Selfies, Hanson and Pokemon almost broke the net in 2016
It’s a crazy world where the strangest fads can go viral then fizzle
Please stop being like Bill
“THIS is 2016.
2016 doesn’t last longer than 366 days.
2016 accepts there will not be another leap year until 2020. 2016 is smart. Be like 2016.” IN JANUARY, a strange little meme popped up on social media feeds across the globe.
If featured a little stick figure called Bill. For the next few weeks millions of Facebook users followed in Bill’s line-art footsteps and started generating their own Be Like memes.
Very soon it all became pretty damn annoying and the rest of us were all Be Like <insert unmentionable words starting with F and O here>.
Thankfully Bill and all his silly stick figure friends did just that and faded into social media obscurity as fast as they appeared.
COMEDIAN Tim Minchin’s ditty about Cardinal George Pell baulking at returning to Australia to appear before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse went viral in February.
Minchin sang the song Come Home (Cardinal Pell) on The Project.
Over the following month, the catchy tune raised enough money and publicity to send a group of Ballarat survivors of child sex abuse to Rome where they watched Cardinal Pell give testimony.
When selfie obsession goes to far
IN MARCH, a man called Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked an EgyptAir plane, forcing it to land in Cyprus.
For most people on the plane, this would have been a time of abject terror.
Then there’s an English chap called Ben Innes and a stewardess known as Naira Atef. Like all good self-obsessed social media fans, the pair posed for selfies with their captor.
“I’m not sure why I did it – I just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity,” Mr Innes told British media. “It has to be the best selfie ever.”
Stars go to the dogs
A FEW months before his wife Amber Heard accused him of domestic violence, Johnny Depp filmed the worst movie of his career.
You know that one where he stars as an American actor forced to uncomfortably apologise for bringing their dogs, Pistol and Boo, into Australia illegally.
The 40-second video, also featuring Heard, is the best example of car-crash viewing since the invention of video cameras. In fact, it’s so bad, you just can’t help watching and that’s probably why it has racked up millions of views across social media sites.
Pauline Hanson explains a few things
THERE’S two things you can guarantee with Pauline Hanson – controversial views and viral gold.
Yep. The former Ipswich fish and chip shop owner is back in Parliament and taking up precious bandwith thanks to her love of the socials.
Before the June election, Ms Hanson told an ARM Newsdesk journalist she believed most female domestic violence victims were whining over “frivolous” things.
And she said men were the real victims of Australia’s domestic violence epidemic – despite loads of well-documented statistics proving the reverse.
The video of that interview went viral. A few weeks later, footage of her copping a mouthful from a Queensland indigenous leader also set the social sphere alight. And then there was the video of herself spruiking the benefits of buying milk from farmers without realising a half-used bottle of supermarket brand milk lurked nearby.
Her “I’ll never eat Halal” stand also took a beating because one of the milk brands in the video is Halal-certified.
Then there was that moment Hanson decided to show us all how to use a squat toilet in response to news the Australian Tax Office was redesigning its loos to meet the needs of multicultural staff. Possibly the oddest Hanson social media moment was when she used Facebook’s “live” feature to broadcast herself watching herself in the SBS documentary Please Explain.
Pokemon going, going ... gone
POKEMON Go. Look, we know we don’t have to say more on this fad, but hey, there’s a page to fill so here goes. In July, game developer Niantic released a mobile phone app called Pokemon Go. In the weeks that followed, 500 million lemmings – errr sorry … we mean people – downloaded the game.
Then for weeks on end those of us who weren’t sheep – errrr sorry … Pokegamers – watched as those around us spent hours roaming the streets looking for virtual characters on their mobile phones. Lots of people walked into poles. Some people even smashed their cars playing the game.
Others stumbled onto crims in action. A few unlucky peeps found nd dead bodieses and some people were killed d iin in Pokemon PPokemonk Go-related accidents.
Not long after launching in July, the game was raking in US$16m a day as downloads hit a peak of 27 million. In November, it was raking in just US$2m a day and was being downloaded 700,000 times daily. It is expected to continue to fizzle.
Dave’s date with destiny
IN SEPTEMBER, an obscure American journalist wrote an opinion piece about why he’d never date a feminist.
“People who are more loyal to their gender and not their significant other don’t make good partners. They will always look at you as inherently more fortunate than them. They’ve bought into the ‘battle of the sexes’ mentality and it often pervades their perceptions of romance. Romance turns into a power struggle rather than a partnership,” Dave Hon said in the News-Press Now about his decision to avoid feminist love.
Needless to say the feminists across the Twitter-sphere told Dave just how lucky they were with his decision.
“Stop mocking that Never Date A Feminist guy because of his looks. Mock him because he doesn’t believe in a wage gap or rape culture,” implored @jenny_trout.
“We’re giving that “why I’ll never date a feminist” piece a lot of traction considering the answer is “because we will never date him”, was @annetdonahue’s response. @maggieserota simply replied with “This was a hell of a way to find out that Dave Hon and I are never going to date.”
Did the cops go too far?
IN SEPTEMBER, Ohio police published a photo of a couple overdosing on heroin in their car as a four-year-old waited patiently in the back seat.
The photo went viral as people across the globe piled condemnation – and even death threats – on the addicts for their neglectful behaviour.
But some social media users hit back, saying authorities were simply releasing the image for click
Blokes behaving badly
THIS waa was the year yearr of Aussie blokes behaving behavingg badly on thet internet. InInn July, disturbingdisturbb screenshots fromfrro a secret Facebook p page called calledlld Blokes BlBlokesk Advice AdAdvicei bbec became public. The images showed BA members inciting others to rape, bash and harass unsuspecting women. A domestic violence support group spent the next few weeks lobbying Facebook to close the 200,000-plus page down.
Stoner Sloth’s hefty price tag
LATE in 2015, the NSW Government unwittingly gave Australia the funniest Christmas present ever – the Stoner Sloth advertising campaign.
It was supposed to be a serious message about drug use.
But those irresistibly cute stoned teenage sloths doing stupidly funny stoner-type things had us laughing so hard we cried buckets of tears.
The campaign went viral, with millions of views across Facebook and YouTube.
In February, we laughed even harder when we found out the entire shebang cost a whopping $350,000.
Johnny Depp filmed the worst movie of his career.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Pauline Hanson explains, Stoner Sloth, Depp and Heard’s car-crash apology, Tim Minchin targets George Pell, Liverpool parents do some drug driving with their kid, and Dave Hon had feminists fuming.