What are Facebook Memes?
On the Internet, memes are generally videos, songs, images, websites, Web personalities, or inside jokes that spread rapidly. Because the Internet allows for virtually unlimited diffusion of ideas, a meme can be accessed and passed along by millions and millions of Web users. Like genes, Internet memes can spread in their original form or can "mutate" into different shapes as users modify, parody, or otherwise edit a song or video clip before passing it on. The social networking site Facebook not only helps spread memes, but has a collection unique to the site.
Breast Cancer Awareness Status Updates
In January 2010 female Facebook users caused a stir with their status updates. In January, females received chain emails, telling them to post their bra color in their status to bring attention to breast cancer. The idea went viral. Many (some cancer survivors) were offended by the idea, saying it seemed more like an idea to get a guy's attention than actually bring attention to cancer awareness. No one knows who or where the campaign started. 12
In October 2010, female Facebook users had slightly risque postings for statuses. Updates abounded under the format "I like it on the ...." Given the popularity of the initial meme, someone decided to try again during Breast Cancer Awareness month. This attempt gained more criticism, since there seemed to be no direct correlation to cancer awareness. The statuses were about where women like to keep their purse, but the innuendo is hard to escape. 4567
Doppelganger week was a challenge on Facebook for users to change their profile picture to a celebrity that they've been told they look like. While some were more of a stretch than others, celebrities and cartoons abounded on the site. 89
Cartoon Character Profile Pictures
During November and December 2010 (depending which country you live in), Facebook status updates changed to tell other users to put their profile picture as a cartoon from their childhood in order to raise awareness of child abuse. The goal was to go a week without seeing a human profile picture on Facebook.
Shortly after the initial spread, posts and emails started circulating that the meme was started by a group of pedophiles to have children more readily accept them as friends. These rumors have been debunked by many websites. No official news source has substantiated the claims, either. The rumors are just one of many Facebook Hoaxes. 101112
Where Can I Learn More?
Read our newswire report, Would you risk your life for the perfect Facebook photo?