The Awful Comedy Memes That Russia Used To Hack The Election
Last week, as part of its investigation into how foreign internet shitlords stuck their fingers in the pie of our political process, the House Intelligence Committee Minority released a massive catalog of advertisements identified as being paid for and published on Facebook and Instagram by the Kremlin-backed "Internet Research Agency." The majority of the 3,000+ ads were designed to trigger literally everyone, appealing to both sides on major issues such as immigration, Second Amendment rights, police brutality, and the presidential candidates themselves, with the goal being to goad the country into a never-ending cycle of shoutfests -- kind of like Groundhog Day, but set at Thanksgiving.
What's more interesting, however, is that we finally got a peek at what sort of comedy these guys were pushing via their own meme factory, 'Memopolis'. It's all well and good promoting division and hatred, but you've gotta make people laugh too. It's hard to screw an electoral system full of depressed people. So what does a state-sponsored meme campaign look like? What exciting new joke formats did they invent?
Oh, goddammit. The IRA had the resources of an entire government at its disposal, millions of dollars to invest ... and then realized that America hadn't evolved beyond puns, ironic detachment, and SpongeBob / Pokemon Go mashups. This insidious act of cyber warfare basically amounted to ripping off every other "Millennial humor" page out there. It's a little insulting, to be honest. Do we not deserve their best game?
It's not like they didn't have the money. It cost them over $100,000 to run these ads, and elsewhere in the country, they were paying for political rallies, self-defense classes, and some goofballs to sit in a cage. You can say a lot about the horrors of war, but war also gives us a lot of really useful stuff -- and with a little more cash and gumption, we could have gotten such civilization-changing memes as Bernie Supporter Harambe, Clenched Arthur Fist Debbie Wasserman Schultz, and Ted Cruz But He's Also John Wayne Gacy. That said, we did get one thing: Obnoxious Russian Laughing Cat.
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