Twitter Trolls #BlueLivesMatter With Meme Featuring Smurfs, the Na'vi, and Tobias Fünke

Twitter Trolls #BlueLivesMatter With Meme Featuring Smurfs, the Na'vi, and Tobias Fünke
Screenshot via YouTube

While the New York Police Department battles its growing, and vocal, critic base, a group of NYPD supporters have spent the last several days trying to make the hashtag #bluelivesmatter a thing. Well, they've definitely succeeded. Because it's a thing now.

The police advocates, calling themselves "Thank you NYPD," launched the hashtag after creating a Facebook page to help promote a rally they are planning to hold at City Hall on December 19. But with public opinion of the NYPD in free fall since the July death of Eric Garner, who was choked by an NYPD officer during an arrest -- and a grand jury's decision earlier this month not to indict the officer in question -- many activists have bristled at the group's efforts to give police a show of support. And, perhaps inevitably, their bristling has turned into a full-blown Twitter meme as #bluelivesmatter has turned into fodder for anyone wishing to promote the rights of such noted "blues" as the Smurfs, the Na'vi from the movie Avatar, and Arrested Development's Tobias Fünke.

The media war started on December 14 when Twitter user @blogdiva expressed annoyance that people were using #BlueLivesMatter in response to #BlackLivesMatter, a rallying refrain against systemic racism frequently heard at recent protests against the deaths of unarmed black men at the hands of police in New York City and Ferguson, Missouri.

"People are still trying to make #BlueLivesMatter and #ThankYouNYPD happen?" she said. "I didn't even know blue people were marginalized."'

Shortly thereafter, @blogdiva posted her own take on the hashtag to her 25,500 Twitter followers:

Her tweet seems to be the flint that sparked a large late-night troll campaign, which included pictures of Eeyore from Winnie The Pooh and other familiar fiction characters:

An anonymous organizer of "Thank You NYPD," was not impressed. "That just goes to show how serious they are about the issues they claim to represent," the organizer wrote on Facebook, adding a link to a video of protesters chanting for dead police.

It's not the first time activists have used social media to wage a public relations battle. The pro-police group was also inundated with trolling late last week, after it announced plans to organize the rally.

The anti-police activists responded in full force with tweets "thanking" the NYPD for showing the world that systemic racism in America is still as much of an issue now as it was in 1964 "and for [giving me a] turnstile jumping summons when I was trying to get 2 babies with carriages through the exit door and hadn't yet deposited tokens."

Curious about the #BlueLivesMatter phenomenon? Check out the tweets on the next page.  

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