TIME World Cup

The Best World Cup Meme Was Ripped Off by One of Twitter’s Worst Accounts

The modified Brazilian flag rather accurately summarizes the host country's humiliating 7-1 semifinal defeat to Germany — but who created it?

Brazil lost to Germany in absurd, ridiculous and unprecedented fashion yesterday. The Germans scored five goals in 18 minutes before eventually winning the semifinal matchup 7-1. Predictably, the game provided everyone with anguished photos, clever headlines and tweets. Lots and lots of tweets. 35.6 million of them, per Twitter data. But one amusing take stood out above all the others:

Now under ideal circumstances, this altered version of Brazil’s flag would be lauded for its creativity and flawless execution, and @zoowithroy would be the one getting all the credit. That’s how it’s supposed to work. Unfortunately, self-described entertainment website Men’s Humor had other ideas. The #brand (for lack of a better term) tweeted the image from its Twitter account to its 3.13 million followers, but left out one very important detail: any sort of credit.

zoowithroy.com

 

Predictably, Mr. Zoo With Roy wasn’t too pleased about this, and rightfully called out Men’s Humor (best known for tweets like this and this — and other that are far more offensive) for its appropriation of his content. Men’s Humor eventually pulled the tweet, but offered no sort of public apology or retraction for not providing credit for the image in the first place. Men’s Humor did not respond to request for comment.

Unfortunately, there’s not a whole lot to be done about all this. Anonymous Twitter accounts like Men’s Humor that make a business out of clicks don’t have any interest in crediting anyone else with the work that they steal — it only muddles their otherwise pristine tweets. But it’s encouraging that the outrage over the theft reached the point that Men’s Humor felt compelled to delete the tweet. Brazil likely wishes it had that option for yesterday’s semifinal.

TIME Meme

The Origins of Slender Man, the Meme That Allegedly Drove 12-Year-Olds to Kill

Enthusiasts Enjoy Comic Con As It Opens In London
Yasmin Ouard poses as Slenderman from the series Mobile Hornets ahead of the MCM London Comic Con Expo Dan Kitwood—Getty Images

The mythology behind the meme that allegedly inspired two 12-year-old girls to attempt murder

A pair of 12-year-old girls allegedly tried to stab their friend to death Saturday, apparently to prove their loyalty to an Internet urban legend known as “Slender Man.” Following Monday’s initial court proceedings, in which one of the accusers conceded her actions were “probably wrong,” many people have been left wondering about the Internet meme that led two girls to attempt to kill their friend.

Slender Man is an urban legend who was born and bred on the Internet. The thin and faceless figure was first created by Eric Knudsen — better known by his online persona Victor Surge — in 2009, according to web culture database Know Your Meme. Knudsen concocted the character as part of a “paranormal pictures” photoshop contest hosted on The Something Awful forums.

Knudsen and others who embraced the Slender Man mythology crafted it as a mysterious, suited creature with a lanky form, tentacle arms, and propensity to stalk and torment seemingly random children. Slender Man’s victims are often portrayed as being plagued by a “Slender sickness”—resulting in paranoia, nosebleeds, and nightmares—before taken to the woods to be murdered.

The Slender Man stories proliferate on various online forums. Slender Man is the subject of alternate reality games, wiki pages and numerous Slenderblogs. There’s also a series of YouTube videos that follow the Slender Man myth in Blair Witch-esque short films. The channel has 379,000 subscribers; the videos been viewed more than 73.5 million times. The legend has even inspired fan art and cosplay:

The two accused pre-teens told police that they felt as if they had to “kill their friend to prove themselves worthy of him,” the Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal Sentinel reports. While one of the girls was surprised by the suggestion to kill, she was also “excited to prove skeptics wrong and show that Slender Man really did exist.”

The girls apparently found Slender Man lore on CreepyPasta, a site which encourages readers to spread creepy stories. CreepyPasta gave its condolences to the families in a statement Tuesday morning, but it argued that “most people don’t watch Hannibal and turn into serial killers.”

TIME Crime

‘Slender Man’ Internet Meme Inspires Two 12-Year-Olds To Attempt Murder

The two girls are accused of luring their friend into the woods and stabbing her 19 times, to prove their loyalty to a fictional character made popular by an online urban legends forum

Two 12-year-old girls from Waukesha, Wis. were charged as adults Monday for the attempted first-degree intentional homicide of another 12-year-old. Police say the crime was inspired by the horror mythology of Slender Man, an urban legend that gained wings as an online meme.

The victim, also 12, was found Saturday collapsed on the sidewalk, suffering from 19 stab wounds, after she had managed to crawl out of the woods. She had been invited to one of the accused killer’s house under the guise of a birthday sleepover. According to police, however, the attackers had been planning her murder for months as a tribute to the fictional character Slender Man.

The victim was rushed to the hospital when found and was in serious but stable condition Monday.

The pre-teens discovered Slender Man on urban legend wiki Creepypasta. The character has inspired art, a YouTube mockumentary, cosplay, and an alternate reality game.

According to online mythology, Slender Man is a tall, faceless, figure who stalks, abducts, and psychologically terrorizes people—particularly children. One of the girls allegedly told police that they believed they were acting as Slender Man’s “proxies” by killing their friend to prove their loyalty. They were then planning to run to what they believed was Slender Man’s nearby mansion.

“It was weird that I didn’t feel remorse,” one of the girls reportedly told police.

According to Waukesha County District Attorney Brad Schimel, if the girls are moved to juvenile court, the maximum penalty would be incarceration until 25 years of age.

[Milwaukee Wisconsin Journal-Sentinel]

Your browser, Internet Explorer 8 or below, is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this and other websites.

Learn how to update your browser
Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 45,850 other followers