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Meme Liasion
@memetidesvia Instagram (@memetides)

Job alert! Instagram is hiring a meme expert

After purging some of its biggest meme accounts from the platform, IG is on the hunt for a ‘unicorn’ meme liaison

Last week brought some truly horrifying news, when it was reported that Instagram had purged 142 of its top meme accounts for violating the app’s terms and services, costing us some ‘I feel very personally attacked by this’ moments and some account owners thousands of dollars. In the wake of the mass-banning, 11 different petitions popped up with a few thousand signatures, each imploring Instagram to reinstate the deleted accounts, while current Dazed cover star Lil Nas X reminded Instagram that memers “deserve to exist too”.

Now, Instagram is trying to appease some angry and dejected memers, by hiring their first “meme liaison“, as the Atlantic reports

In what might be the most 2019 job we’ve ever heard of, the meme lord – or less catchy “strategic-partnerships manager” as its officially listed – will work directly with meme accounts and “digital publishers”, including @betches@theshaderoom, and @commentsbycelebs. Instagram said that it will be their job to “identify important new formats and trends while also serving memers already on the platform”. Describing the perfect candidate as a “unicorn”, they basically want someone fluent in all things doge, Pepe the frog, and 30-50 feral hogs.

According to a statistic from Instagram, meme content is shared seven times more than non-meme content across its app. Not only are these meme accounts monetising, they’ve also become the default way many people consume news, so, it does feel like it really is time Instagram took them seriously. 

Speaking to the Atlantic, Lila King, Instagram’s head of news and publishing, said she wants memers to “stop viewing Instagram as the enemy”, which she hopes will be achieved through the meme liaison. “It will be so important for a person in this role to connect more deeply with the teen accounts and other accounts we’re not aware of,” she said. 

Other issues with the platform among creators traverse the themes of censorship and bullying, though IG seems to be making a significant effort to combat the latter, in its recent crackdown on harassment, bullying, and harmful content. Instagram announced back in June that it would be adding sensitivity screens to blur images of self-harm and suicide to protect its users, and bring about a stronger focus on blocking self-harm and suicide-related content. There has also been a recent roll-out of a feature that allows users to restrict anyone harassing them on the platform.

Prominent meme accounts have felt at a stalemate with the platform for some time, reflected in some of the recent petitions in the wake of the meme account purge. One petition reads: “The waves of attacks… are not only affecting the repost accounts who have made a living off of posting memes, but they also are affecting the creators who have spent years of their lives organically growing a following from original content.”

And as we’ve witnessed on our own Explore pages and group chats, meme accounts come in all shapes, sizes, and personal niches – from the IG accounts that make helpful relatable content for recovering addicts, to accounts galvanising our inevitable communist uprising. This push to nurture the next generation of creators will no doubt be met with cynicism. Instagram still has a long way to go to regain the trust of its users, who are still reeling from losses of up to $600k (£490,740) after their accounts were deleted. The message is clear though: don’t fuck with our memes.

For now, keep your eyes on IG for the incoming job posting.