It can get weird and dangerous out there, in the vast wilds of the internet. You’d best take a few Pandas with you for safety!
The internet and social media aren’t inherently good or evil: they’re tools that we use however we want to and they double as mirrors of us as a society. Suddenly, online anonymity can seem both a blessing and a curse while the freedom of expression bumps into some serious trouble where fake news is concerned.
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So it’s no wonder that from the moment that you log on in the morning and the second you log out at night that your experience is likely to be a mixed bag of good, bad, and straight-up ugly posts. Those last two categories? That’s where the r/insanepeoplefacebook subreddit shines the brightest.
A community of nearly 2.1 million members, ‘Insane People Facebook’ collects (yup, you guessed it!) the most ‘insane’ posts on Facebook and beyond. We’ve collected some of the best of the worst of social media to share with you today, dear Readers, so grab yourself a bucket full of popcorn because the ride’s going to be wild.
Bored Panda reached out to the r/insanepeoplefacebook moderator team to learn more about the community from the perspective of those who actually manage the day-to-day. Two members of the team, both with four years of experience, were kind enough to open up about the subreddit. One of the moderators told me that the subreddit “was meant to be a collection of insane submissions to social media.” Meanwhile, the second moderator, Merari01, said that the subreddit is fun and “it’s great to see how successful it has become over the years.”
Read on for our full interview with the two moderators and how the 2016 US presidential election changed the online group.
#1 Walmart Is All Out Of Fs To Give
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A representative of r/insanepeoplefacebook told Bored Panda that the founder of the community isn’t as active as they were before, meaning a new generation of moderators has taken over. “I was not personally involved in making the subreddit but the person who was isn’t active much anymore,| they said. One of the things that truly made the subreddit take off was the presidential election in the United States in 2016 when Republican Donald Trump won against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
“I’ve been here for four years or thereabout when we had 300k subscribers. The community has grown rapidly since the 2016 election and now has 2 million subscribers. It’s become much more political over time as well,” the mod said.
#2 Excellent Reply By The Doctor To This Antivaxx Piece Of S**t
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According to the moderator, the vast number of members means the subreddit can get incredibly busy. However, the moderators also have to deal with people from other communities as well. “The subreddit can get very busy just because of the number of people who use it. Our biggest challenge is generally interference from other communities but we do have tools that deal with that. That’s probably our biggest challenge,” they said.
“It’s a fun subreddit to moderate because our users are very engaged. Never a dull moment,” they added.
#3 Yep, No White Peoples Can Learn Spanish!
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Meanwhile, a second moderator, redditor Merari01 shared that they’d been chosen to join the mod team the very same day as the other redditor. “The subreddit has gotten a lot more busy since then and like most everything else since 2016 can get pretty partisan at times. The team moderates fairly and equitably within the existing ruleset. One thing we do not allow is when people try to use the subreddit to post something racist or bigoted and that’s something we look out for,” they shared.
What’s more the redditor’s very enthusiastic about the fact that r/insanepeoplefacebook has inspired the creation of other similar online groups. “It’s great! It’s a measure of success when a subreddit branches off active other communities.”
In Merari01’s opinion, moderators are as busy as they want to be. There’s always work to be done if you’re looking for some. “You can micromanage and check every comment made, but who has the time for that?” they said. “Mostly we check the queue and the front page of the subreddit. We’re all experienced enough to see when a post is made that will likely attract problem comments. In that case, we often choose to lock the post. We’re all volunteers here who moderate as a fun hobby and no-one wants to continuously press F5 to stay on top of rulebreaking material in that case,” they said.
#4 Your First Defense
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#5 Cnn Is Not Messing Around
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#6 The Burn Of The Highest Order
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“We have an experienced team that communicates with each other about moderation and policy issues and our community can be funny and empathetic. Like with all social media it has its downsides in that sometimes negative things get posted but all in all the good far outweighs the bad,” they shared with Bored Panda that communication is the bedrock that helps the subreddit work well.
Founded back in 2015, the ‘Insane People Facebook’ subreddit recently celebrated its 6th birthday. In that time, it’s grown to a tremendous size. What’s more, it’s even inspired the genesis of some other similar subreddits that are following in its footsteps.
For instance, like Bored Panda wrote in September, the ‘Insane People Quora’ subreddit branched off from r/insanepeoplefacebook after there was a sharp rise in Quora-related content being posted on the sub.
The founder of ‘Insane People Quora’ shared with me that r/insanepeoplefacebook is a “catch-all for social media insanity.” However, with more Quora content being posted there, there was a demand for a separate subreddit. A place that could exclusively focus on Quora and nothing else.
#7 Oh My God
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#8 For Real ?!
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#9 Large Yikes
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“I saw a comment suggesting there should be a specific one for Quora as it’s quite different to standard social media (having Q&As only) and decided to make it from there. Getting the first few thousand members took a while with crossposting Quora posts I found to r/insanepeoplefacebook. Some reached the front page of Reddit which is when the sub started seeing a large increase in numbers and became self-sustaining, meaning I didn’t need to post as much to keep the sub going,” the founder of ‘Insane People Quora’ spoke to Bored Panda about their relationship with r/insanepeoplefacebook.
One of the biggest perks and drawbacks of social media is the ability to post things online anonymously. The positive side of this is that people are far less afraid about sharing their honest opinions. The negative, however, is identical: people are far less afraid about sharing their honest opinions.
So while some might feel empowered by this, others hide in the shadows to spread hate, vitriol, and misinformation. British comedy writer Ariane Sherine told Bored Panda that anonymity is a tool like all others. Everything depends on how we use it.
“We feel freer to say things we wouldn’t say in real life, but that also means we’re more likely to be hurtful. I think the same is true of being on stage for comics—when we’re holding the mic we feel free to dispense with niceties,” Ariane explained to Bored Panda that anonymity can empower people. Whether for good or for ill.
#10 What About Nurses Who Wear Them 10 Hours A Day!?
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#11 Why Do People Hate Helping Others? It’s Insane
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#12 Is This Even A Question?
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Meanwhile, Steven Wooding, a member of the Omni Calculator Project team and the Institute of Physics in the UK told Bored Panda that the internet itself “can be both” good and evil. Inherently, however, it is neither. It’s a tool that helps us understand who we are as individuals and as a society.
“The internet reflects the world around it, so everything you find in the world will also appear on the internet. I see it as a great shortcut to information (gone are the days of having to visit a library) that can speed up your learning and ability to do things,” Steven said that we should have a realistic view of the internet and what can be done with it.
#13 Depression Is A Phase
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#14 Maybe Not “Insane” But I Thought It Was Pretty Funny And I Wanted To Share
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#15 Fact Check
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One of the main issues with social media has to do with the proliferation of fake news. As misinformation spreads, it becomes harder to fight back against it. Lee McIntyre from Boston University told Bored Panda what role repetition plays in all of this and why media literacy is of paramount importance.
“Repetition is important in making us believe things, whether they are true or not. There is a cognitive bias called the ‘illusory truth effect’ which is when we are repeatedly exposed to false information over and over and, over time, it begins to seem more plausible,” Lee said.
#16 I’m At A Loss For Words On This One
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#17 This Anti Vaxxer Trying To Stop Her Son From Getting Vaccinations Himself
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#18 My Friend Is So Smort
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“Social psychologists have known since the 1960s that repetition works, for truth or falsity. In fact, this idea goes back to Plato who said that it didn’t hurt to repeat a true thing. And of course, for falsehood, this was one of the main propaganda tactics in Nazi Germany, where Hitler’s propaganda minister understood the ‘repetition effect.’”
In Lee’s opinion, we should focus on separating the wheat from the chaff and finding those online sources that can be trusted more than others.
#19 It’s The Principle Though
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#20 Build That Wall!
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#21 No Respect For Elders Anymore
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“It would be exhausting to fact check every single news item we hear. In fact, insisting on this degree of skepticism is something that demagogues use to get us to be cynical, because when we doubt that it is possible to know the truth—even when it is staring us in the face—we are riper to their manipulation. So I’d say the best thing with news is to do a little investigation into finding a reliable source,” he said.
#22 If You’re Going To Bring Up Hitler, Do Your Research
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#23 A Lot Of People Actually Retweeted It
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#24 One Of The Coldest Takes I’ve Seen This Month
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“Look for an organization that does investigative journalism (and doesn’t just repeat information from other sources), double sources its quotations, discloses conflicts of interest, etc. Once we’ve found that we can relax a bit and trust the reporting behind the stories. Do we still need to be on guard? Yes. Even The New York Times can make mistakes. Or individual reporters can have biases. But that doesn’t mean ‘all sources are equal.'”
#25 It’s A Tornado Drill
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#26 Nervous Charlie Hebdo Screams
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#27 Seems Pretty Nuts To Me
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Lee also gave Bored Panda a list of questions we should ask ourselves to test the truthfulness of a source. “There are various sources for media literacy that can help. They teach this to KIDS in Finland! It’s easy to learn. Is the story copyrighted? Is it dated? Is there a byline? Are other stories by the author solid? Is it published in a source that has been reliable in the past? Does it seem plausible— if not then you can do some research,” he said.
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#29 Guys… These People Are Insane
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#30 It’s A Tragic Day For All Of Us
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#31 She Did, In Fact, Forget
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#32 Imagine Being Proud Of Posting This
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#33 Is It Childish To Want People To Be Able To Make A Livable Wage?
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#34 If You Have To Lie To Prove A Point, You’ve Already Lost The Argument
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#35 I Guess Ob*se Is Now Racist
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#36 People Actually Think This, Ridiculous
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#37 Imagine Not Knowing That Puddles Are Normal
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#38 Jesus Wouldn’t Wear A Mask
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#39 Kanye West
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#40 Bruh Bruh Man Come On Now
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#41 “Keeping Races Pure”
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#42 Slavery Wasn’t Bad! Grandpa Loved Knocking Up The Help
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#44 Guess Kelly Was Too Busy Licking Boots To Realize Her Mistake
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#46 Did You Know Baby Boomers Share Almost 7x As Much Disinformation On Social Media Than Other Adults?
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#47 This Racist Piece Of S**t
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#48 Cut My Life Into Pieces
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#49 My Wife Be Damned
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#50 Anti-Vaxxer Accidentally Advocates For Vaccines
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#51 Reminder That This Monstrosity Of A Tweet Still Exists
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#52 If You’re Going To Photoshop, At Least Do It Properly
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#53 I Couldn’t Bite My Tongue Any Longer
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#54 Insane People Of Reddit
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#55 Sweet Mother Of God
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#56 That’s Not A Creepy Thing To Say At All
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#57 My Great Aunt, Everyone. Calls Coronavirus A Hoax A Couple Days Before Getting Coronavirus. Unbelievable
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#58 They Found The Smoking Gun
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#59 “If You’re Sick Still Come”
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