There's a weird thing going on on the larger web these past... what, like 3 years?
If you've taken a stroll down Twitter, TikTok or Youtube, then you've either noticed it or just paid no mind to it. But I, a very moronic user that is chronically online, have seen something very concerning attempting to be revived. Might I ask, remember some 7 years ago when most of the memes were about Harambe or something about lethal detergent challenges? Well there was something else that really ruled supreme way back when. It felt like almost everywhere you went, there was these "offensive meme compilations" or "anti-tumblr sjw" witchhunts that plagued almost every site that was reserved for the millenials and older Gen Z people.
It was kind of a horrible time to even dare tread onto anywhere other than the spaces where these communities had sprouted, a time of internet segregation if I might dare to say. Where if you were openly saying you were a different race, a different sexuality, different gender, you got your shit kicked in by practically everyone on the internet because it was the era of edginess. Now there's an argument to be had about this era, some say that it was a bad time and should never be repeated, while some just equated it all as just a product of the time. Your favorite content creator probably even partook in these old discriminatory actions just to not be caught in the crossfire.
I don't think it helped either with the results of the 2016 United States election coming out Trump. Because then all hell broke loose and suddenly it was all "white power" and "kill all [insert minority here]" posts that were being passed off as memes. It was an entire shitshow during that era. Hell, even revolts from more progressive users were shut down entirely as the means of harassment was rewarded with a pat on the back and heroism.
Then it all came crashing down with a certain incident on YouTube shutting down most if not all of hate speech to the expense of these people who had built their entire lives off of it. Cause then all of these companies started getting concerned with the way these things were freely unleashed on social media and began to pull out, so the sites went "oh shit" and rewrote the rules so that people had to be more considerate instead of lashing out at people different from them. So after the edgy era was forcefully ended came a wave of people finally becoming prideful of their identity without being completely dogpiled. But of course, while the biggest national superpower in the world was still under the rule of the richest man with a disdain against latinos, the folks on his side were free to laugh at all of these leftist ideas because it wasn't prominent in government as much as it is today.
Then 2020 happened. The world had gone into panic mode, everyone's inside. Some people are committing hate crimes those of Asian descent due to the virus first appearing in China. And suddenly... the George Floyd murder happens. From there, what happened in America was a large uprising in black communities against the corrupt police forces that had finally revealed themselves as more racially charged if anything. But on the internet, amongst those who had stood with the riots were those who had used the footage of some of the biggest cities under actual fire as proof of "black savagery" in order to prove a racist point. While most protests were peaceful, it didn't matter. I believe this is where it all begins. Because now you had a bunch of jokes made about the photo of George Floyd and the man himself, most of which were by white individuals. So now that we have evidence to "the blacks" destroying public property for no reason, evidence to suggest the victim wasn't at all a good person, and overall an immense distaste against black people, they struck and made it all of their problems.
It was hell to be black and to support the riots, peaceful or not. Because then you had all of these people sprouting from the ground, spouting whataboutisms, and declaring you a racist against white people. And that was just the beginning of it.
Since 2020 was also an election year, there was never a better time to oust Trump from office, as so much dirt was dug up on him that people wanted him out of office. Of course, there was the cases of the MAGA folks attributing a hate for Trump as a "liberal outrage." On both sides of the battle online, you either were a "whiny liberal baby" or a "racist white nationalist", it was a civil war on whether or not America should progress past the outrageousness of the Trump administration or to keep it. But that election night, everything swung Biden after a long week waiting for multiple states to count their votes. If hell had already been loose for the past 4 years, then this awoke Lucifer incarnate. Because now everyone who voted Biden and was more left-leaning were all enemy number one. Celebrating the victory of Biden? Well he's actually a big freako weirdazoid who likes kids at his age (now I'm not going to defend this, Biden is a very strange man I will say). Hoping for the best in progressivism? Why do you hate American values then?
I could go on and on about American politics at this time, but to make the longest stories short. Right-wingers were pissed off, decided to take matters into their own hands, and then retreated back to their social medias to complain about being repelled from taking the violent ways out. Also Trump got banned from Twitter which didn't help either.
It's also around here in 2021 (finally touching on other subjects outside of the big American debates) where you start to see a new faction make themselves truly known. Anti-LGBT people finally strike where people praise other people for being themselves. If you're gay, it's against God. If you're ace, there's no way you can actually be ace. Non-binary? Two genders, bucko. But no community got hit hard more than us trans people. Because now we were all accused of being delusional freaks who promote surgery to children. But of course, it isn't as bad as today. Just a few people randomly appearing whenever they wanted to. It only worsened as the infamous ValidLs appeared and began waging a long online war against trans users with his own army to dogpile whoever he posted.
Then there was also the rampant surge of pro-loli weirdos that also sprouted into battle on the cause of normalizing their very strange stances on drawn CP. This also ties into the weird more recent battle between the (fantasy of the) East and the (demonized for disallowing questionable material) West. These extremely hateful factions were usually allied with eachother, an anti-lgbt soldier probably supported lolicon while a lolicon user would support anti-lgbt rhetoric. This also correlates to the rise of these neo-edgy witchhunt videos that would just get so normalized that short-form content was full of them. Remember that one video of the anime girl walking to happy music subtitled with facts about trans "death rates" and "abuse"?
So now that all of these folks are becoming a loud minority, people attempted to fight back with the simple "lol ratio" shit, but of course it did jackshit in the end. But so far we've only touched on the Twitter side of things. YouTube and TikTok are entirely different sides to this coin. Because there is never a worse place in this era to be involved in these battles than video platforms. YouTube was filled to the brim with right-wing propaganda to rile people up to attack anybody under their definition of "liberal". TikTok was just a place where the same joke of "guys LGBT lose against gigachad lole" was repeated over and over.
That's also another thing, the hijacking of memes used against these communities. The soyjak, originally being an insult to excited people in the gaming community, suddenly becomes a bastardized plaything that is attributed to everything at anytime. The chad, originally just being a "nice guys finish last" caricature for the bad guy, becoming the yes man to these discriminatory views. And the gigachad, originally just a funny image to put against some counterargument that seemed ridiculous, becoming a projection for people who want to act tough for saying "I don't like gays". All of these memes were inbred monsters used as tactics to downplay the other side while looking stupid at the same time.
[I'm exhausted from writing this, if I have the time and patience to continue from 2022, I'll add it. So far, we're only in 2021.]