Nowadays, scrolling through social media and finding a photo or video with a funny message is a part of people’s daily lives. From teenagers to elders, everyone loves memes that leave a smile on their face. According to Merriam-Webster, a meme is a virtually-transmitted photograph that is embellished with text that pokes fun at a cultural symbol or social idea. Vox.com states, “The collectivism of memes,…, is a crucial part of their popularity, because their rapid and visible spread helps us all figure out how we’re feeling about some news trend or other issue.”
The popularity of memes have also created the use of dark memes in social media culture. Dark memes are morbid versions of memes that have the same popularity as traditional memes. Recently dark memes have been the center of controversy with memes such as the World War III memes. The World War III memes occurred on the first week of January when President Trump ordered the assassination of Iranian general, Qassem Soleimani. Vox.com explained, “After the news broke of Soleimani’s assassination on January 2, memes about the turn of events exploded across Twitter, TikTok, and other social media platforms.” The World War III memes across social media made people question whether dark memes were ethically good; however dark memes are ethically good to a certain extent.
Dark memes give people a chance to laugh at the uncertainty of life. However, it leaves people unaware of the real danger of a situation. From Essence.com, the popularity of the jokes regarding World War III caused a soldier to post a response say- ing, “We are really going through this…and a lot of us might not be coming back. So a prayer or a good luck could help.”