Be like Bill

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A stick figure next to the text "This is Bill. Bill finds an error on Wikipedia. Bill fixes the error. Bill is considerate. Be like Bill."
An example of the Be like Bill meme.

Be like Bill is a social media meme that began around late 2015, with its popularity greatly increasing in early 2016.[1]

Meme[edit]

The Be like Bill meme typically features an image of a simple stick figure, who may be wearing a knitted hat, together with text such as "Bill is on Facebook. Bill is a vegan. Bill doesn't tell everybody about it. Bill is smart. Be like Bill."[1][2][3] The meme has been described as "a way for people to passive-aggressively call out social media behaviours that annoy them."[4] The meme also attracted a large number of detractors who criticized the meme's tone and lack of self-awareness.[5]

Be like Bill has a Facebook page and as of 25 January 2016 the page had over 1.5 million "likes".[4]

A Be Like Bill meme created in response to the #1lib1ref campaign

Boston officials used the meme to discourage the use of space savers in parking spots.[6][7] The Queensland Police Service wrote a joke Facebook update stating that they were pursuing Bill for "repeatedly disturbing people’s timelines".[8]

Variants[edit]

The meme has spawned foreign versions, including Bilal in Arabic, Rashid in Malaysia, Jose in Spanish[2] and Петя (Petya) in Russian. A culturally-specific Afghani version is called Be like Qodos, written in Dari and Pashto.[9] The Filipino version is called Tularan si Juan, written in Tagalog.[10]

There is a Sri Lankan version සිරිමත්(Sirimat) which was soon changed to සිරිපාල(Siripaala) weeks before the 2015 presidential election. There is a very old Sinhalese poem taught in schools about a fictional boy named Sirimat praising his daily way of life, such as planning the next day before going to sleep and waking up in early morning.[11]

A female variant, Be like Emily, also exists.[2]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Subedar, Anisa (18 January 2016). "Why should you be more like Bill?". BBC Trending. BBC News. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  2. ^ a b c Feldman, Brian (19 January 2016). "'Be Like Bill' Is the Worst Thing on Facebook". New York. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  3. ^ Parsons, Jeff (19 January 2016). "What is #BeLikeBill? Everything you need to know about the meme that is taking over the internet". Daily Mirror. Retrieved 19 January 2016. 
  4. ^ a b Grossman, Samantha (25 January 2016). "Here's What to Know About the 'Be Like Bill' Meme Your Friends Keep Sharing on Facebook". Time. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  5. ^ Dewey, Caitlin (22 January 2016). "The rise of Be Like Bill — a detestable meme instructing an audience of millions". National Post. Washington Post. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  6. ^ Annear, Steve (25 January 2016). "'Be Like Bill' and remove your space savers, city says". Boston Globe. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  7. ^ McGinnes, Meagan (25 January 2016). "Boston made its own 'Be Like Bill' meme about space savers". Boston.com. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  8. ^ "Aussie police call out 'Bill' for being most annoying internet meme". RT.com. 25 January 2016. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  9. ^ Rahim, Fazul (24 January 2016). "#BeLikeQodos: Afghanistan Flips #BeLikeBill Meme on Its Head". NBC News. Retrieved 26 January 2016. 
  10. ^ Rhys, Buccat (January 18, 2016). "Meet the gaming buddies behind 'Tularan si Juan'". ABS-CBN News. Retrieved June 6, 2016. 
  11. ^ http://vidula-sinhala.blogspot.com/2011/11/blog-post_30.html

External links[edit]