did all birds died in 1986

Birds are a detail that some people pass by every day without taking a second glance at. They can sit in trees and sing pretty songs without causing any alarm. They are so inconspicuous in fact, that they could be watching and surveying without humans ever being aware. The idea of the Birds Aren’t Real movement is that birds are a method of government surveillance, and that they are not in fact real, living animals.

The Birds Aren’t Real joke conspiracy has been around from humble beginnings since 2017, when University of Memphis student Peter McIndoe attended the local Women’s March, creating his own sign, declaring that birds are government drones. When the meme started to pick up, he capitalized on merchandise and social media fame. The conspiracy has now morphed into a full-blown organization, with its own agenda to make it clear to the American public that the birds they encounter may be watching.

As the movement grew in 2018 and 2019, audios on TikTok were created to mock the statements, claiming that “All of the birds died in 1986 due to Reagan killing them and replacing them with government spies that are now watching us. The birds work for the bourgeoisie.” This sentiment has been adopted by the organization itself, as it has made “Birds Aren’t Real ’87” stickers and shirts with birds in trench coats “working for the bourgeoisie.”

Although the movement originated as a joke and an online meme, the organization has mobilized its message by holding rallies and selling merchandise. A white van with bird-deterrent spikes has gone to Kansas City, Dallas, San Francisco, Memphis, and other cities to publicize the seemingly ridiculous theory. According to the organizers themselves, it is sort of ridiculous.

The Birds Aren’t Real movement is supposed to be a joke, to poke fun the actual, terrifying conspiracies that do exist. In the modern political climate, many conspiracies have come to popular belief from QAnon to online forums that perpetuate misinformation. The internet has been a major proponent of conspiracies, and even though wild theories have been around like a fake moon landing or the CIA killing Kennedy, it is even more of an epidemic in the age of scrolling. To make light of how ridiculous some of these theories may seem, Birds Aren’t Real was born.

“I always thought it was really funny, but I definitely only saw it as a joke, never serious,” said Abigale Marta, UNC alum and birder.

New conspiracy theories have had a much larger audience because of constant contact through the internet. QAnon specifically creates a dangerous narrative of pedophilic elites seeking to take down former president Donald Trump. The conspiracy has grown into its own real-life political movement with terrible consequences such as the “Pizzagate” shooting in which an armed man stormed a pizza restaurant because he believed it was a cover for child-abusing democrats. There have also been conspiracies that downplay tragic and real events such as the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in 2012, claiming that many students and parents were crisis actors. These pieces of blatant misinformation cause harm to real people and can get more dangerous with more attention.

The internet especially targets youth, and the nature of social media is to tend to shorter attention spans, often not including a whole story but just the headline. Within social media, inside jokes and memes that play off real events can also develop, such as the Birds Aren’t Real movement. Teacher candidate Zoe Womble teaches in an American Government class, and especially sees these issues of media literacy among her students at Greeley Central High School.

“The growth in social media has become a problem, especially because it targets our youth. When I teach media bias in a high school classroom, I have to educate kids about doing their own research and reading beyond just a headline to get the most accurate information,” Womble said.

The issue that may arise with a joke like Birds Aren’t Real is the fact that some people take it too seriously. Real, terrifying conspiracies are created every day on the internet, and many readers take it at face value, without looking into sources and claims critically. This can be dangerous in a world where people have constant access to the internet, as they might not look in deeper. Conspiracy theories are going to come up no matter what, because humans are curious about what is truly in the world around them, so a joke one can provide less damage.

In order to mitigate some of the damage that might be caused by rumors that our flying friends are robots, the Audubon society, as well as many news organizations, have taken a closer look at the claims made by people who believe in the bird bourgeoise. Audubon has noted the danger in these claims, but also says that the movement can be seen as a joke by conservatives and liberals alike to bring us all together.

The Birds Aren’t Real movement and subsequent organization are one example of long-winded jokes on the internet, and just the tip of the iceberg of conspiracy theories that can grow to be dangerous. Although this movement has lighthearted intentions behind it, there can still be repercussions if misunderstood. More serious conspiracies can also be misunderstood and have dangerous and violent consequences. When people take these theories that are unsupported by facts and blow them out of proportion, others can suffer.

A mocking TikTok audio was made of the statements as the movement gained traction in 2018 and 2019, asserting that “All of the birds died in 1986 due to Reagan killing them and replacing them with government spies that are now watching us.” The birds work for the bourgeoisie. The group itself has embraced this idea, producing “Birds Aren’t Real ’87” stickers and t-shirts featuring birds “working for the bourgeoisie” in trench coats. ”.

The internet specifically targets young people, and social media by its very nature tends to cater to shorter attention spans, frequently only featuring the headline of a story. Memes and inside jokes that parody actual events can also emerge on social media; one such example is the Birds Aren’t Real movement. Teacher candidate Zoe Womble observes these problems with media literacy in particular among her students at Greeley Central High School, where she teaches an American government course.

To help lessen the potential harm caused by the rumors that our aerial friends are robots, the Audubon society and numerous news outlets have investigated the assertions made by those who subscribe to the bird bourgeoise theory. Audubon has pointed out the danger in these assertions, but he also says that both liberals and conservatives may view the movement as a joke meant to unite us all.

With a joke like Birds Aren’t Real, there’s a chance that some people will take it too seriously. On the internet, genuine, horrifying conspiracies are created on a daily basis, and many readers accept them at face value without critically examining the sources and claims. In a world where people always have access to the internet, this could be dangerous because people might not dig deeper. No matter what, conspiracy theories will surface because people are naturally curious about the real world, so a humorous one can do less harm than a serious one.

The goal of the Birds Aren’t Real movement is to make fun of the real, terrifying conspiracies that do exist. Many conspiracies have gained traction in the current political environment, from QAnon to internet forums that spread false information. Conspiracies have always been popular on the internet, and while there have always been wild theories like the CIA killing Kennedy or a fake moon landing, they are much more prevalent in the scrolling age. Birds Aren’t Real was created to mock how absurd some of these theories may seem.

The meme demonstrates the adaptability of content made with TikTok, as users can alter and customize other people’s videos’ audio to their heart’s content. More than any other app, TikTok has promoted the growth of audio memes by drawing inspiration from the lip-syncing-heavy music ly. This is the audio rendition of popular Twitter sayings: “I love my curvaceous wife,” “Pee is stored in the balls,” and “Now the birds work for bourgeoisie.”

The video’s popularity demonstrates the increasing popularity of memes featuring ludicrous interpretations of communism and socialist ideology. TikTok’s user base is primarily made up of teenagers who post videos of themselves having fun at school as much as anything else, despite the platform’s gradual mainstreaming. It’s important to take into account the likelihood that they fully recognize the meme’s utterly ridiculous nature as well as the potential that learning about it may have sent them down a political ideology wiki-hole.

Last year, Sofia Barrett-Ibarria wrote about the phenomenon for Motherboard. Dozens of prominent Instagram pages in particular have committed themselves to tearing down capitalism, a response to the impact of the alt-right’s wave of Pepes and nazi memes that washed over the American public in 2016.

One of the more bizarre interpretations of the genre, The Birds Working for the Bourgeoisie, is primarily meant for humor and bizarre recreation. It’s humorous, good, and you may not even be familiar with it yet.

More than any other, TikTok memes still need a lot of time to develop on the platform before becoming widely accepted. Up until then, rumors about the rise in surveillance birds are likely to stay under wraps.