Forced Meme

Forced Meme

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[This article is under renovation. Feel free to suggest any notable forced memes to be added to the article.]

Definition

A forced meme is any “meme” that is artificially created and spread. Rather than spreading through word of mouth as a naturally created meme, a forced meme made with the intent of becoming a meme and aggressively promoted by its creator. Most forced memes quickly disappear; however, some have successfully become a part of Internet culture.

Most forced memes are small-scale efforts by an individual to create a meme, but occasionally a company will attempt to force a meme through viral marketing[1] or astroturfing[2] in order to promote their product, such as Circus Afro for the 2012 film Madagascar 3.

Notable Examples

Milhouse

When 4chan users attempted to force the Simpsons character Millhouse as a meme, a new catchphrase, “Milhouse is not a meme”, was formed simply out of denial of the status of Millhouse being a meme.

While “Millhouse is not a meme” is still thoroughly based in the controversy over the forced meme, posts regarding Millhouse have become popularized because of this controversy.

Fuck Yeah Seaking

“Fuck Yeah Seaking” originated on /b/ as a forced meme similar to Milhouse. Now, F* Yeah Seaking is popular not only on /b/ but many other websites, commonly seen interacting with other memes. People still note the fact that it is a forced meme, but that particular history has faded through use of the meme.

Common examples of forced memes can be found as “gets” on 4chan. There will be a time when a person posts a picture, followed by “(#) get and this is a meme.” If the get is a fail, people are happy that they won’t have to deal with the implications of the get had it been gotten.

Where’s this going?

It’s very possible that there are many other forced memes than most may think. Because of the anonymous nature of the internet, there’s a lot of room for a single person or group to carefully manipulate the masses into accepting a certain thing as a meme.

External References

[1]Wikipedia – Viral Marketing

[2]Wikipedia – Astroturfing

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