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KYM Manual: How to Deal with Unwanted Fame

Last posted May 10, 2012 at 01:07PM EDT. Added May 05, 2012 at 07:15PM EDT
37 posts from 23 users

In the recent light of the I can count to potato story and our ROFLcon discussion on accidental fame, we would like to propose an initiative to build a set of practices for those who have to deal with unwanted fame.

Now, there are conventional ways to go about taking actions to defend oneself, such as taking the story to the news media or seeking legal advice, but as many of us would agree, these aren’t necessarily effective ways to attain the end goal, and sometimes they can be counter-effective (see: Streisand Effect).

This manual is not intended for how the Internet should conduct itself, but rather for those who feel victimized by their unwanted internet fame. In other words, if you put yourself in the shoes of someone who is frantically looking to detach oneself from the meme, what is the best course of action?

Last edited May 07, 2012 at 08:26PM EDT
May 05, 2012 at 07:15PM EDT
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I think Blake Boston did it best. Just go with it. Even if your meme is degrading, there’s no use in back-lashing. If you can laugh along with the meme, that’s great. If not, just leave it be and try not to get too offended.

Trying to fight the internet is like trying to slay a hydra, it’s futile. One head may fall but two more will take it’s place. The infamous Streisand effect shows that direct legal confrontation isn’t the best way. If something does get out of hand, telling your side of the story to a media outlet is a good way to have people understand what you’re going through.

The Ocean Marketing Emails are an interesting case. People online were extremely angered by a man they had never met or will ever meet but that didn’t stop Paul from receiving death-threats, threats against his family and other hate mail.

Paul lashed back at some of his haters over twitter which didn’t help his case at all. Paul took his story to the press but didn’t exactly defend himself. His defense was “I’m sorry I didn’t think I could get away with bullying a customer”. Being genuine with how you portray yourself is big key of how people in the future will review you and although it won’t stop every hater from hating, you’ll definitely have more sympathizers.

A small tidbit: In a jerkish move, I’ve heard that Penny Arcade actually sent Paul some photoshopped images of him at PAX so he could claim he was there. He actually did publish these images and the net hated him even more even though he didn’t make them. As stated earlier, if you’re not laughing along with the meme you’re involved with you should be doing your best to ignore it and not fanning the fire as Paul did.

So in short, laugh along with it or ignore it but never try and fight something that can’t be beaten.

Last edited May 05, 2012 at 07:45PM EDT
May 05, 2012 at 07:25PM EDT
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In the case of the “I can count to potato” girl, the best option would be to do absolutely nothing. That picture of her in the meme was old enough that no one would recognize her as the same girl today, and even the biggest memes fade from view eventually (does anyone else remember 4Chumblr?). If you just let the internet have its fun, everyone will get bored of the meme eventually and it will go away. Bringing it to the media only ignited a round two and created more material to talk about.

It is also important to remember that there are enough people on the internet that a) there is no way to “take down” or “wipe away” something that has gone viral, and b) appeals to guilt or morality are useless. In the first case, the architecture of the internet means that you will never be able to remove all instances of the meme, and new instances can be created faster than you can find them. In the second, there are simply enough people (by virtue of the large population) who do not care at all about whether they hurt someone that the meme can retain critical mass for a long time even after the people who do care about such things have abandoned it.

So, yah, the potato girl did exactly the wrong thing.

May 05, 2012 at 07:36PM EDT
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Funny, I was thinking of Blake Boston myself… I think he put it best.

Dear Annoying Facebook Girl, it’s me Blake. You may know me as Scumbag Steve. Or not, if you’re not on the internet much.

I heard you just found out that your pics been all over the internet. Shocking huh? Google yourself, but have a friend with you for support.

Feeling violated? Don’t. You see, like me, your picture was used as a meme. What the fuck, you may ask, is a meme? Well basically it’s you and others in image macro form, that represent a thought, behavior, style or idea that spreads from person to person within a culture.

Waaah? Let me say it again. It’s one random picture, with various sayings on it, that tells a whole story, in really short form, for the world to see, it gets put on the internet and it spreads. Goes viral, like the worst case of herpes known to man. But before you feel like you’re going to jump, you need to know that it’s going to be OK.

Now don’t have your folks look for a meme support group for you, cuz there isn’t one. We’re out here by ourselves. You may feel hurt and embarrassed that somehow one of your friends or foes took that godawful picture of you (we know you really don’t look like that all the time, right?) and put it where the internet meme makers dwell. 4chan. Don’t go there, especially if your parents are looking.

You see, that pic resonated with people. It spoke of a crazy excited girl telling Facebook friends inane shit. It could have been any girl, there’s a million pics just like yours on Facebook. But it happened to be yours.

Now, if you do see a pic of me, try not to go all wifey on me but (scumbag joke, these memes can get inside your head) that too was a pic of me a little younger, looking like a scumbag. Let’s face it. The pics look pretty true to form.

But here’s what I need you to know. When you go off to college, and you’re walking down the hall and a group of kids see you and scream, “Oh my god it’s Annoying Facebook Girl,” don’t cry. You see. Some people can’t distinguish the internet from real life. There are people who refuse to believe my name isn’t Steve and that I am not really the scumbag (well not all the time, that is). Just remember who you are. And that you know you’re a decent kid.

You’re going to be in shock for a while, when you see what people have written. But the most important and self-preserving thing you can do is know that it’s not you. You can’t take this personally. I’ll say that again, you can’t take this personally. Hell if I did… well let’s not go there.

The part that will suck though is that there will always be those people that somehow think YOU did this, that you made the meme, and that you could stop it if you wanted to. That you have some control over it. You don’t. The internet birthed you and they’ll decide when you (the meme) will die.

There will also be those people who assuage their guilt by telling you how great it is, how lucky you are to be a meme. Just smile. What they are really saying is, thank god it wasn’t me.

So search Annoying Facebook Girl on Google images, pull up a chair with a group of your friends and laugh your fucking ass off. Cuz you know who you are and how strong you are and that, that picture has nothing to do with what makes you, you… Hopefully you’ll get to where I am, feeling like some memes are hysterical. But that takes time. I’m here if you need me. I’m sorry you’re hurting,

-- Blake, a.k.a. Scumbag Steve

You can either have your jimmies rustled, or keep on keepin’ on. I think that the latter’s more than likely the best approach.

Last edited May 05, 2012 at 07:44PM EDT
May 05, 2012 at 07:42PM EDT
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I don’t have much to add besides that I agree with the above points.


Edit: On second thought, I actually do.

A bad example of dealing with it was with Carlos Ramirez (Whynne), or as he called himself, the creator of the trollface. He said the usage of the trollface was his copyright and wanted the subreddit removed.

Of course, this didn’t work. Nobody took it seriously and Carlos failed extremely.

Whether this was real or not, it shows that approaching the people who use “your meme” isn’t the right way. They won’t take you seriously and it will most likely backfire. It’s like telling people you’re an ancestor of the creator of the football. I doubt the Fifa will suddenly pay you money to use your creation.


A better example is perhaps on the level of subcultures:

Let’s start with Homestuck. Andrew Hussie got immensely popular because of his webcomic. But he kept his cool. People were making fanart of his webcomic everywhere, did cosplay, created their own variations of the story, etc. Did Hussie claimed a copyright? No. He let them. He even commonly interacts with fans through his Twitter.

This is a much better way to deal with sudden popularity. Accept it and just let it go. Of course Hussie trolls his fans as well on occasion through the comic, but he also gives small nudges (for example: Using Pantskat in the comic once). This entertains the fans, but doesn’t cause much backfire.


An even bigger example would be Hasbro. They never guessed a show such as MLP:FiM would become so popular. Let alone with such an audience. But Hasbro accepted it. They even gave small nudges to the fans in the episodes. Creators and other staff often interact with the bronies. Of course there have been some backfires, but the fandom remains large nonetheless.

Of course in the example of Hasbro we have to remember they’re a company, not a person. Dealing with a sudden popularity for a company is of course a lot easier than a single person. Not to forget Hasbro wouldn’t mind it, more fans is of course more profit out of merchandise.


So conclusion: It’s best to accept it. Whether you embrace it or ignore it is your choice in this. This may make your live harder sometimes, but the internet is constantly moving, your popularity will pass on eventually and people will forget about you. You can try to fight it, but chances are it’ll backfire. Trying to stop the internet in using something they love, it’s like fighting a tank with an empty pistol.

Last edited May 05, 2012 at 08:13PM EDT
May 05, 2012 at 07:48PM EDT
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RandomMan wrote:

I don’t have much to add besides that I agree with the above points.


Edit: On second thought, I actually do.

A bad example of dealing with it was with Carlos Ramirez (Whynne), or as he called himself, the creator of the trollface. He said the usage of the trollface was his copyright and wanted the subreddit removed.

Of course, this didn’t work. Nobody took it seriously and Carlos failed extremely.

Whether this was real or not, it shows that approaching the people who use “your meme” isn’t the right way. They won’t take you seriously and it will most likely backfire. It’s like telling people you’re an ancestor of the creator of the football. I doubt the Fifa will suddenly pay you money to use your creation.


A better example is perhaps on the level of subcultures:

Let’s start with Homestuck. Andrew Hussie got immensely popular because of his webcomic. But he kept his cool. People were making fanart of his webcomic everywhere, did cosplay, created their own variations of the story, etc. Did Hussie claimed a copyright? No. He let them. He even commonly interacts with fans through his Twitter.

This is a much better way to deal with sudden popularity. Accept it and just let it go. Of course Hussie trolls his fans as well on occasion through the comic, but he also gives small nudges (for example: Using Pantskat in the comic once). This entertains the fans, but doesn’t cause much backfire.


An even bigger example would be Hasbro. They never guessed a show such as MLP:FiM would become so popular. Let alone with such an audience. But Hasbro accepted it. They even gave small nudges to the fans in the episodes. Creators and other staff often interact with the bronies. Of course there have been some backfires, but the fandom remains large nonetheless.

Of course in the example of Hasbro we have to remember they’re a company, not a person. Dealing with a sudden popularity for a company is of course a lot easier than a single person. Not to forget Hasbro wouldn’t mind it, more fans is of course more profit out of merchandise.


So conclusion: It’s best to accept it. Whether you embrace it or ignore it is your choice in this. This may make your live harder sometimes, but the internet is constantly moving, your popularity will pass on eventually and people will forget about you. You can try to fight it, but chances are it’ll backfire. Trying to stop the internet in using something they love, it’s like fighting a tank with an empty pistol.

This should all be written up somewhere and distributed. That way the next time someone becomes a meme and has no idea what to do, someone in the know can just link it to them. Maybe we can put together a concise infographic shoving what to do/not to do for both escaping memedom and embracing it. Then we can spread it around on 4Chan/Reddit/Tumblr/KYM so that plenty of people have/know about it. The more people there are who know about this stuff, the more likely it will be that the information will get to someone who needs it before they hurt themselves.

May 05, 2012 at 07:54PM EDT
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The Potato Girl is a special case. Most memes/advice animals aren’t on controversial topics; Scumbag Steve is a joke that we can relate to, for it is based on a type of people that we all know. By embracing the meme, Blake Boston just made himself a name, and people like him for embracing the meme. Scumbag Steve is not making fun of an individual or a community, but rather, a type of people that generally cause grief.
Potato girl though, it is a totally different case. The potato girl meme started out as mocking people with Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome are mocked crudely before the Internet, and try to stop the bullying of Down victims. Down victims are not mocked for their own actions, but rather a disease that they cannot help to live with.

As Penny Arcade puts it, people are ruder on the Internet due to the anonymity. While people in real life look down to bullies and sympathize with the weak. But on the Internet (at least some parts of it), people are rude for they think they won’t be held responsible for what they did. In the Crowters’ case, it is an attack on their family, and the whole Down syndrome community as they know it. While I agree that resurging the rude meme is an unwise move, the Crowters probably didn’t know better. To them, Down mockery is not news. How you might look at this may vary, but the Internet is certainly not a fair place.


I leave you with this question.
If Heidi Crowter embraces the “Potato Girl” identity (albeit the VERY slim chance) and goes along with it, will we treat it the same as Blake Boston with Scumbag Steve?

May 05, 2012 at 08:06PM EDT
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@Mister J

Embracing it might be asking too much. I am pretty sure that things would be better for both her and her mom if it just went away – and the easiest way to accomplish that is for her to just leave it alone. I agree that potato girl and scumbag Steve are very different cases – with one being cruel and unfair and the other being mostly harmless. This is why I think we need two sets of advice – one for those who want to embrace their meme and the other for those who want to break away from it.

May 05, 2012 at 08:12PM EDT
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I think Scumbag Steve would be perfect for a KYM episode and a PSA about how to deal with a newborn Internet fame, especially if it’s from a meme that some may find “offensive” or ruining a reputation.
Embrace it, let it flow or react against it? It’s a tough call.

May 05, 2012 at 08:12PM EDT
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I don’t have much to add, other than that I think this thread should be starred. That way, people will be able to use it as a resource, such as with the glossary or the textile guide.

May 05, 2012 at 09:56PM EDT
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Why are you still here?

Because we need at least one person to fill the role of Forum Ass.


Back on topic…

I created an analogy for Cyber6x’s post:

Unwanted internet fame is like a mosquito bite. The more you scratch at it to relieve that annoying itch, the bigger it gets, the more it itches and the longer it lasts

But unlike mosquito bites, there’s no cream you can put on it. The only thing you can do it ignore it as much as possible no matter how much it stings. Eventually it will go away.

But here’s something that I think would help to remember:

Often memes that feature you are not targeted at you directly in any personal way, rather they are targeted at a certain image or stereotype. The memes don’t suggest that you actually are that image or stereotype.

Is Butthurt dweller actually butthurt and living in his basement? Is college liberal actually a liberal and in college? We don’t know. Those memes don’t say anything about those actual people in those macro’s

If you show up in a meme: It just so happens that your appearance at the time, complimented the stereotype and image that the meme is about, so it was used for it. It has nothing to do with you personally

So when you see Scumbag Steve, you are not seeing a personal attack on Blake Boston, you are a seeing an attack on the Scumbag stereotype.

Likewise when you see Potato Girl, you are not seeing an attack on Heidi Crowter, you are seeing a joking portrayal of goofiness.

Notice there that I didn’t say ‘Down Syndrome’. I never actually thought that the Potato Girl meme was ever directed at people with Down Syndrome directly when I first saw it. I thought it was just creating a goofy character. We make jokes out of slow, silly, goofy characteristics all the time (Biggest example: Derp) but we rarely ever equate those to actual mental disabilities.

The only reason why Derp (and concequentially Derpy Hooves as well) have any connection to disabilities at all is because people added the connections in there after the meme was created despite the fact that the meme was never made with that intention

I bet nobody would be talking about how the Potato Girl meme portrays people with Down Syndrome if Heidi Crowter said nothing at all. In fact, I bet nobody would have though about down syndrome in the first place, either negatively or positively. Hell, nobody would even know who Heidi Crowter is and would never recognize her in real life.

So in conclusion of this whole thread: Do nothing at all or play along with it.

….

Oh, actually I have an idea to remove your unwanted meme fame: commercialize it!

Capitalize on your own meme and try to make a profit from it. Then people will want to just ignore the meme from then on.

You can also try getting the writers of Family Guy to include your meme. That will kill it indefinitely as well

Last edited May 06, 2012 at 01:24AM EDT
May 06, 2012 at 01:15AM EDT
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The quoted post has been deleted.

He actually made a good point, you know. Kate Beaton hates when her work is exploited in memes such as Ooh, Mister X and others. I believe her view is that people should be working on their own creations, rather than mooching off her own ideas. In that case, however, it’s an artistic issue, so distinctions should be made where warranted.

May 06, 2012 at 01:40AM EDT
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Well, I honestly couldn’t give you much at all, although Blake Boston did well with his unwanted fame, he went with it, didn’t he? The meme he was appeared to look degrading towards him, but I don’t think anybody who makes Scumbag Steve jokes actually is trying to make Blake look bad, more make a joke from the image macro, this can go with quite a lot of others, too.

Also, don’t get me started on MLP… I’ll have too much to write!

Last edited May 06, 2012 at 03:17AM EDT
May 06, 2012 at 03:10AM EDT
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The quoted post has been deleted.

That’s one of the few times when you can have a sensible analyze of things here, Anormulus.
That’s not too bad a subject either. As you said, there are people whose creations went beyond their expectation and they grew to hate it because of the constant reuse and recreation.
Unwanted fame in a way that, instead of being known as an artist, they’re known as a meme generator (in the few cases people know about the creator of the meme).

But once again, meme elitism… Why hating on memes (not coming from Reddit) that have spread beyond their primary userbase? Because the initial circumstances of its creation are lost in translation?
If you don’t want your creation to be known, don’t post it on the Internet, or else in a private account locked from public view then.

May 06, 2012 at 09:00AM EDT
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I have alot of respect for Rebecca Black and Samantha Brick for how they handled their unwanted fame. They didn’t listen. They didn’t care what the people said, they just stood by their opinions and carried on.

May 06, 2012 at 11:55AM EDT
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I’m rather surprised that we’ve had this conversation without referencing Jessi Slaughter.
Look what happened in that case. Attempting to combat the internet only made things worse. This is a good rule to follow; if you simply act like you don’t care, then they leave you alone. You can’t stop a successful meme, but trying to deal with it encourages it; essentially, the best way to lessen it’s impact on your life is ignore it and don’t call attention to yourself.

May 06, 2012 at 11:58AM EDT
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MDFification wrote:

I’m rather surprised that we’ve had this conversation without referencing Jessi Slaughter.
Look what happened in that case. Attempting to combat the internet only made things worse. This is a good rule to follow; if you simply act like you don’t care, then they leave you alone. You can’t stop a successful meme, but trying to deal with it encourages it; essentially, the best way to lessen it’s impact on your life is ignore it and don’t call attention to yourself.

Does anyone else have serious deja-vu right now to back when you were a little kid and whenever someone at school was bugging you your parents would say to “just ignore them”? Because I’m tripping balls right now, and that’s exactly why.

May 06, 2012 at 01:04PM EDT
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I blame the media for the unsuccessful responses from some of these people. A semi-related example is Trolls, who are sometimes the cause of this. Everyone on the internet knows the golden rule for trolls is to ignore them, don’t give them the attention they want. But the only people who really knows this is internet dwellers, not any other people. And then what do the media say? I think The Sun sums it up pretty well:

The media encourage you to react to them, and sometimes, fling around the name troll without that even being the case. The first comment on this article proves my point great. There’s a difference between a Troll and a bully, and that’s not the point.
I guess the point i’m trying to make is this:

Don’t go to the media for help.

May 06, 2012 at 01:40PM EDT
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Fridge wrote:

He actually made a good point, you know. Kate Beaton hates when her work is exploited in memes such as Ooh, Mister X and others. I believe her view is that people should be working on their own creations, rather than mooching off her own ideas. In that case, however, it’s an artistic issue, so distinctions should be made where warranted.

Which is hilarious, because her work is based directly off of Pride and Prejudice.

May 06, 2012 at 01:41PM EDT
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I found the perfect way to show what we are all saying, in just 5 words:

May 06, 2012 at 02:28PM EDT
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In a small scale, I can relate. In high school I had a nick-name and I reacted negatively to it. However I learned that if I had embrace it, I would be popular (either to be awesome or to be a joke? I don’t know) like Bear Grylls or Success kid. Also if I have not retracted at all, the joke could die down and no one will remember. To be honest if “Potato girl” haven’t go on the news, no one would care about the meme anymore and moved on to Forever alone or MLP. However she is made the same mistake I did and now got attacked by trolls. The Internet is like high school all over again.

May 06, 2012 at 04:03PM EDT
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you could just be like Catie Wayne and actually become the meme…. you could embrace it in such a way that you can say “YES!!! I AM THAT MEME! :D” of course boxxy was considered the queen so who wouldn’t want to embrace that

May 06, 2012 at 04:07PM EDT
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Ironically enough, our own “Scumbag Steve”, Blake Boston, did do the best job of giving advice on this topic…

May 06, 2012 at 04:15PM EDT
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But yeah, I guess I’m getting off-topic. It’s not like we want our stuff to stay ours and exclusively ours. We just want it to stay away from you guys, where it goes to shit and dies.

All subjectivity aside, how are you better than any other outside of your “cred” at using a joke?
You can’t define humor and how people would react to it. Yes, I, too, thought it became quickly unfunny to quote that fucking “arrow to the knee” joke after a while, but it’s MY opinion. If someone thinks it’s still funny for him, he has the right to think so.

The same with your opinion about the fact it “dies” when we “get” it.
Why does it die? Because we are not 4channers (weak assumption, most of us are)?
There is no sensible reason a meme “dies” because we “get” it.

Or else because YOU are butthurt over the fact you can’t “control” it anymore. That’s the only type of anger guys who criticize KYM and other sites on that basis show.
If we don’t understand why a meme “dies” when getting in contact with a peculiar website, that’s for a reason, not because we are stupid, but because there is no reason, because it seems preposterous, and rightfully so.

All raiders, haters in the world that came here to explain their view never said why exactly without letting their jealousy, hatred and anger at harmless things they didn’t explain, take over.

Last edited May 06, 2012 at 06:25PM EDT
May 06, 2012 at 05:14PM EDT
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Anormulus wrote:

“But yeah, I guess I’m getting off-topic. It’s not like we want our stuff to stay ours and exclusively ours. We just want it to stay away from you guys, where it goes to shit and dies.”

So what makes something “your” meme? Of course being the person who came up with it somewhat makes it yours, but I guess by “you” as a person that’s not the case here. So let’s switch to a community. When one person of that community starts a meme, in most of the cases he of course wants it to spread. Whether this remains inside that community or goes outside it depends on the usage and attention it receives. The creator does not control the spread of his creation.

By recording its excistance, it’s not like we’re suddenly claiming it as ourselves. We document memes and record its spread. Same way Wikipedia records stuff. It’s not like Wikipedia claims everything they have recorded as theirs. The “claiming” of a meme is something which commonly backfires. On the level of sites 9gag is probably the best example in this, as they receive quite a bit of hate for “claiming” memes as theirs. But even with 9gag, I’m sure that there are members smart enough to know they did not create it. Because a small group of people claims it theirs, doesn’t mean the entire community shares that opinion. Generalising is used in cases like that way too often, but incorrect most of the time.

So that brings us to Tomberry’s point. Perhaps you are butthurt because you don’t control the spread. Because other sites use the meme. But as said before, one does not control the spread. A popular meme will spread, you can’t control this. Reddit, 9gag, KYM, Tumblr, etc, other sites will pick it up and use it. But if it annoys you that much that something “your” community created is spreading on the interent, than you should take your opinion to “your” community. As shown before in this thread, trying to fight the spread of something backfires nearly everytime.

The internet is constantly evolving. One cannot control how it grows. Stuff like trollface, umad?, arrow to the knee. Those were popular memes from the beginning. Of course it’s easier for memes like that which have a simple usage in common situations found online and in real life to spread easier. If something reaches the mainstream, it shows how its popularity has grown and how it has such a wide usage. Whether you like this or not is a personal opinion.

Also saying that Tumblr and 4chan have different humor than us is a bad example. Many of our members are regular 4channers or Tumblr users. An even better example would be that after we confirmed Move Your Feet a while ago, gifs of that were suddenly getting a notable rise on Tumblr. Of course this lowered quickly, but it’s not like it was used that much before. But by featuring the meme on the site and confirming it, we raised the interest in it and gave it some more popularity.

So does that make us bad? Does giving “your” creation (which I doubt in this case) a short burst of popularity make us evil? Should we delete the meme from the site because we gave it some more attention? I think the answer is obvious.

Besides, if KYM is so shit and stuff dies here, why are you still posting here? Kinda ironic in my opinion.

Last edited May 06, 2012 at 06:22PM EDT
May 06, 2012 at 06:00PM EDT
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Technically, KYM is part of the meme mainstreamness whether we like it or not. We started out as a site to explain memes with as much info as possible while being SFW. Now, as the site grows in popularity, we get more more newbies. Not that it is a bad thing--it’s just that /b/tards doesn’t like it. The reason /b/ doesn’t like KYM is not overusing/stealing memes as before-- they dislike us because we cause people to do so.


We’re getting quite off topic aren’t we.

Last edited May 06, 2012 at 06:05PM EDT
May 06, 2012 at 06:05PM EDT
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@Mister J

Yeah, its better to switch back now to avoid getting even more off topic.


Let’s compare sudden internet fame with real life fame. When an actor gets a role in a movie, he of course wants that movie to become popular.

But let’s say that movie suddenly becomes a giant hit. It shows in cinemas everywhere and everyone loves it. And the actor suddenly gains a large amount of attention. Paparazzi is found around every corner, taking pictures and writing articles of your daily life.

So how will that actor react to the sudden unexpected popularity? Will he just let it go until the movie stops getting popular, hoping the attention will drop with it? Will he take all the attention and enjoy it? Or will he sue the magazines the paparazzi work for?

In the last case (suing them), this will most likely backfire. A popular actor suing the paparazzi, no magazine that will leave such a story untouched. With some luck, the story will even reach the main newspapers. So by fighting it, the actor only gained more attention.

This is the same way with the internet, like with potato girl. By trying to fight the popularity, it only gained a rise. It backfired immensely and all eyes were suddenly focussed on you. Not the outcome you’d hoped for.

Last edited May 06, 2012 at 06:34PM EDT
May 06, 2012 at 06:33PM EDT
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I don’t know, cause I don’t have any.
 
I wanted to post in this thread, and so I did.

Last edited May 06, 2012 at 07:17PM EDT
May 06, 2012 at 07:17PM EDT
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RandomMan wrote:

@Mister J

Yeah, its better to switch back now to avoid getting even more off topic.


Let’s compare sudden internet fame with real life fame. When an actor gets a role in a movie, he of course wants that movie to become popular.

But let’s say that movie suddenly becomes a giant hit. It shows in cinemas everywhere and everyone loves it. And the actor suddenly gains a large amount of attention. Paparazzi is found around every corner, taking pictures and writing articles of your daily life.

So how will that actor react to the sudden unexpected popularity? Will he just let it go until the movie stops getting popular, hoping the attention will drop with it? Will he take all the attention and enjoy it? Or will he sue the magazines the paparazzi work for?

In the last case (suing them), this will most likely backfire. A popular actor suing the paparazzi, no magazine that will leave such a story untouched. With some luck, the story will even reach the main newspapers. So by fighting it, the actor only gained more attention.

This is the same way with the internet, like with potato girl. By trying to fight the popularity, it only gained a rise. It backfired immensely and all eyes were suddenly focussed on you. Not the outcome you’d hoped for.

It looks like we are as close to a consensus on the whole “if you don’t want to be a meme, then just ignore it and it will go away” issue. What should be our next step? How do we package this information so it can be distributed easily the next time it needs to be?

May 06, 2012 at 07:20PM EDT
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As I’ve said, you spam it all to hell and back. I’ve seen your forum posts, I’ve seen your posts on 4chan, and I’ve seen your kind in real life. There may be some exceptions to the rule, but for the most part, your kind does not shut the fuck up about the latest fad and tries to shoehorn the word “jimmies” into every other sentence. The KnowYourMeme demographic is that one obnoxious kid at your lunch table that hears a funny joke and won’t stop repeating it until everybody gets sick of it.

We can’t control our demographic. We can’t control how people want to use a meme for their own. Why should we? This has already been said before.
When users in this very forum use the word “jimmies”, they do it because they think it’s funny and clever. Whether it is true or not depends on people’s opinion and ISN’T A FACT. Like stating that a peculiar “overused” meme is unfunny because it’s “overused”, for someone, somewhere, will still think it’s funny or clever. It’s an opinion and it always will be.

(ex: Justin Bieber is a terrible singer, for instance. It’s my opinion, shared by many, but also many people love him and he sells well. That doesn’t mean he is talented at all, but it’s all about opinions, opinions that sometimes we want to impose as facts while it still remain opinions that make what we are.)

I don’t think I’ve seen it being spammed by KYM itself, even in its Facebook fanclub where there is a daily dose of pictures.
Controling how memes should work, restricting it to an “elite”, a fucking intelligentsia selecting a few places in which people can use memes “cleverly” is pretty much like censorship.. simply because a bunch of guys think it’s unfunny to see memes they used being used by others and being “spammed”?
I like to lurk threads on /x/, for example. Does that make me one of “you”?

KYM has always been compared by haters to that whiny kid spewing up jokes until everyone is fed up with it. But how so? This… has never been answered. Saying that “we” spam things… but where and how? Even… why?
That’s great to speak for a community, you know, a superior community whose trains of thoughts about things are “better” than another but… seriously, it’s getting old.

Anyway, back to the selling out thing, Jamie Dubs already said it himself:

While it’s only natural to become distressed when your favorite band “sells out”,
to treat memes like exclusive knowledge is to forget the very purpose of memes, to propagate.
Those who propagate the most win, and those who create the content that propagates the most write their way into internet culture history.

While it’s not a sacred quote, and it’s missing something about the quest for online creativity as a whole, the meme elitism many want to express may supress creativity entirely instead of trying to protect it.

The offtopicness is strong with my post but I have nothing to add to the initial subject.

May 06, 2012 at 08:39PM EDT
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This is like the Derpy incident. Many think the potato girl is meant to offend, no, it is for humor value, that is, after all, what a meme is designed to do, make you laugh. Not create a commotion over an idea somebody gets.

May 06, 2012 at 10:56PM EDT
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I’ve got a few thoughts about both the original question and the tangent topic, which I’ll try to make brief.

While a person who receives unwanted Internet fame might do best to ignore it, I think there are other options to consider. First, the mechanism that grows memes best is just naturally letting them spread, so while it would be tricky, I believe it would be possible to create some sort of grassroots movement by which you could undermine a meme’s popularity through spreading negative sentiment about the meme. The only example I can think of is Race Guy, which shows it can be done, but might not be the sort of tactic one would like to take with a meme based on one’s own picture. In the case of Potato Girl, the thing to do would not have been to complain to the media and try and censor it, but to use the image as a springboard to promote awareness of ableism, thus killing the meme by appealing to people’s better natures.

The second option to consider is whether one really wants to fight fame. Even if sudden Internet fame came in a form that was unwanted, if it’s your image being used, who can logically deny you the right to capitalise off of that? You could sell T-shirts, signed pictures of the original image, or even make it a stepping stone for career advancement depending on the career you seek. Antoine Dodson seems to be getting some impressive mileage on his fifteen seconds of fame, don’t you think?

As for the tangential discussion with Anormulus, people have different ideas of what’s funny, and unfortunately you can’t change that. Check out the comments on this video I posted some time ago. You’ll note that several times I have left a note for viewers telling them their comments are not funny, and please, stop. It makes no difference. Eventually you have to accept all you can do is ignore people that annoy you.

May 07, 2012 at 12:38AM EDT
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If you ever happen to be a meme you have four options:

a) Get yourself out of the internet for a week or so, until a new meme replaces you.

b) If the meme is more popular within a week then go and pretend you do it for the lulz…

c) ????

d) Profit!

May 07, 2012 at 04:40AM EDT
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Rick Grimes wrote:

This is like the Derpy incident. Many think the potato girl is meant to offend, no, it is for humor value, that is, after all, what a meme is designed to do, make you laugh. Not create a commotion over an idea somebody gets.

I actually thank you that you bring up Derpy, as it is actually a very unique case.

Unlike a single person having a sudden change to his/her life, here it was a group of fans getting a sudden change to their fandom. Here it was the fandom who didn’t get the outcome they wanted, not just a single person. The creators (Hasbro) changed something which wasn’t largely accepted by the fans.

For the backstory: Derpy is a background character from MLP:FiM. Originally just a background error, through the fandom she gained a HUGE popularity. During the second season of the show, Hasbro made the character canon by giving her a scene which also included a voice and her name spoken by one of the main cast. But having a “retard” type character with derp eyes in the show backfired to Hasbro on an ethic level. They were forced to remove the episode. Only to re-upload it later with a new voice (the old voice was a boy voice by accident) and underped eyes.

Not all the fans were ok with the sudden change. Many believed that the complaints for airing a “retarded” character and getting it changed was the act of trolls and/or overprotective mothers. Although Hasbro actually has very good reasons to change it.

But the outcome of how the fandom reacted shows the various ways how people could deal with something like this. After the first sweep of emotions, the fans spread mainly into the following 3 reactions.

  • Some accepted it. They assumed Hasbro had their reasons and lived with the fact. The change had been done. There are worse things in life than having a fanon character get a different voice.
  • Some disliked the change, but decided to ignore it. If the subject was brought up they’d still show dislike, but they wouldn’t take action. Although not a fan of the change, it was done so there was no reason to kept mourning.
  • Then there were those who simply couldn’t accept it. They took action. Creating petitions, writing/mailing Hasbro, organising movements. Everything in their power to get the change back. To them, the change made was unacceptable. Hasbro had no (legit) reason to do it and the blame was put at trolls or other similar causes.

As the first 2 groups accepted the facts, we leave them as it is. They show the proper way to deal with something, accepting it and move on.

The last group so far has failed miserably. No change has been done ever since, nor does it seem like change will come. And as it currently seems, most of their actions were futile.

Now this can be seen back in the single person cases as well. The people who accepted it and reacted to their sudden popularity their own way (Blake Boston, Hussie) had a lot less backfire than those who tried to fight the change their lives suddenly gained (Potato Girl, Paul Cristoforo). For the last group, many of their actions ended up being futile, similar to the bronies trying to fight the change made to Derpy.

It once again shows that, even on a larger scale, it’s possibly better to accept it. Although we have to remember here that the power of the masses is a strong one and can’t be taken lightly. In this case for example, Hasbro has promised the fans that Derpy will return unchanged in the third season.

Which then shows that compromises are possible. Although not getting the result you hope for, you can change something. In the case of potato girl, the best compromise they probably can aim for is taking legal action against sites like Memegenerator and Quickmeme to remove their pages, stopping the spread partially (although not completely).

Last edited May 07, 2012 at 05:21AM EDT
May 07, 2012 at 05:15AM EDT
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The most luckiest person to get spread around the internet is probably Zeddie Little (Ridiculously Photogenic Guy). How? Read this part of what he said in his interview on Good Morning America:

“I really dont know, but I kinda feel honored to be part of a joke that’s in good spirit because sometimes the Internet can be a little vicious or jokes can get bent the wrong way. But these are all kinda, for the most part, positive. It’s funny that everybody is kinda taking like to it. It’s, I guess, the most flattering way to get spread across the Internet.”

And as for Heidi Crowter (I Can Count To Potato Girl), she obviously doesn’t know the Internet. And because of this, she caused the meme to resurface, offending her even more.

Blake Boston (Scumbag Steve) did the best thing to do in this situation: leave jimmies unrustled and move on. Thank goodness he also messaged the Annoying Facebook Girl so she would not be in Heidi’s situation.

Rupesh Shingadia (Cigar Guy) found his Internet fame to be unsettling and bizarre.

‘I got up and looked at it online, thought it was a bit funny – and then went back to bed.’ Over the next few days the Cigar Guy phenomenon took off in earnest on the internet. ‘I was absolutely astonished,’ he said. ‘It was incredible. I found it funny but unsettling’
‘My favourite is me with The Simpsons,’ said Rupesh. ’It’s difficult to understand the situation because it has just been thrust upon me. Some people spend years craving this kind of attention but to me it happened by accident. It’s just bizarre.

And yet he moved on. Which was the exact right thing to do.

‘But I’m still expecting to go to work next week. I’m not expecting it to change my life in the long term.’

Heidi is the idiot of the aforementioned people who have gained Internet fame. The odd one out. So the right thing is to move on.

Last edited May 07, 2012 at 07:30AM EDT
May 07, 2012 at 07:29AM EDT

I think Steve Bartman did it best….just stay out of the limelight, ignore any request for interview, don’t pour gasoline on it by even aknowledging it to any one else.

May 09, 2012 at 04:42AM EDT
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if a person is tired of being a meme, they should kill the meme the same way all other memes get killed:

1) make and wear a t-shirt of it. Broker t-shirt deal through retailer (Hot Topic)
2) repost it until it isn’t funny anymore
3) repost it with captions which don’t quite express the point (on Facebook)
until it isn’t funny anymore
4) conduct yourself with inflated sense of self-worth and undeserved sense of
accomplishment adorning your workplace with images of your meme in a
self-congratulatory way until no one cares anymore (David Silverman)
5) basically just act like you’re the next greatest superstar to come along and
it shouldn’t take longer than a few weeks until people are tired of you.
6) most importantly, just stop being so damn butthurt

May 10, 2012 at 01:07PM EDT
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