Meme Madness

New FSU Meme page goes viral overnight

by Published: Feb 13, 2012

On Monday, February 6, Matt (who’s last name was asked to be kept anonymous) launched the Ferris State Memes page. After sharing a few of the initial memes, things got rolling, and fast.

With more than 1000 likes and 300 submissions overnight, Matt had struck internet gold, getting the idea from other recent university meme pages. The page now has over 3,000 likes. One big difference that have students reporting mixed feelings is the page moderation. While for other schools, upload is public, Ferris keeps the wall closed to filter out any inappropriate, or—quite frankly—not funny content, as Matt and another moderator receive submissions and review them for posting.

“After looking at other pages, they have one meme posted every few seconds. Most are duplicates of previous posts, irrelevant to the University, or extremely offensive. We didn’t want profanity in the memes, or anything directly offensive to an individual on campus. It doesn’t hurt to have a policy that’s quality is greater than quantity!” Matt said.

For those who are behind the times and still scratching their heads about what a meme even is, Matt gives a helpful explanation.

“Personally, I define a meme as a well-known image (or character) combined with a caption that is funny and relevant. They’re funny because they describes a situation that everybody experiences, but is not socially acceptable, nor discussed,” Matt said.

So how are university memes different?

“For Ferris State, we apply the same principles, but theme them to our school. Most of the time, however, we just use the stereotypical meme text superimposed on an image as a general caption,” Matt said.

But there’s still the question. If the meme page is for Ferris and by Ferris, should students be able to freely post?

“It was my intention to allow student submissions from the get-go. I’m not that clever of a person so I definitely needed help,” Matt said. “I’m currently debating what the future of the page is. I’ve been getting a lot of backlash for not opening the page to the public, but I feel strongly that with open submission to the page, the quality of memes would drastically drop; not to mention an insane amount of vulgar content posted.”

The site just recently conducted a poll to see if moderation should continue, and an overwhelming vote ruled yes.

Other students such as Ethan Wagner, sophomore in computer networks and systems and computer information technology, feels the page should be more open to general submission, or at least a more subjective vote on what’s funny and what’s not.

“The least amount of moderation possible is always ideal, period. The moderator of the Ferris State Memes page is not so much moderating as they are personally judging each submission,” Wagner said.

Matt stated however, that when reviewing memes, he’s not the end all be all of what get’s posted what’s doesn’t.

“It’s a subjective practice, but I ask friends and my suitemates if they understand the memes too. It’s not just a one-man show,” Matt said.

Though Wagner also believes that while many of the memes are relatable, they aren’t particularly funny, or don’t follow the true essence of a meme. He thinks using one of the already available mean templates, such as the advice animals, takes more than just slapping an university truth on the page.

“Using an Advice Animal is like being a comedian that does impressions, except you sound exactly like who you want to, always. Some people might think that this is enough to make an impression. For example, if I could make the perfect impression of President Obama except all I could say was “poop,” some people might find it humorous that Obama would say “poop” at all,” said Wagner.

But he feels that this isn’t the highest degree of humor.

“You can tell that the best comedians not only sound like who they impersonate, but talk as if they were that person as well. That’s what makes a good impression. Some of the impressions that I see on the Ferris State Meme page are not accurate to the Advice Animals they are attempting to portray,” Wagner said.

His solution involves having the fans decide. He proposed using a sites such as reddit, a “source for what’s new and popular on the web” where “users like you provide all of the content and decide, through voting, what’s good and what’s junk,” according to the site.

In the end, Matt feels the majority of what’s posted is a fun way to bring students together in the commonality of being a Ferris State Bulldog. Ian Smith, FSU graduate in Graphic Design, Advertising and Marketing, still visits the page, and though he feels the site should also have little to no moderation, still enjoys the content.

“I think it’s great that students are buzzing about the nonsense that goes on at Ferris. When I was a freshman five years ago, the campus and lifestyle was almost completely different. Most of them have been pretty accurate. While I had a good experience at Ferris, there was a lot of red tape and business ethics that can be called into question; in some cases the students were viewed more as wads of cash than human beings. So yes, some of them are pretty funny in their scary accurateness,” Smith said of the memes.

“Most students aren’t going to make small talk with the stranger sitting next to them in Chem class by saying ‘Hey, have you ever gotten lost in Rankin Center?’ With the FSU memes, we can share our experiences with the student body, and let everybody know that they’re not alone!” Matt said.

To check out the Ferris State Memes page, visit http://​www​.facebook​.com/​F​e​r​r​i​s​S​t​a​t​e​M​e​mes . Or to see the FSU memes reddit page, visit http://​www​.reddit​.com/​r​/​F​S​U​m​e​mes .

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  • O. Snap

    Matt seems pretty on-the-ball about the situation. Perhaps Wagner could moderate the “Ferris Hipsters” page?

    • http://www.facebook.com/NitrosDragon Ethan Wagner

      What do you mean by “on-the-ball”, and what do hipsters have to do with it? 
      Anonymity won’t hide an inability to make a good argument, but I look forward to your reply, regardless. 

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  • Anon

    In other words, Matt is an arrogant person that thinks he knows what’s best for the school, its students, and the internet as a whole.

    • http://www.facebook.com/dbalsitis David Balsitis

      This sounds like a resident and not a former or current student.  Anon obviously doesn’t get it and decided to be “Anon”.

      • Esahc54

        I would have to agree with anon with this one.…
        Lets moderate reddit/4chan and see how long those sites last.…
        The FSU MEME page will die out within a month.

        • http://www.facebook.com/dbalsitis David Balsitis

          4chan?  Really?  4chan Current Users right now: 79,882.  Bad comparison.  Reddit is a copycat and will probably die out within a year or so despite the triple-digit replies on 3 hour-old posts.

          Perhaps Ferris should start paying more attention to student voices instead of brushing aside the (valid) concerns of the people paying as much as UofM to learn.

          I fail to find any arrogance on Matt’s part in this article.  If anything he’s being humble.  Don’t make me quote the article because I don’t want to question your ability to read.

          Honestly, I’d rather read another Ferris meme than read about parking lot vandals, MIP’s, and marijuana usage.  

          • http://www.facebook.com/NitrosDragon Ethan Wagner

            I very much agree with most of what you said, here, though I’m not sure what Esahc54 was saying in the first place. Both 4chan and Reddit have their own flavor of moderators and they serve their purpose. 4chan and Reddit are also leagues different than what any single Facebook page can offer.
            I’ve spoken with Matt (via email, etc) a few times and, for the most part, he’s professional. My disagreements with him aren’t a reflection of his character.

            On a minor point, I don’t think Reddit is well-described as a copycat nor that it will die out within a year or so. I may just be biased, as I am a Redditor, but I think the site has a fantastic community model.

      • http://www.facebook.com/NitrosDragon Ethan Wagner

        This sounds like a resident and not a former or current student.“
        What makes you say that?

        • http://www.facebook.com/dbalsitis David Balsitis

          A current or former student would acknowledge or even appreciate the meme page.  I haven’t perused the entire catalog on the page, but the few I have seen are true and brutally honest.

          • http://www.facebook.com/NitrosDragon Ethan Wagner

            Anon wasn’t making any comments about the meme page. They made a very direct (and rude) comment about Matt.” A current or former student would acknowledge or even appreciate the meme page.“
            How can you say that with such certainty?

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