Meme-Mangling 101

Internet rants and/or discussions about chain letters usually go on about how "creepy" they are, or when expressing annoyance, turn out to be full of anti-chains and/or morons using vulgarity and, of course, making especially sure to rant on about "those religious chain letters" because they think it's really cool to use memes as an excuse to rant about "religion", and ham god forbid anyone ever forget that memes are, according to anti-theists, some sort of 'Christian disease.' *Rolling eyes*

If you were wondering what this "Hamgod" thing is all about, this is explained further down the page.

That kind of trash is typical of MGTOW, a mysogynistic troll subculture, but unfortunately not exclusive to them.

It is not welcome here.

There are guidelines for meme-mangling and for general conduct on any community/discussion I run.

First, general conversation/chit-chat is more than welcome as long as you don't treat this like a pen-pal-collecting or dating site, or some kind of fandom hangout.

manglers, Who We Are, And What We Are Not

If you want to be a meme-mangler:

1. No God or Christian/Jew-bashing.

There are already way too many web forums where people who vent about chain letters turn out to be anti-theist and use meme-annoyance as an excuse to whinge about and ridicule Christians for meme activity, when really it's Christianity being hated much more than the memes themselves. The prevailing attitude toward memes seems to be that they are totally cool just as long as they aren't religious or politically right. Nobody ever complains about left-wing memes.

It is different here. You can't be a meme-mangler and an anti-theist. If you hate or just think chain letters are good "for the lulz" and are an anti-theist, Snopes, 4chan, and most everywhere else will welcome you with open arms.

Meme manglers debunk left-wing memes and express annoyance with them. This is a much-needed counter-action to the mainstream media and "fact-checking" web sites with their hopelessly lopsided ratio of right-wing memes far outnumbering those from the left, which almost always end up being labeled as more "truthy"... *Cough*

A meme-mangler dislikes religious and politically conservative chain letters, but for completely different reasons than your garden variety liberal or anti-theist. The way to ditch the stigma of conservatives or Christians and meme-addiction is to stop with the memes. It is also to express a dislike of them.

A meme-mangler will tear apart memes from urban legend to glurge to droll over-circulated jokes, and hoaxes deserve the severest of treatment.

2. Do not ever defend the replication of any memes! MTM is all about discouraging their spread in favour of bringing real communication and fun back.

3. Never post memes without mangling them. This happened on another platform in the past. A repost of any chain letter with the promise of "I'll mangle this/these later" or a request that I mangle it for you, is not mangling. it is spamming, and the ultimate in laziness. It is a quick way to get kicked out of the forum and the email list. Then, oh, sure, I'll mangle that meme, if it hasn't already been done, but don't expect any sort of mention or acknowledgement of your ever having been here.

4. Never use or create anti-chain letters. They may have started out as an attempt to mock the ridiculous promises and threats of the most notorious viral hoaxes out there. They may come in the form of articles and political tools. But they have also become the very thing they mock or protest, spreading as quickly, just as common. Anti-chains are chain letters...

Adding to this is the problem of anti-chains actually encouraging people to believe in hoaxes because some people believe everything they see in a Youtube video. So making a video with fancy editing so that chain letters appear to come true only fools the young and gullible and annoys the heck out of people like me who are just sick of every anti-chain out there.

I finally came across a Youtube video that didn't end up being an anti-chain. It ended off with the correct message that chain letters are not real, and no one ever got killed by them. It did start out looking as if it was going to be one of those anti-chains, but then the ending turned out right.

And this one, where, if I understand correctly, a chain letter gets obliterated by a death star! Hehe! That's how to handle 'em!

5. Mangle something other than those stupid anti-chains, which didn't take any brain-power to create, and don't take much effort to react to.

When Mangle was still up on a now gone platform as a social network, I got so sick of people signing up only to lurk or take on the kind of meme that is so incoherent that it almost mangles itself. These anti-chains in particular:

A Bunny Named Elf

SarahAntichain I only took the time to mangle them just to get them out of the way since they were the ones people wanted to do when they weren't busy lurking and playing games or watching anime... So that's it for those... A real meme-mangler will spend as little time as possible on anti-chains, particularly the way over-shared chain parodies that are obviously nonsense to the point of being near gibberish. "Sarah/Ostrich", Teddy Anti-chain, and "A Bunny Named Elf" won't even be afforded topic space other than a passing mention during expression of annoyance at memes, with a lot more to the message than just that. Trying to start a thread with "Subject: Memes. Msg: That Ostrich anti-chain sucks"... doesn't cut it. If you're going to be so indifferent/lazy/too scared to tackle much of anything beyond those deliberately nonsensical anti-chains, don't bother me. I'm not here to babysit and keep you amused. You're going to have to put a lot more effort into your posts. Otherwise, move along.

6. Don't react with "Don't read them." or "Delete them." That's not a mangle, but a type of anti-chain since it's such a common response. This type of reaction is lazy, flippantly dismissive, woefully assuming and ineffective when someone tells you chain letters are scaring or annoying them.

No one can avoid running across memes, and sometimes don't even discover that if what they are until reaching the end.

It is impossible not to see and read chain letters when they keep getting plastered all over Facebook, Youtube and everywhere in-between. You cannot delete every chain letter that barges onto your screen because you don't own and administrate every web page, profile or account to get this spam.

mangling those memes is much more effective in helping someone stop being intimidated by them. Whether they get the message and let it sink in or not is up to them, but at least you would've done your part by giving the meme(s) a proper mangling. At the very least, if someone tells you how they feel about chain letters, but they don't show one to mangle, you can at least agree with them if they are annoyed, or explain to them why chain letters really aren't so creepy and why they can't kill people.

7. Another quick way to torpedo a mangle-attempt is the micro meme.

Micromemes aren't just figures of speech and acronyms everyone naturally uses regardless of demographics. Micromemes are typically annoying catchphrases from trendy media phenomena and subcultures. I.E. "I know, right?" (IKR) From "Mean Girls". Chuck Norris jokes, "Ur mom" from who knows where, and "Desu" comes from otakuism and 4chan. Or bits of halfwhit snark long past its expiry date. I.E. "a few fries/nuggets short of a happy meal", "Every time (someone posts a chain letter, a kitten dies." or any variant of such. Worn-out juvenile insults that have nothing to do with the subject Here's an example of this bad behaviour.

Micromemes Are still memes. they're overkilled, underwhelming little bits of triteness that show up everywhere and anywhere on the net. they are lazy. They make anyone using them look like an annoying doofus, fan-brat, troll, or any combo thereof.

8. Never go easy on hoaxers.

Examples found in compilation post of mangle-fails.

9. Never criticize a chain letter for not being chain-letterish or creepy etc enough.

Examples found in compilation post of mangle-fails.

There is a difference between doing that and laughing at how pathetic/lame/ridiculous it is. The former implies that a chain letter should be fixed, improved, to become more creepy, appearing to encourage trolls to put more effort into making bigger better chain letters. The latter shows how stupid and laughable a chain letter is in its attempt to scare people, which takes the power to intimidate away from the hoaxers and trolls responsible for loosing these memes on the internet. The latter is desired. The former is not.

10. referencing one meme in a mangle of another.

There is a right and a wrong way to do this.

The wrong way: trying to debunk one chain letter by promoting another.

The right way: pointing out how one meme contradicts and/or borrows phrases from another, and debunking both.

This can get surprisingly tricky at times, and no one is immune to occasionally getting this wrong. This is because when you include a reference during a mangle, you might not be aware this reference itself was actually a false quote coming from another meme. As no one can possibly remember which famous person said or didn't say it, or where this or that bit of information came from, it is incredibly easy to error during a meme-mangle without realizing it. That sort of genuine error is much easier to forgive than a serious blunder such as an anti-chain or some other indication of being soft on memes and hoaxers.

This article clearly represents a dislike of memes, but it references a misquote.

"There is a sucker born every minute." was not from P. T. Barnum.

Various sources claim the saying came from gambling house keeper Michael Cassius McDonald, notorious con-man Joseph ("Paper Collar Joe") Bessimer, and KDavid Hannum. The story is that Hannum claimed Barnum uttered the statement referring to the Cardiff Giant hoax. Neither Barnum nor Hannum actually originated it, though they certainly went along. The originator of the Cardiff Giant hoax was atheist George Hull.

But the sucker quote is widely believed to belong to P.T. Barnum, probably because it is catchy, and Barnum is simply more famous than the others.

11. So, what can be done when you have blundered and perpetuated/promoted a meme in a mangle-attempt?

Delete the erroneous reference. If needed, issue a retraction and correction.

12. With all memes, always look for any manipulation attempt by them to get you to spread it, no matter how indirect, subtle, even reverse psychological it may be. When you find it, go ahead and express yourself.


Manipulation 1: "I want this back. If I don't get it back, I'll take the hint."

Example 2: "This is amazing!"

Example 3: "If you don't send this to anyone, nothing will happen, but if you send this on, all I can say is it will brighten someone's day!"

Example 4: "everybody sends dirty jokes without a second thought, but when it comes to sending messages about God, everybody's afraid or ashamed to do it." (That sort really ticks me off to no end!) This is not only ridiculous competitiveness among viral-spreading, it is a bald-faced lie. This particular angle has got to be partly responsible for why so many more religious exploitation forwards are being sent and complained about than any other.)

Example 5. "They talk so much about (insert notorious celibrities) but this valiant soldier/doctor//etc. gets ignored! Shame on the media!" (Yeah right…)

Example 6: Maybe if we get this sent around to enough people, we can save one more American/Canadian/Australian/etc. value/tradition/ideal from being killed by/lost in the sea of political correctness!" Urgh! That one also ticks me off. You're not going to save anything from political correctness by sharing memes. Politically correct is actually a gigantic meme that needs to be broken simply by people refusing to be politically correct.

that's how sneaky these memes can be to manipulate people to spread them around.)

Example 7. "If you don't forward this, you must be too busy for your friends."

Example 8. "So, now you have a choice. You could die tomorrow. Will you choose to let your friends know you love them today?" Usually followed up with "Spread the love, send send send!" or something along that line.

Example 9. "If you believe in (insert cause) Please join this group, change your profile picture to the one on the group main page, and put (I believe in/want to/am sorry about/etc. some cause') in your status! And don't forget to invite all your friends."

There are no doubt, many more, but you get the idea.

All of these manipulations are annoying when you realize what the end goal is - not to spread love, honour for a fallen soldier, save lives, or anything other than simply replicate that meme.

And for people who actually try turning their particular good cause into a meme, the risk of annoyance to other people is still there.

13. In addition to expressing displeasure with a meme and showing why it just wouldn't work, mangles can also reveal the intent of the hoaxer who started the meme in the first place. This definitely includes hoaxers who hate Christians and love to make fun of them by making up religious hoaxes. By mangling such a religious hoax and revealing the hoaxer's motives as "I think Christians are stupid" you yourself are not bashing Christians, but showing that religious-themed hoax memes and the trolls who make them up, are.

In the Love Ya Gotcha and in the following segment of a longer chain-mangle, the hoaxter's real intent and attitude are comically revealed by the mangler.


Meme: I knelt to pray but not for long, I had too much to do.

Christian-hating Troll: Like passing on chain letters! But hey, at least I prayed, so I could originate/forward this viral diatribe and at least have that not be a lie! I prayed that everybody on the net would see this chain and pass it on, and that all their friends would send copies back to them, so that isp servers would be so overloaded they would crash, and those who didn't pass on the chain, would believe that God was ashamed of them and that they had no friends!

Meme: I had to hurry and get to work For bills would soon be due.

Troll: And had to use my work computer to send on this chain! Because just imagine how many Christian fools would have forwarded it by the time I get out of work and pay my bills today! Ah-hahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha! Suckas!!!

Meme: So I knelt and said a hurried prayer,

Troll: Though I didn't pray for the right things. I didn't even pray to God. Iprayed to the Hamgod for my chain letter to reproduce all over the internet in record numbers, and then I prayed I would not get fired from my job for spamming!

Meme: And jumped up off my knees.

Troll: With glee over my ingenious idea! Yeah! Tell them god will be ashamed of them for not spamming the net with my chain letter!


There, revealing the mindset of a troll who thinks Christians are fools. This is not a meme-mangler bashing Christians, rather, it is revealing the idea that whoever started that religious hoax is bashing Christians, if somewhat indirectly, via the meme.

14. Write an alternate story that cancels out the one in the meme. Never include a request/demand that it be circulated, which is all it would take to turn your effort into an anti-chain.

The guidelines for this approach are to be sure the story in question isn't a real story, about real people , or an item that was written without some sort of political agenda and was merely meant as something inspirational, and isn't copyrighted.

This is a cinch when it comes to what MTM calls "dealive" memes, the "Forward or a dead kid or maniac killer will find and kill you" kind. Absolutely none of these are true.

mangle of the Killer Clown Statue contains a straight mangling of many mutations of that chain letter, and a story to end the clown's reign of cyber-terror.

Some hoaxes have made reference to true events in a bid for credibility. There really were people named Maria Marshall and Kelsey Smith Briggs who were murdered. But they are not ghostly slaves to chain letters, roaming the world, looking to kill anyone who doesn't spam the net with hoaxes.

No one knows who the originators of these forward-or-die hoaxes are for the most part.

Any fictitious story that was written by that famous bard known as Anonymous, or satire/spoof news and gender/political agenda-ridden pieces are fair game for mangling.

15. If you need a deity that's going to get some mockery in a creative response to a meme, make one up or use gods/goddesses/entities from ancient non-Biblical history. That's where the "Hamgod" comes in. The Hamgod was made up by wastes of oxygen known as trolls, who were otaku (anime fangirls extraordinaire) as well. Their stalking bullying tactics harassed someone off the net. They will never live that down, and their silly Hamgod will remain as part of their shame legacy and as a perfect example of a fictional deity that does everything wrong.

There is a way to imply something to do with God in a creative writing response without mocking him, good literature is full of this. Les Miserables, A Christmas Carol, even Uncle Tom's Cabin to name a few.

It can be done in meme-mangling too, such as the family of one of Clarissa's friends in her story. They were written in part of a scene as praying together, thankful for their blessings. there is The Jeremy Townsen Story. Yes, Christians can do this too, and this is very much encouraged and welcomed by Meme Manglers.

That is completely different from treating God as a joke and making up things he supposedly said or did that are utterly ridiculous.

16. Avoid vulgarity and other potentially very offensive content in your mangle as much as possible. And I mean real offensive, not the manufactured "offensive" of the SJW snowflake insanity empire. Don't be tasteless, perverted, dirty, you get the idea. There is an unfortunate movement countering the sick snowflake censorship and PC dogma, a movement that actually champions offensive speech, and trolling. And they do it in the name of fighting for free speech.

Have people forgotten about the happy medium?

MTM rejects snowflakes, but it also rejects trolls. Neither political correctness nor abuse of free speech is cool, let alone sacred.

Some halfwit thought it was terribly clever to make this unoriginal sexed-up post in response to getting a meme, probably the "Jen In Your Closet" one, and another jerk thought he was doing the internet a favour with a tasteless rant and very bad retaliation idea.

Better way to react is with a classy mangle.

Jen In Your Closet

Death Of Jesus Misused In Spammy Chain Letter

Trolls may whine: "Hey! You don't get to judge what's classy!"

Yes, I do, especially when a troll has done something lowbrow and stupid, and then gets sore because I didn't laugh or praise his/her pea brained effort.

Sometimes the vulgarity is unavoidable, but never on your part. This is when the chain letter itself contains vulgarity or something else that may be extremely offensive. This is not your fault; the questionable content lies with the chain letter itself and you can still mangle it with class. You can censor out f-bombs for example, and make a note of doing so at the top of your post. Other times, it's impossible to censor as the dirt is so embedded within the concept a chain letter is bringing across rather than so much in colourful lingo.

An example is this truly nauseating environmental magic chain letter. It's horrendous enough to make even the toughest mangler flinch and want to vomit.

So a rant with f--- bombs and sexist, pro-food-cop drivel, making fun of somebody's appearance, and threatening to beat up the chain originator's or forwarder's kids, making light of rape or any other sex abuse and acts of lewdness are out, especially when you lie about family members. This blog is a prime example of failing to mangle a meme. It starts out with the borg anti-chain and then gets really off-colour answering the meme questions. Some things are simply no laughing matter.

Meme mangled...

Even with the blasphemy taken out, Frogman's anti-chain stinks because of the unnecessarily revolting wine glass thing.

Though not a meme-mangle, here is an excellent example of a rant of the sort we really like. This one addresses things drinkers have said to non-drinkers and why they need to cut it out.

Here's a brief snippet of a meme-mangle, this one from the Happy Online Buddies Day meme.


Meme: Failures keep You Humble,

Ocean Elf: Consider yourself humbled then. You failed to make my day with this meme.


See, no foul mouth or indecent ideas in there.

17. The way to deal with stories you are uncertain if they are true or not is to first check them out on resources that has information on various viral stories circulating around the internet. A keyword search for terms in the story will likely bring up the relevant article, plus others. Simply typing some words or the title into a general search engine will show you if that story has become a meme or not. If you see many sites with the story reposted, it has become a chain letter and you know you don't need to re-share it no matter how it urges you to do so.

18. False Stories

With stories that are false by way of being a mishmash of various other real stories to create one supposedly fantastic or touching meme, the best one can do is get the right information on it by way of the hoax-busting sites listed in the above, and caution people not to spread the false story any further.

Look for false information throughout any story and its retellings, and point out the discrepancies. Hoax-busting sites can help you with this.

19. Fictional, Unverifiable, Unproven Etc.

With stories that don't include the name of an author, or are misattributed to people who didn't write them, a mangling is possible if their authorship is not verified as belonging to someone specific. If these stories have an author other than the one the meme specifies, point this out and discourage the spread of the erroneous meme. If an author's name comes up during research to get more info on the story, let the sender know.

20. True Stories

With a story that is mostly or completely true or at least attributed to the right author, look for discrepancies and manipulations within the meme and point them out if they are there.

With a 100% true story or one that is correctly attributed to its author, that doesn't have anything else attached, there is really nothing much to do but read the information about it and send the link to that information back to whoever shared the meme.

Virginia (Ginny( Ellis writes poetry, and she encourages the sharing of it as long as she is given due credit.

The trouble is at least one of her poems, "Angel In Your Pocket" ended up as a chain letter. Because it has a real author who encourages it to be shared, is copyrighted, and it is clear she only wants to make someone else's day with her poems and has no agenda/cause and is not trying to manipulate anyone, she is definitely no troll. So "Angel In Your Pocket" cannot be mangled. However, any additional junk that might be added on during circulation, encouraging readers to forward/repost/etc. is fair game for mangling.

Whether or not s/he agrees with the message or method, an honourable meme-mangler will never intentionally down a 100% sincere plea to help a real person who is sick or missing, or a piece of writing by a verified author without a bad political agenda, and who only wants to share their own writing and inspire people who are into the same sort of literature or just brighten their day.

If a circulating plea for help was true, but is out of date, you may point that out and request people stop circulating it.

If you have mangled a piece of writing in a meme, only to find out later that it does have a real author who has no intent to manipulate and had good reason to write the content, take down that portion of the mangle, (except for any other added junk that came in the meme not by the author quoted,) and make sure to put a note at the top of the remainder of the meme-mangle, explaining why the poem, essay, story etc. is not going to be included or mangled. Be sure to give the author his/her credit.

Examples of this:

Edith Burns

Lotus Totus Tantra

The Shaya Story

Slow Dancing With Jessica Mystink Mydek, David Lackwit Lawitts, Tamara Shamara Martin, Rick Con Artist Connor, George and rachel Arlington Winslet

The Room

The Vanished Friend Chain

Tommy Atheist glurge

All the memes have been mangled, but not the writings they ripped off various authors for misuse in these hoaxes.

Of course, bad ranters and emotion manipulators for some "cause" or other, don't get this consideration. If someone writes an anti-Christian rant or particularly stupid political diatribe or soppy tear-jerking, guilt-tripping gush etc. and/or they just want attention, are trolling, manipulative, or seem to be a jerk in some way, they should still get due credit for their own drivel, which can then be mangled.

21. If you are politically non-left and you dislike conservative chain emails and you do not spread them. don't be shy. Say that you don't do it and you discourage this activity.

Better yet, point out that liberals spread chain letters and back this up with proof.

22. Finally, to sum it up, don't do what these people did.


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