While in social networks they laugh at insane illustrations of strange guides, the site with instructions has been generating memes for ten years.
Since 2016, VKontakte has a community called “ Pictures with Wikihow without context ” – its authors post strange images in which it is often unclear what is happening. The source of the images is the WikiHow site with free content, where users publish very detailed step-by-step instructions and tutorials.
Entrepreneur Jack Herrick was inspired by the success of Wikipedia, where users can add content on their own, and in 2005 launched WikiHow. The site contains more than 190 thousand instructions on a wide range of topics – from “ How to download Minecraft for free ” to “ How to discourage foxes from their territory ”.
By 2010, the site became popular on social networks thanks to too detailed explanations for simple things and actions, such as instructions on how to click fingers or use a computer mouse. And sometimes it’s crazy: how to become amermaid, play “The Hunger Games” to establish a cult or react to an ugly child. The media began to often pay attention to such articles and make collections.
Strange illustrations spawned fan communities on Twitter , Reddit and Tumblr . Users collected low-quality pictures taken out of context, illustrating strange instructions. Soon the same fan-made public appeared on VKontakte.
In 2016, the American developer created the game damn.dog, in which you need to understand the meaning of pictures from WikiHow. In each round, it is proposed to guess which of the four instructions the illustration applies to.
In 2017, the Wikihow gained popularity again and spawned several memes in a year. The most famous is the picture in which the cat is fed with pills from the article “How to make the cat stop wanting the cat.” In the original, antidepressants are thrust into the animal’s mouth, but in social networks they were replaced with “pills that make you look at the wall,” and soon the names on the box turned into more insane.
Another popular meme was made from the image for the guide “How to make the presentation fun”. A Facebook user from the WikiHow community has signed a text with a man reading a book on business ethics, the text “All pages are empty, what the hell.” In social networks, with the help of a joke, they began to beat situations and phenomena that do not exist in the opinion of the meme hero.
The picture from the instruction “How to teach a dog a command to a voice” also attracted the attention of social networks – on it a woman gives the dog a command, and he barks in response. Mem used to show their agreement with mixed opinions.
At the end of June 2019, a TikTok flashmob linked to WikiHow was distributed on the social network with short videos . The authors of the video opened instructions like “ How to stroke a dog ” or “ How to make you love your parents for who you are ” and repeated the strange actions behind the characters of the pictures.
It is not known who draws illustrations for WikiHow, they do not indicate on the authors website. On Reddit , it was assumed that the company hired a team of artists who drew stock photos and painted them. Probably, the element of creativity is still present, because in some pictures there are unreal things, like dancing cats and dogs with necks like a snake.