Very few people would accuse Reddit of being a healthy, soul-enriching environment, but, at the very least, the memes have always been safe. Memes are, at best, mildly humorous and, at worst, super dumb. But, as reported by Vice, a meme war has broken out in the stupidest corners of the Reddit community and things have recently taken a dark turn.
According to Vice, the brutal skirmish started with the best intentions. The r/prequelmemes subreddit, which trades in content having to do with the Star Wars prequels, banded together with absurdist communities r/trebuchetmemes and r/garlicbreadmemes and declared “war” against r/sequelmemes. This was essentially an excuse to create fun, new content and do some good-natured shitposting about the Disney-produced Star Wars films. Soon, images of Ewan MacGregor wielding garlic bread lightsabers and other such nonsense were flooding the front pages of Reddit. Additional subreddits built around Spongebob, Lord Of The Rings, and Game Of Thrones joined the fray; users took sides by upvoting posts from their preferred combatants, but nobody took it too seriously. At least, not at first.
“[The war] went about 12 steps too far,” wrote one of the r/prequelmemes moderators after calling for an end to the conflict. Apparently, going “too far” in a fake war involving poorly photoshopped images consists of brigading unsuspecting subreddits and threatening to dox their moderators. (Brigading refers to the practice of bombarding a subreddit with downvotes so that the posts users actually enjoy remain buried and unseen, and doxxing is the act of divulging someone’s private information online without their permission. Both actions are frowned upon in the Reddit community and are generally seen as shitty things to do.) So, after only a few days of fun, the meme war had officially been sullied and was called off.
Undoubtedly, many are reading this and thinking, “Hey, this all sounds pretty stupid.” That’s true, but stupid jokes are a cornerstone of the internet; it’d be nice to think they could proliferate without getting swamped in enmity like the rest of the internet. According to Vice some survivors of the meme war have called for their own version of the Geneva Convention, which would establish rules of engagement for future conflicts. So, don’t delete those images of garlic bread Squidward off your computer just yet. There may be some hope for another friendly meme war to come.
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