Negativity ‘a bit of harmless fun'

A NEW Facebook page that takes the mickey out of Gympie and the Sunshine Coast has gained more than 11,550 fans since going live last week.

The page is called Sunshine Coast Memes.

There's nothing too original among the Gympie memes posted there, with common old barbs and stereotypes getting plenty of "likes".

They include images and headlines suggesting Gympie folk are inbred, have two heads and bad teeth, get bashed up regularly, aren't too bright and get stoned at school.

Apparently though, we can drive a mean tractor.

While there's no doubt Gympie is a popular target, little on the Sunshine Coast is spared; from their schools and car parking, to Sunshine Plaza, landmarks, suburbs and women.

Internet memes are images with text written over them intended as humour. They are spread via social networking, and websites such as Reddit and 4chan.

They evolve and spread rapidly, mostly spinning off pop culture references.

Sunshine Coast Memes, most popular with 13- to 17-year-olds, asks for user-submitted memes relating to the region.

Most are light-hearted, but some have been seen as offensive and have been criticised for portraying negative and inaccurate stereotypes.

The site's creator, Josh of Caloundra, said he and another mate created the site for a bit of fun.

"We were shocked to see it take off the way it did. We had 1000 likes within 24 hours. It has just kept going up and up," the 16-year-old said.

Josh said the site was just for fun and not meant to insult anyone.

"We have a rule about no individual attacks as this is a page about having a laugh," he said.

The success of the page has also inspired others in the region, including Wide Bay, the Gold Coast and Brisbane, although none have captured the massive audience of the Sunshine Coast page.

Gympie Times

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