Sam Hyde Is The Shooter: A Look At The Dangerous Side Of Memes.

There are several facts in life which cannot be debated; What goes up must come down, grass will grow, and the Internet is a dark and scary place. At the best of times the ‘information superhighway’ acts as the biggest game of schoolyard ‘Telephone’, information passes from source, to recipient through several dozen channels which dilute the information. Much like Telephone on the playground, often what is heard wasn’t near close to what was said. The relative ease of accessing information, and of spreading information, across the internet has made miscommunications abundant. Never has this been more apparent with the rise of the ‘Sam Hyde is The Shooter’ meme. For all intents and purposes, here’s a quick rundown on who Sam Hyde is, what the meme represents and why it is dangerous.

 

The quick and easy rundown on Sam Hyde is that he’s an internet comedian with a devoted fanbase amassed from a series of controversial YouTube videos which feature Hyde performing Racially Insensitive Ethnic Accents, as well as archived footage of considerably controversial stand-up monologues delivered. Hyde found mainstream fame when he hijacked a Ted Talk to present a 30 minute long diatribe entitled ‘2070: Paradigm Shift’ , in which Hyde proposes to help humanity plan for a technologically advanced future. Paradigm Shift, a parody of the nature of Ted Talks, included conversations about ‘State Enforced Homosexuality’, and is arguably his most well known social media presence, with the exception of Hyde’s most prominent role in social media, however, coming at the hands of his fanbase.

Since as early as 2015, Internet Trolls have taken advantage of the misinformation, fear and hyperbole surrounding the media’s lust to publicize any and all information surrounding active shootings, bombing and other acts of terrorism. The meme sees a member of Hyde’s fanbase post information related to the shooting, a faux-public statement as well as a picture of Hyde (Most typically while brandishing a firearm) and attempt to credit him as the shooter, leading to the rise and prominence of the ‘Sam Hyde Is The Shooter’ meme. There are countless examples of this misinformation being treated as genuine, such as…

Most commonly, trolls have also created YouTube videos which misattribute Hyde as a person of interest in serial slayings, mass bombings and other violent acts by splicing together documentary footage with grainy, low-resolution videos shot by Hyde himself, such as…

 

The nature of these memes as taking advantage of misinformation has had no true hard reprocussions for anyone, thankfully, but there’s no telling what the future holds.

 

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