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Image / Editorial

World War 3 memes have taken over social media — but not everyone is laughing

by Edaein OConnell
06th Jan 2020

A slew of World War 3 memes are dividing people on social media 

If, like me, you ventured onto social media over the weekend, you may well have thought the world was ending.

Apocalyptic images showing the devastation caused by Australia’s bushfires saturated our feeds. Other sad stories began to filter through from around Europe, and all you could do was feel helpless.

Then, there was America.

On Friday, news broke that Iran’s top military general, Qasem Soleimani, had been killed. President Trump later confirmed that he had ordered the airstrikes that killed Soleimani. The act spurred fears of potential retaliation from Iran and a possible subsequent World War 3.

These rumblings aren’t without some plausible reasoning — Iran has said it will strike back. The US has told American citizens to leave Iraq following the attack. And with the daughter of the murdered general warning President Trump that the US faces a “dark day” for its actions, the situation seems only to be escalating.


As the situation unfolded, social media users on platforms like Twitter and Tik Tok used the unique medium of memes and comedy videos to display their horror at the threat of war. They also cracked a lot of jokes. If there is something that Millenials and Gen-Z kids are good at, it’s making the best of a very bad situation through funny anecdotes and pictures of Baby Yoda.





Of course, others thought it was inappropriate and insensitive to make jokes about a possible World War. They argue that it undermines the severity of the situation, one which could cause great hurt and devastation. It’s a divisive subject — and these angry counter-posts demonstrate the wildly different points of view at play.


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What do you think? Are jokes about impending war off-limits? Or can humour help us cope with uncertainty?

Read more: Mind warp: ‘How ignoring the news for six months changed my life’

Read more: This good news story will restore your faith in humanity

Read more: Feeling blue? 5 ways to feel happy according to the experts

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