Many social media users felt slightly bewildered after the Ukrainian government tweeted a meme encouraging other countries to help arm the nation after being invaded by Russia, claiming it was a form “strange” from “memeganda”.
The popular ‘Business Offer’ meme originated on TikTok and features a man in a suit standing under a pair of headlines that say ‘I get’ and ‘You get’.
According to KnowYourMeme.com, it gained popularity on the platform in March 2021, with a video by TikToker @bradeazy later becoming “source material for memes in which extremely unequal exchange is offered”.
In the Ukrainian version of the format, under “I receive” is a list that reads: “Heavy artillery”; ‘heavy armored vehicles’; “air defense systems”; and “combat aircraft”.
Below “You receive” it simply says: “Ukraine fights and defeats Russia so you don’t have to fight later. »
Despite the fact that Ukraine posted a number of memes on its official channels before and during the Russian invasion, many people found the latter to be a particularly unexpected use of “propaganda” – one of they even use the portmanteau “memeganda” to express their disbelief at the collision of two improbable worlds.
One Twitter user wrote, “I refuse to believe this is real life anymore.”
Another said: “The future is a weird f**kin man.”
A third commented: “This is not the behavior of a serious country.”
A fourth said their children would be ‘so confused once they see this in their textbooks’, while another added: ‘Call me conservative, but I preferred the times when misinformation and propaganda of the state were not presented as a meme.”
One also said in bewilderment: “Memes are literally war propaganda and now what.”
But many others praised the ‘brilliant use of social media’, saying the approach was nothing short of ‘brilliant’ – with one joking it was the ‘best page ever’. war memes of all time”.
Someone also tried to sum up why they felt it worked so well, by comparing it to a 1942 animated propaganda film starring Bugs Bunny.
“Some are surprised that an official government channel is posting a meme, but this fits perfectly with Bugs Bunny selling war bonds, using new media methods to inform and influence public opinion,” they said. they said, adding, “And I totally agree with them here.
Quote-tweet another Ukrainian government meme tweeted last monthanother person wrote, “If nothing else, from an anthropological perspective, it’s absolutely fascinating to see how memes are used by warring states.”
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