It's All Fun and Games Until You Go to Jail for Memes

Illustration for article titled Its All Fun and Games Until You Go to Jail for Memes

By now the mannequin challenge—the latest teen meme which is in no way challenging and does not involve any mannequins—has been attempted in just about every configuration. It swept our nation’s high schools, wormed its way into late night TV, and even graced the hallowed halls of professional wrestling. As of yesterday, the mannequin challenge is also responsible for sending two people to jail.

Authorities in Madison County, Alabama arrested 49-year-old Kenneth White after receiving a novel take on the meme: at least twenty men armed with various firearms, performing a freeze-frame meant to resemble a drive-by shooting. White, a felon, wasn’t supposed to be in possession of a gun. Given that cops regularly scour social media to make their jobs easier, perhaps uploading the video for the world to see was not his wisest decision.

While exercising a warrant in relation to White’s mock shoot-out, police also arrested 23-year-old Terry Brown for “possession of drug paraphernalia, loitering and promoting prison contraband,” according to local news source WHNT. Seems like a reach there, guys! Police, for their part, foresee a few more arrests in relation to the mannequin challenge video once they’re able to identify the other men who were dumb enough to be filmed in this potentially compromising, low-reward video.


Given that the only known mannequin challenge performed by prison inmates (filmed and uploaded on a contraband cellphone) also took place in Alabama, we may be in for a sequel. Stay safe out there, memers, and don’t film yourself committing crimes. Memes aren’t worth going to jail for.

[WHNT via Daily Dot]

Senior reporter. Tech + labor /// Keybase: Securedrop: http://gmg7jl25ony5g7ws.onion/

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Alternatively, soon enough picture memes will be declared “Fake News” and you will go to jail for those as well.

Yeah yeah, I know. The “Fake News” thing is just a way for the mainstream media to remain relevant in an age of better independent sources that operate more objectively, but still... the fact that big social media firms are streamlining censorship across multiple platforms should scare everyone.