Ever hear of the “Great Meme War?”
You will soon.
Users on 4chan’s /pol/—which had a strong pro-Donald Trump base—effectively helped campaign for Trump during the election season, using what some users describe as “meme magic” to concoct narratives before spreading them on other social media websites. And in particular, Reddit’s very popular /The_Donald/ was instrumental in getting Trump’s message out on social media amid a generally hostile media climate.
But following Trump’s victory and the ensuing protests and riots against his Election Day Victory, there have been discussions on how to take down media outlets—many of whom suffered a huge blow after months of predictions saying Trump would fail.
CNN has—and apparently will be—the main target. Meaning, expect the anti-CNN hashtags soon.
Over at /The_Donald/ sub-Reddit, the mood appeared to be similar. Users were decrying seemingly under-reported acts of violence on Trump supporters following his election. Throughout the election, they claimed that mainstream media outlets as well as protesters are in cahoots with darker, sinister forces to get Clinton elected.
The mainstream media, and to an extent, Clinton’s team, have essentially ignored them or decried some 4channers and /The_Donald/ Redditors as being “members” of the “alt-right,” but they (and unofficial mascot Pepe the Frog) appeared to become emboldened when such allegations were levied. When Hillary Clinton invoked her oft-repeated “basket of deplorables” line, the word “deplorable” appeared everywhere on Twitter to be worn with pride—like a badge of honor. Seemingly, through those efforts, big media outlets created a formidable, anonymous enemy. Groups like the SPLC have derided the so-called “alt-right” (and Pepe the Frog) as racist.
One day our grandchildren will ask us about The Great Meme War and of the heroes who took part. pic.twitter.com/D14ZjLeEgt
— Deplorable Guy (@captainjack052) November 11, 2016
— 4chan greentext (@4chan_greentext) November 10, 2016
Some users noted the effort to get Trump elected is part of the “Great Meme War”—a quasi-serious battle between Trump supporters and people who derided him online. Trump supporters on 4chan’s /pol/ and /The_Donald/ have alleged that people being paid by “Correct the Record,” a Clinton-backed political action committee (PAC) to “correct” commenters (“CTR shills”) on Facebook and Reddit, have spread “disinformation” throughout the election.
As reported by The Daily Caller last month, Redditors and 4channers have been concerned about CTR’s alleged paid Internet commenters suppressing information sourced from the WikiLeaks release of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s emails.
But due to the nature of online anonymity, it’s impossible to know how much influence CTR had on 4chan and /The_Donald/. A coordinated effort to “downvote” posts could prevent people from seeing certain Reddit posts, however.
A top post on /The_Donald/ on Friday alleged that CTR is still around, trying to influence the subreddit’s direction. “Since CTR hacks are doubtlessly still lurking about … let’s help them out with some post-election therapy,” one post read.
Another user wrote on Nov. 11 about mainstream media outlets’ coverage of hate crimes in “Trump’s America.” “Folks CNN has an article talking about hate crimes spreading in ‘Trump’s America” it is very important that seekers of the truth send them the same message we sent the government by electing Trump in the first place. These hate crimes are fabrications and for anyone out there still believing what they see and hear on these websites will take it as truth,” it said.
The calls for a boycott on mainstream media outlets ensued.
“Unity is the last thing they want,” said one in response to a CNN report about Sen. Harry Reid’s comments to Trump in the same thread. “They won’t stop until they get what they want…except this time that’s the exact opposite of what will happen.”
“The issue many of you guys don’t realize is that CNN/MSNBC/ABC/etc. is just an insignificant speck of a larger conglomerate. They will not feel a pinch if you boycott their propaganda news station, which they would willingly fund for free,” wrote another, saying that entire companies like “Time Warner (CNN, HBO, The CW, etc.), Disney (ABC, Marvel, Pixar, Disney, ESPN, etc.), and Comcast (NBCUniversal, etc.)” should be boycotted.
In a now-deleted thread posted on 4chan on the night of Nov. 10, there was talk of how to attack.
As one user said, the “meme wars are not over.”
“The mainstream media has been staunchly anti-Trump from his announcement, and if you think they’ll back down now then you’re a fool,” the user wrote. “They will keep working non-stop to defame and [discredit] President Trump, and we must keep working to meme the [public] into knowing the truth. Trump needs help to drain the swamp, are you up to the task? [Expletive] the mainstream media, let’s ridicule them until they become a joke to every person alive.”
And as another user wrote on /The_Donald/, “The Great Meme War is only beginning. We won the first battle.”