Osama Memes Are (Unsurprisingly) Everywhere. How Much Is Too Much?

  • Share
  • Read Later

One of these things is not like the other

Oh, Internet. You’re so predictable.

Even before President Obama had made his announcement on Sunday night, the Internet was already swirling with rumors and speculations about the death of Osama bin Laden. And amid the rumors and speculation were, of course, jokes about the death of Osama bin Laden.

(More on TIME.com: That MLK quote going around? It’s sorta fake)

There were of course the obvious jokes about Donald Trump wanting to see the death certificate. There were also the fake Twitter accounts, like @OsamaInHell. Then came the photoshop jobs. And don’t even get us started on the late-night jokes.

And though these sorts of jokes and memes abound anytime something noteworthy happens in the world, when people make light of a particularly significant event, whether it be a catastrophe or the death of a terrorist, people are bound to be offended.

As Brenna Ehrlich over at Mashable points out, some jokes can toe the line between funny and tasteless; others can just blow right past it. She points to Next Media Animation which released video “depicting bin Laden’s gruesome death, soldiers urinating on his body, and, finally, his spirit being gang-raped by pigs. That video has since been taken down.”

So, yes, clearly some people can go too far. But everyone’s line of appropriate differs and when it comes to “appropriate” reactions to heavy news, well that’s a pretty gray area to begin with. Some people genuinely react to serious or even tragic news by cracking jokes–this was also true before the Internet.

(More on TIME.com: Inside bin Laden’s hideout)

So what to do if you’re the sort of person who doesn’t find these memes or wisecracks funny but actually find them outright offensive? It’s probably best to ignore them–or avoid the Internet all together. They’re certainly not going away anytime soon. Or you could try to see the humor in things like Hitler’s reaction to bin Laden’s death.

0 comments
Sort: Newest | Oldest