In 2013, pictures of the Chinese President, Xi Jinping, went viral in a Twitter trend. The trend involved people comparing pictures of the President with the famous cartoon character Winnie the Pooh.
The trend started out as a harmless joke but Jinping perceived it as an attack on his dignity. As a result, censorship increased in China and the honey-loving bear was banned in China.
Since then, people have used this comparison meme to attack the Chinese president on the internet.
Where did #HindiCheeniByeBye come from?
Well, on 15th June, 2020, China’s PLA troops attacked the Indian Army troops stationed at Galwan Valley in Ladakh. This attack triggered a wave of outrage all across the country.
When the tensions between India and China began to rise, Indian users on Twitter decided to attack Chinese leadership by making the meme go viral again.
Amul — famous for its topical advertisements — also posted two illustrations on its Twitter page that were a jab at the Chinese troops.
Twitter, however, took down the posts and suspended Amul’s account for a day on the basis of the advertisements violating community guidelines.
Indian users of the social media platform started tweeting with #BoycottTwitter because Amul’s post being taken down was seen as censorship and violation of the right to dissent.
Some people saw the irony in this hashtag about how users were posting #BoycottTwitter on Twitter!
But Indian users weren’t the only ones making memes.
Social media users from China also retaliated. They took to Pakistani Twitter and Facebook accounts to collect memes about India that they translated into Chinese.
Users of Weibo, the Chinese version of Twitter, began posting memes about China’s superiority and India’s struggle with Pakistan and China on both sides.
Today, memes address and affect every aspect of society — even political. Naturally, cyberspace has turned into another dimension of war and this virtual clash is just one of the many examples.
Humour and satire have always existed in politics but with the internet, memes are becoming a critical part of the political discourse in a democracy. Everyone can express their views through a meme — not just political cartoonists and satirists.
Today’s youth is not afraid to voice their dissent and stand up against injustice from the authorities. And this is evident in the way this activism comes across in their meme game.
The most appealing aspect about making memes focused on political issues is probably the fact that not only can anyone create their own but also the playful, humorous aspect of it.
You must have realized by now that the extent of memes’ influence in society is tremendous. And guess what?
It is growing day by day.
Leverage this influence of memes for your brand and stand apart from the online ad-saturated world.
Contact us at Youngun India to know more about how you can make them work for your campaign!
Article written by Yusra Ahmed