You Can Help By Expanding It
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You Can Help By Expanding It refers to a line once often found in Wikipedia that encouraged users to add to the entry. Online, people have placed the title of a violent or offensive article on top of the "you can help by expanding it" like and an image of a smiling character. The "expanding" thus means to continue the acts detailed on the page, rather than adding to the information.
The earliest available instance of this meme as an image macro appeared on MemeCenter in 2015. MemeCenter user sremil2011 posted a screenshot of the Wikipedia entry for "List of terrorist incidents in Great Britain" above the line "This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it" and a middle eastern man smiling, referencing Islamophobic stereotypes about terrorism and Islam. The post (shown below) received more than 640 likes in two years.
Before becoming an image macro, the line was often featured in Screenshots of Despair. Much like the macro, images of the line were taken literally for comedic purposes.
Over the next few years, people online began placing next to images of characters, such as Batman and "Bolbi Stroganovsky":memes/bolbi-stroganovsky, to express exaggerated excitement. On April 2nd, 2017, Instagram  user @sp00py_is_my_middle_name posted an image of the line from the "List of school massacres" Wikipedia between pictures of Batman frowning and smiling (shown below, left). Two weeks later, on April 20th, Facebook  user CrusaderDante posted one with Stroganovsky (shown below, right). Two days later, Redditor  posted the meme on the /r/dankmemes subreddit, garnering more than 3,500 points (91% upvoted) and 60 comments in five months.
On July 31st, Facebook user comemenism posted the line and the entry for "Victims of Communism" super-imposed over a picture of Joseph Stalin. The post (shown below) received more than 1,000 reactions, 180 shares and 80 comments in three months.
On May 18, 2020, Wikipedia user Prisencolin posted to the text template's discussion page, arguing that the meme it had spawned was distasteful.
As much as I like a good joke, this template is currently the subject of unnecessary internet ridicule with netizens poking fun at the phrase "you can help by expanding it" specifically in contexts such as "List of school massacres" or "List of people burned as heretics". […] I support the existence of this template, but I suggest removing the "you can help by expanding" text, but whether it be replaced or removed entirely can be decided later.
After some discussion and agreement, Wikipedia user Pigsonthewing edited the protected template on November 21, 2020, changing the text to "You can help by adding missing items." This, in effect, killed the meme in the sense that the original text would never again show up on Wikipedia's articles. Later still, the sentence was appended by "with reliable sources."
 MemeCenter – Aloha Snackbar!
 Instagram – @sp00py_is_my_middle_name's Post
 Facebook – List of school massacres
 Reddit – Unfortunate Wikipedia Article
 Instagram – @the_philosophers_meme_mk24's Post
 Facebook – comemenism's Post
 Wikipedia – Template talk:Incomplete list
 Wikipedia – Template:Incomplete list
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Oct 18, 2017 at 02:39PM EDT in reply to
Oct 18, 2017 at 12:48PM EDT
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