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The popular online culture of memes seems to have come of age here.
User-generated content that mostly lampoons and at times enters the dicey territory of ‘trolling’ has started going viral on social networks like Twitter and Facebook with a never-before regularity.
The most ominous of memes in recent times were the ones lampooning film director Lingusamy’s interview during the promotions of Suriya-starrer Anjaan.
So powerful was its impact that another filmmaker, while speaking to this correspondent, said: “It has become scary to say anything in the public domain these days. The extent of trolling that happens is unbelievable.”
But not all memes generate negative vibes. A few good-humoured meme builders have soaked in just the right amount of humour and popular culture from Tamil cinema and created online communities — on Facebook and elsewhere — where levity thrives.
One such community, Trollywood, has more than 1,50,000 followers on Facebook. The forum’s memes are rehashes of comedy sequences from Tamil films or take on the screen persona of actors like Vijayakanth and T. Rajendar.
Recently, Trollywood featured Vadivelu as the spokesperson of e-commerce portal, Flipkart. They recreated a popular scene in which the actor plays a villager with a penchant for repeating whatever is asked of him, just to annoy.
‘So do you have that headphone you advertised? What do you mean so do you have that headphone you advertised’, and so went the post.
One of the administrators of Trollywood who runs the forum under aliases said there are five persons generating the memes.
“Trolling is considered to be unhealthy. But we just follow the template largely used by meme makers worldwide and, considered to be non-offensive,” he said, in an email interview. “In fact kalaaikradhu (‘banter’ in Tamil) is in our culture, right?” he wrote.
Some topics are taboo, though. “We don’t troll legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rajinikanth, Kamal Haasan and A.R. Rahman. We also stay away from political issues mostly,” he said.
Sometimes memes also stir controversy. Shashank Ravi, an environmental research scientist from Iowa who goes by the moniker ‘Shashank Thala’, is a popular meme aggregator.
He said, “One photo of Thomas Muller scoring a goal during the FIFA World Cup 2014 showed him in Lord Nataraja’s traditional pose. Someone had the presence of mind to quickly juxtapose both images with a caption that read ‘Thomas Natrajar’. I found it creative and shared it, but unfortunately, a majority of people thought otherwise and thought it was demeaning. I then took down that post. Better safe than sorry.”
From: The Hindu