What is the “I’m in this photo and I don’t like it” meme?

One of the recent memes to gain virality stems from Facebook, where users have subverted a setting category for when you’re looking to have an image taken down.

Memes have become a way for social media users to convey messages in shorthand. While there is still the option of typing in shorthand or the use of emojis, memes are also one of the ways someone can express their feelings or thoughts without going into a lengthy post. According to the Oxford Dictionary, a meme is “an element of a culture or system of behaviour passed from one individual to another by imitation or other non-genetic means.”

Expanding on this notion, it goes on to state that it can also be “an image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by internet users, often with slight variations.” In this regard, a meme can only translate if there is consensus on the implied meaning of the content sent. If not, then you risk sending content which will not translate, that will not garner the expected reaction.

One such meme is the “I’m in this photo and I don’t like it” meme. The origins of the meme stems from Facebook. When looking to have a picture which you are tagged in or appear in without your consent or prior knowledge, Facebook gives the user four options as to why they would like to take the image down. These include, “It’s annoying and not interesting”, “I’m in this photo and I don’t like it”, “I think it shouldn’t be on Facebook” and “It’s spam.”

For the meme, people circulate a screengrab of the options with the checkbox being the “I’m in this photo and I don’t like it” option. However, the meme is sent if the image is posted on other apps like Twitter or the phrase can be used as a comment in the comments section. The use of the meme or phrase is meant to relay that, if possible, you would like the picture or post in question taken down.