You Can Help By Expanding It

You Can Help By Expanding It

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Updated Jun 04, 2021 at 07:12PM EDT by Rose Abrams.

Added Oct 17, 2017 at 02:34PM EDT by Matt.

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About

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.

Origin

The earliest available instance of this meme as an image macro appeared on MemeCenter in 2015. MemeCenter[1] 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.


WIkIPEDIA List of terrorist incidents in Great Britain iartcle possibly contains onginal nesearch Please inprove itby verfying the cans rce and ading e ction Canmanh pots 2 1360 3 10 Rece his lst s ncomplete, you can help by expanding ABSOLUTELY HALAL

Precursor

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.


Article Talk List of genocides by death toll From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This list is incomplete, you can help by expanding it


Spread

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 [2] 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 [3] user CrusaderDante posted one with Stroganovsky (shown below, right). Two days later, Redditor [4] posted the meme on the /r/dankmemes subreddit, garnering more than 3,500 points (91% upvoted) and 60 comments in five months.


ist of school massacres edit) This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it A List of school massacres This list is incomplete you can help by expanding it you can help by expanding it.

On July 31st, Facebook[6] 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.


Victims oeCOmmunism From W This expanding it. you can help by expanding it.

Text change

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.[7]

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."[8] 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."


This list is incomplete; you can help by adding missing items with reliable sources.

Various Examples


List of invasions This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it Child Rapists This list is incomplete: you can help by expanding it List of dongs From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. you can help by expanding
When the school shooting wikipedia page reads "You can help by expanding the list" Now this looks like a job for me List of school massacres This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. List of socialist revolutions From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia This list is incomplete; you can help by expanding it. you can help by expanding it.

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