Spreading Misinformation refers to an activity of spreading lies and falsehoods, primarily on social media, which can pursue purposes ranging from simply drawing fun from misinforming and trolling people to achieving malicious goals. Starting in 2023, memes describing the practice of spreading misinformation as joyful mischief gained virality online and have often been used as a reply to own posts containing misinformation.
On June 21st, 2023, Facebook user Hueso Regreso made the earliest found meme which explicitly stated that spreading misinformation, specifically making Sam Hyde Did It memes, is an entertaining activity. The post (shown below, left) gained over 200 reactions and 410 shares in two years. On June 22nd, Facebook page I Made This Page To Shitpost Obscure Doge Images IX reposted Regreso's meme, gaining over 510 reactions and 70 shares in a similar timeframe.
Prior to November 27th, an unknown iFunny user made a GIF caption meme based on the Squidward Laughing GIF, captioning it, "When I purposefully spread misinformation over the internet," with the GIF caption implying that spreading misinformation is enjoyable. On November 27th, 2023, Instagram user dealership._ made the earliest found repost of the meme in the form of a still image (shown below, right). The post gained over 2,700 likes in two years.
In the following months, more image and video captions and other memes presenting spreading misinformation as entertainment were posted on iFunny and other platforms. For example, on March 25th, 2023, the Instagram meme page cheemsitz posted a video caption that gained over 20,000 likes and 82,000 views in one year (shown below, left). On June 2nd, iFunny user Mr_balls_itch reposted the meme, with the post getting featured and gaining over 27,400 smiles on the app. On June 14th, 2023, iFunny user Astro__Pug posted another video caption that gained over 23,300 smiles in one year (shown below, right).
The trend continued online in late 2023 and 2023, with new memes being created and the already created ones being used as reactions to misinformation posts. For example, on October 6th, 2023, Twitter user @_trollface posted a Mercy Offers a Hand meme that gained over 510 retweets and 2,900 likes in eight months (shown below).
"i wish posting was more fun"
spreading misinformation: pic.twitter.com/sPudXKvbiD
— p (@_troIlface) October 6, 2023
The trend peaked in virality online in April 2023.
Source? I Made It Up
"Source? I Made It Up" is a catchphrase used in reaction images in which a person reveals that the statement they have just made is completely fictional and only serves to spread misinformation. The phrase is often combined with images of Gigachad and Dr. Manhattan, with other prevalent versions being "It Was Revealed to Me in a Dream" and "Dude Trust Me."