Pour one out for @dailymemes.exe and @femalesdoingthings
It’s hard to remember a time when we didn’t incessantly scroll through Instagram in search of the funniest, darkest, most ‘I feel personally attacked by this’ memes. In recent years, the way we use the app has transformed from sincerely viewing your pals’ life updates to just tagging your housemates in ‘I’m baby’ memes whenever they try and make you do the washing up.
Though this might soon be a thing of the past, as Instagram is currently conducting a ‘meme purge’ in order to clamp down on accounts that are violating the app’s terms and services.
Over the weekend (July 27), The Daily Dot reported that 30 high-profile meme pages were taken down after Instagram deemed them to be in violation of these terms. A Facebook spokesperson stated: “These accounts were disabled following multiple violations of our policies, including attempted abuse of our internal processes.” The pages were also reportedly deactivated for the “selling and purchasing of usernames, as well as alleged attempts to fraudulently obtain others’ usernames.”
The owner of purged accounts @yerdank and @autist tweeted their dismay, writing: “@instagram you just deleted all of my accounts for absolutely no reason, no warning, and no context behind this.” The user’s Twitter bio states the accounts amassed 850k followers in total. Another user – behind @spicy.mp4 and @memeextraordinaire – claimed to have lost over 40 million followers and more than $600k (£490,740) after their accounts were also deleted.
Meme pages being high on Instagram’s most-wanted list may feel like peak 2019, but the paranoia surrounding ownership of content and images may just warrant it. Elliot Tebele, founder of popular meme account @fuckjerry, was forced to apologise earlier this year after being accused of stealing jokes without crediting the creator.
For the sake of all meme lovers (AKA everyone), hopefully the purge won’t extend much further – especially given how vital memes are as a form of political satire in our fucked up countries – though meme accounts do have a responsibility to give credit where credit is due.