If 4chan is a veritable petri dish of internet meme generation, then sites like Encyclopedia Dramatica and Know Your Meme would become its quasi-scientific journals. Then came capitalism. Know Your Meme, just three years old was acquired for seven figures last month by Ben Huh’s sprawling online empire of memes, I Can Haz Cheeseburger, followed this weekend by the abrupt closing of ED to launch a cleaner, safe-for-work wiki called OhInternet.
It came without notice to the site’s loyal contributors, who found themselves redirected to the new OhInternet site on Friday morning. And it’s likely that the seven-figure exit by Know Your Meme’s Andrew Baron and co. may have been the final straw for a site deemed too offensive—and at times racist—for and serious attention from mainstream suitors. Some praised it as one of the last bastions of uncensored discussion on internet culture, while others wrote it off as overrun by bigoted trolls.
ED’s primary contributor, and ringleader Sherrod DeGrippo (aka Girlvinyl) told Geekosystem the biggest difference between OhInternet and Dramatica is that the new site has moved towards “a more toned down content style and a streamlined design: Shock for shock’s sake is old at this point and we’re looking forward to the future and how things are evolving … when you put user experience first, the language becomes highly important and that’s what we’ve done.”
The new site has some catching up to do in terms of cataloging memes, as it has just 207 total articles in its “OhMeme” section, compared to 4,446 on Know Your Meme. The racist troll backlash, which already went after the newly launched OhInternet Facebook page, may end up turn into a successful launch strategy for the new site, which could end up a target for weeks to come.
Ultimately, this leaves the door open for a brazen group, of perhaps anonymous roots, to roll out a new uncensored hub of internet mind blabber. The reaction on Reddit to the news has been markedly inflamed, with some heated comments from ED’s formerly faithful:
What the hell? They are seriously sanitizing ED? ED has always been run by trolls, I thought that was the entire point. You sanitize it and it becomes completely pointless. As if we need another tired, watermarking repository of forced memes. (revchu)
This just means that it’s time for younger, funnier people to pick up where these sell out whores left off when they opened ohpanderingBullshitForNormalsThatWillFailInSixMonthsBecauseKnowYourMemeHasAlreadyFilledTheSpoonfeedingInternetCultureToSoccerMomsNiche.com and make something better and smarter and edgier than ED ever was.
Hey, ED, how does it feel to be the new Digg? (KimJongChill)
Just a handful of pages from the original Encyclopedia Dramatica still remain archived, though we expect at least a static archive of ED to pop up soon, Here’s the intro to the original ED page for Reddit:
Reddit (aka 4chan with a condom) is a Digg-clone news aggregation website for pseudo-intellectuals, leftarded Computer Science majors, Liberal pussies and hipsters who feel that having a superior “Karma Score” increases your chances of getting laid. It was founded by two hippie douche bags that were high on weed and wanted to “stick it” to Kevin Rose. In October 2006, the owners sold out to some big company. This means that they are now a bunch of poser jerks.