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Freedom Of Speech is a painting by Norman Rockwell that is used as an exploitable image macro in memes to signify announcing a controversial yet humorous opinion under the guise of exercising one's freedom of speech in the United States. The earliest known use of the image as an image macro meme was on Twitter in December 2020.
Freedom of Speech (seen below, left) is the first in a series of paintings called Four Freedoms (seen below, right), painted by Norman Rockwell and first published on February 20th, 1943.
Early instances of the painting being altered in a manner than can be considered humorous or memetic can be accessed via inactive links from 2008 displayed on TinEye (seen below, left), and a July 2017 Facebook campaign by a Berkshire artist named Mark Tomasi (seen below, right).
The earliest known viral instance of the image being used to signify announcing a humorous controversial opinion was posted to Twitter on December 10th, 2020, by Twitter user @nintendoesnt, gathering over 10,000 likes in two years (seen below, left). On December 18th, 2022, Twitter user @ManletThorin posted the image and gathered over 2,000 likes in two weeks (seen below, right).
On December 14th, 2022, Twitter user @kevin_bowen posted a version of the meme, gathering over 40 likes in a month (seen below, left). On December 16th, 2022, Twitter user @daphnaiad posted a version of the meme, gathering over 100 likes in nearly a month (seen below, right).
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