting outside the polling stations using the hashtag #DogsAtPollingStations, a photo fad that originally went viral on the day of the UK general election in May 2015.

    Tony Blair’s “I Voted Remain” Sign

    Also on June 23rd, former British prime minister Tony Blair reaffirmed his support for continued membership in the EU by sharing a picture of himself holding a sign that read “I Voted Remain” via his official Twitter account. Within minutes of the tweet, some UK Twitter users responded to Blair’s message with a handful of photoshopped parodies.

    The Result

    Throughout the day on June 23rd, more than 33 million voters participated in the referendum (or 71.8% of all registered voters in the UK), which marked the highest turnout for a national vote since the 1992 general election. By close to midnight on June 23rd, within two hours of the closure of the polling stations, several major British news outlets and international news agencies had begun reporting that votes calling for UK’s exit from the EU were leading with 52% of total ballots counted. Ultimately, the referendum resulted in an overall decision to leave the European Union with 51.89% of the total votes.

    Online Reactions

    By the early morning on June 24th, virtually all the major social media platforms had become flooded with varying reactions to the announcement of the referendum results, which led several Brexit-related hashtags to trend globally on Twitter and Facebook.

    Meanwhile, Google Trends[52] provided a comprehensive report on search queries relating to the referendum. According to Google, “What is Brexit” was one of the most searched questions during the hours leading up to the day of the referendum and “What is the EU?” quickly became the second most searched term about the European Union in the UK following the announcement of the poll results on June 24th.

    Online Petitions

    Within hours of the announcement of the results, tens of thousands of British internet users in the Remain camp began flocking to online petitions calling for a second round of referendum on Britain’s exit from the European Union, including one that had been started by William Oliver Healey, a pro-Brexit advocate and member of the English Democrats, a month before the referendum took place. By 10:40 p.m. on June 28th, Healey’s petition had attracted more than four million signatures, about forty times the minimum threshold for any petition to be considered for debate in the Parliament. The sudden influx of petitioners, which reached a thousand signatures per minute at one point, eventually prompted the website to crash on several occasions.


    UKIP’s Response

    When it had become clear that the Leave side had a sizable lead over the Remain campaign, Nigel Farage made a speech, stating that the referendum “is a victory for real people, a victory for ordinary people, a victory for decent people.” The next morning, Farage said that he was hoping that other countries would be leaving the EU, pointing out the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden as examples of countries that may leave the European Union.

    David Cameron’s Resignation

    As a result of the referendum, UK Prime Minister David Cameron announced that he would resign from the office of Prime Minister at the Conservative Party’s conference in October 2016.

    International Spin-Offs

    In the following week, the ripple effects from the UK referendum inspired several copycat movements overseas, including #Texit (Texas’ secession from the United States), #Frexit (French withdrawal from the EU), #Czexit (Czech withdrawal from the EU), #Pexit (Polish withdrawal from the EU ), among others.


    Following the election of Donald Trump, a Californian movement to secede from the United States gained some traction. The movement, known as Yes California, promises a referendum that would be voted on in 2019.[60] The campaign proposes splitting California up into 16 separate states (shown below).

    The case is based on the premise that California would have the sixth largest GDP in the world, essentially making it a lesser world power. The campaign also argues that California would be more able to deal with education and health care problems within the state were they a sovereign nation.

    Search Interest

    External References

    [1]The Guardian – Faction stations: which Brexit campaign is which??

    [2]Facebook – Vote Leave

    [3]Facebook – Britain Stronger in Europe

    [4]Daily Star – We’ll bat for Brexit: cricket legend Botham picks his EU side

    [5]Daily Mail – Stephen Hawking leads 150 top Royal Society scientists in arguing against Brexit – saying leaving the EU would be a ‘disaster for science’

    [6]Daily Mail – Come on you Brexiteers! Former England captain Sol Campbell kicks out: A vote to Leave would boost British football

    [7]Daily Mail – Is this the most bizarre campaign video ever? Nigel Farage’s Ukip candidate spoofs Three Lions to sing Britain’s Coming Home – because the EU has taken all our fish

    [8]Huffington Post – This Anti-EU Music Video Parody Is The Worst Song To Come From UK Politics Yet

    [9]Daily Express – Ukip candidate stuns by stripping to tiny shorts to sing Three Lions parody on leaving EU

    [10]Twitter – David Baddiel

    [11]Wikipedia – United Kingdom withdrawal from the European Union

    [12]Wikipedia – United Kingdom European Union membership referendum, 2016

    [13]Wikipedia – Vote Leave

    [14]Wikipedia – Britain Stronger in Europe

    [15]The Economist – BREXIT: BUILD-UP TO A REFERENDUM

    [16]Financial Times – Brexit poll tracker

    [17]Word Histories – Brexit

    [18]USA Today – Explainer: The what, when and why of ‘Brexit’

    [19]The Economist – A Brixit looms

    [20]BBCBarack Obama says Brexit would leave UK at the ‘back of the queue’ on trade

    [21]Twitter – Lilian Edwards’ Tweet

    [22]Twitter – Hashtag Results for #CatsAgainstBrexit

    [23]Twitter – Hashtag Results for #CatsForBrexit

    [24]Instagram – Hashtag Results for #CatsAgainstBrexit

    [25]Instagram – Hashtag Results for #CatsForBrexit

    [26]Twitter – Daniel Hanna’s Tweet

    [27]The Telegraph – David Cameron: Brexit could lead to Europe descending into war

    [28]The Guardian – Is David Cameron right that leaving EU could increase the risk of war?

    [29]Mirror Online – ‘Brexit’ could trigger World War Three, warns David Cameron

    [30]Daily Mail – Now Cameron warns Brexit would lead to war and genocide: PM’s extraordinary intervention – but Out camp accuses him of desperation as Downing St ramps up Project Fear

    [31]ITV News – Boris Johnson: Brexit would not cause World War Three in Europe

    [32]The Poke – Highlights from the “EU referendum flotilla war” on the river Thames

    [33]The Guardian – Suspect in Jo Cox’s killing described as quiet, polite and reserved

    [34]Breitbart – ‘Britain First’ Shout Eyewitness on BNP Membership List

    [35]BBCJo Cox MP: ’We’ve lost a bright star’ says Cameron

    [36]BBCDavid Cameron and Jeremy Corbyn lay flowers for Jo Cox

    [37]Government of the Czech Republic – Condolences of Prime Minister Sobotka to Prime Minister of the United Kingdom Cameron

    [38]CBC News – Jo Cox shooting: Politicians in Canada, around the world react to death of British MP

    [39]ABC News – Malcolm Turnbull: Deeply shocked by the murder of UK MP Jo Cox. Our condolences, prayers and solidarity are with her family & the people of the UK.

    [40]The Guardian – Barack Obama issues Brexit trade warning

    [41]Huffington Post – Barack Obama Under Fire From Brexit Campaigners In New Attack Advert

    [42]Daily Express – New EU poll puts Brexit backers in the lead despite Obama scaremongering

    [43]Reuters – ‘Explosive shock’ as Britain votes to leave EU, Cameron quits

    [44]Daily Mail – Twitter explodes with end-of-the-world memes as UK wakes up to a historic Brexit vote

    [45]Twitter – Hashtag Results for #DogsAtPollingStations

    [46]BBCIt’s barking and it’s back #DogsAtPollingStations

    [47]Cheezburger – Lindsay Lohan Was the Real MVP When It Came to Live Reporting the Brexit Vote

    [48]CBCTony Blair makes a Brexit blunder on Twitter

    [49]Washington Post – The British are frantically Googling what the E.U. is, hours after voting to leave it

    [50]BuzzFeed – Lindsay Lohan’s Furious EU Referendum Tweets Are Highly Unexpected

    [51]Vox – Lindsay Lohan Brexit Twitter is the best Twitter

    [52]Google Trends – EU Referendum Report

    [53]Salon – Branger. Debression. Oexit. Zumxit. Why Did Brexit Trigger a Brexplosion of Wordplay?

    [54]The Guardian – Frexit, Nexit or Oexit? Who will be next to leave the EU

    [55]ESPNLionel Messi’s retirement talk sparks #MEXIT hashtag

    [56]CNNBrexit: Petition calling for second EU vote was created by Leave backer

    [57]CNNBrexit: Do you #Regrexit? UK voters voice doubt over referendum choice

    [58]UK Parliament Petitions – EU Referendum Rules triggering a 2nd EU Referendum

    [59]English Democrats – Statement about EU referendum petition by Oliver Healey

    [60]Snopes – ‘CalExit’ Campaign Planning Post-Election Surge