Saturday, February 7, 2015

Memes aren't always humorous.

By Abigail Clarke: Contributing Content Blogger

Do you know what a meme is? You see them every day of your facebooks and twitters. A meme is an image, video, or piece of text, typically copied, modified and then circulated about rapidly throughout the internet. These can be humorous I must admit but they also can be used for much damage and hurt. It's an all too common practice for cyberbullies to use memes based around harassment, bigotry, and general mean spiritedness. This cuts into the problem of anonymity, which allows these bully types to be far more willing to engage in aggressive hurtful behaviours for the sole purpose of embarrassing and humiliating a targeted person. 

If you ask me people who generate memes derive from an immature ilk. Only immature and mean-spirited individuals are capable of conceiving and then using such a mode to taunt and make fun of others in very lewd and crude ways. For example it is common for a cyber harasser to cut and paste the image of a target person’s face to that of an animal, object, other person, or to place their photo in the context of something sexually explicit and humiliating.  This is along the same lines as revenge porn but usually always in a mocking and sick joke kind of way. The downside to it all is the fact that memes are very popular.  Why? Because there are just as many immature people out there who will give audience to them. We should all take a lesson from this. What if the memed individual was a dear friend or a close member of your family? What if it were your child or parent?  The fact is cyber harassment of any kind degrades human integrity and chips away at the spirit.  Though it is a certainty immature cyber harassers and bullies will continue to harm others online, the rest of us should not condone by giving audience.  To do so makes us no better than the mob.