Pepe the Frog: Feels Good Man Review
I saw this on iPlayer and being a teenager during the height of memes online, I find it quite fascinating that I didn’t really know what happened to Pepe, and how he became such a far right poster boy.
So Pepe the frog started his Internet debut on a website called 4chan which unfortunately has been taken over by the scum of the Internet and it is a place that no one should ever really venture to. He started off as a simple cartoon frog who had some cartoon animal friends and soon became famous due to his meme-ability.
But, because of how 4chan works, the darker and more crude a post you put up the more likely you are to get a top rated post and go viral. So slowly Pepe moved from this funny, quirky, very relatable frog into this image of far right supremacy and anti-Semitism. Just blatant racism.
It’s thought that the surge of Pepe the frog online could have contributed to Donald Trump winning the presidential race which seems utterly insane to me. Now, I understand of course the power of social media, but to have a meme create a president is just so 21st-century it’s quite hard to wrap your head around.
It is also interesting to note that most of the people who were sharing Pepe the frog in this way were men who felt inferior and almost created these images to feel better about themselves. They were praising shooters for going out and going against the ‘normies’ as they called them and it’s all just so disgusting.
But the biggest learning lesson we can take from this is copyright. What happened with Pepe the frog was able to happen because he was not a copyrighted image, anyone could take him and make him into something that they wanted, there were no restrictions. Whereas if the creator had copyrighted the image then maybe this would’ve never happened or at least it could’ve been easily dealt with and contained.
No, of course when you’re a 20-something guy who’s just doing his drawings because he enjoys it, you don’t expect things to go as viral as they do, but unfortunately it happens and making sure you are as protected as you can be is probably the best thing that we can take from all this.
Pepe the frog has now been tarnished but I’m sure they’ll be plenty of memes in the future that will be like Pepe, that will start off innocent and fun and become this hate speech of people who feel inferior to the rest of us because they are not seen as normal. This is why I believe social media is a huge virus on the human race, it gives people who do not deserve a platform to spill such hate, a place where they feel they can be like this because other people agree with them and it’s just horrific to see it happen on a daily basis.
I do believe if social media was banned or just became obsolete things would be so much better because all these conspiracy theories, all these hate speeches, all the horrible things people are talking about wouldn’t be so widespread and so wouldn’t have the impact that they do. It’s just insane that all this started from a simple frog, but then again Disney started from a humble mouse, so clearly animals have more power than we give them credit for.
What do you think of Pepe the frog and what he became? And what do you think about social media like 4chan, should it really be allowed?
Until next time.