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The Internet is Serious Business is a catchphrase used sarcastically to mock another person’s serious tone or demeanor during an online discussion. This is commonly used to make fun of someone engaging in a heated and/or immature Internet conversation (i.e. politics, conspiracy theories and other similar topics), especially on sites that allow user-to-user interaction such as YouTube, Facebook and Twitter.
“The Internet is Serious Business” was first coined sometime in 2003 by General Mayhem forum member mr_brett in one of the cat-themed GIF animations which he titled “Catbusiness.”
i believe i can provide a bit more background as well: as i recall, our illustrious leader of [M] at the time, M|22, pissed off some internet company and they wrote a letter to him complaining of his actions and closed out the letter by saying “the internet is serious business” or something quite similar to that effect. then you had click46 + me & fireworks = many, many kittah GIFs. …good times :)
Although the exact date of Mr_Brett’s post remains unknown, it is thought have been uploaded sometime between 2002 and 2003, as implied by the follow-up request thread “pls post kittah – internet is serious business pic” posted on February 27th, 2003.
By 2005, numerous image macros featuring the phrase “Internet is serious business” or its variations had been created by other General Mayhem users. This humorous statement also began to spread beyond the turfs of General Mayhem, most prominently on the imageboard community 4chan.
That same year, Encyclopedia Dramatica introduced the “Serious Business” meme to a larger audience with its recount of an online gaming drama which took place in the MMORPG Dark Age of Camelot. In it, a player tried for three consecutive days to obtain a precious magic cloak item called “Cloudsong,” but when it finally came into the player’s sight, some other player stole it from him right before his eyes. The unlucky player exploded in rage, which was soon turned into the subject of audio remixes and YTMND sites. In humoring the unfortunate “Cloudsong” episode, the phrase “Internet, Serious Business” became associated with hardcore MMORPG players as well.
The first Urban Dictionary entry for “Internet = Serious Business” was submitted in August 2006 and another definition for “The Internet is Serious Business” was submitted in December that year. In 2007, the single service site internetseriousbusiness.com was launched, containing a Rickroll and a series of annoying unblockable popups featuring the song’s lyrics. An internet culture blog titled Internet, Serious Biz was launched that same year, which deals with Internet memes and related subcultures in general.
The first YTMND instance of the “Cloudsong” remix was uploaded on June 28th, 2005, but it didn’t draw any significant attention from the community. The viral instance came nearly a month later on July 21st with the creation of “WOW is serious business,” which received more than a million views, a remarkable feat for any YTMND sites. The YTMND site later spawned a flash animation version, which has been since re-uploaded onto Newgrounds and YouTube.
It is also regarded as one of the earliest known artifacts containing the catchphrase outside of General Mayhem. It should be noted that the screenshot depicted in many YTMND sites have been misattributed to World of Warcraft, instead of Dark Age of Camelot.
A great volume of image macros based on this theme has been made, usually featuring a portrait of someone dressed in business attire or wearing a stern or serious expression. There are several variations of the phrase, such as “Internet… Serious Fucking Business”, “The Internet: Serious Business”, “Internet = Srs Business”, “SRS BIZNS” or “INTERNET!!”
General Mayhem – pls post kittah – internet is serious business pic