The "weaponized autists" at 4Chan have done it again, because they can; a new meme suggesting that liberals are soulless idiots who can't think for themselves has gone viral. The concept compares Democrats to "nonplayable characters," or NPCs - the recurring characters in video games with repetitive lines and limited knowledge. Lack of an "inner voice" is a dead giveaway that someone may be an NPC.
The NPC meme essentially meant to ridicule the post-election perpetual outrage culture in which liberals simply parrot the latest talking points from their favorite pundits, who do their thinking for them.
The 4chan version is a simple greyed out, expressionless face known as "NPC Wojak" - which has triggered the left so hard that Twitter conducted a mass-banning campaign for accounts promoting the meme, and the New York Times wrote an entire article trying to figure it out.
The Times writes of the Twitter bans:
Over the weekend, Twitter responded by suspending about 1,500 accounts associated with the NPC trolling campaign. The accounts violated Twitter’s rules against “intentionally misleading election-related content,” according to a person familiar with the company’s enforcement process. The person, who would speak only anonymously, was not authorized to discuss the decision. -NYT
There is precisely zero evidence that the accounts were spreading "intentionally misleading election-related content," so we're just going to have to take Twitter's word for it.
This NPC meme is gold. 😂😂😂 pic.twitter.com/3X3IhGyWnv— 🇺🇸👍Phataken (@Phataken) October 12, 2018
According to KnowYourMeme, the NPC meme was created in 2016 after an anonymous 4chan user made a threat titled "are you an NPC?" to the /v/ video games board.
On September 5th, 2018, several threads were submitted to 4chan discussing people who did not have an "inner-voice." In the comments sections, many described those who do not have an internal monologue as "NPCs." On September 7th, a grey-colored variation of Wojak began appearing in threads about NPCs (shown below). KnowYourMeme
The triggering begins
After the meme began to spread, Twitter user @brightabyss accused those who "refer to living humans being as NPCs" as being "facist""
If you sincerely refer to living human beings as NPCs you are a fascist, an enemy of to your own species, and basically a complete shitbag person. Dehumanization is not some cool trend of thought by Caucasian as fuck grad students, it’s the capitalist erasure of ethics.— ◉ (@brightabyss) September 14, 2018
And according to KnowYourMeme, "On September 15th, Twitter user @DreddByDawn tweeted that NPC was "dog whistle" used by "fascists." The same day, Twitter user @Sharessan accused a centrist of being a "fascist in denial" after labeling them an NPC. Meanwhile, Twitter user @stackflow33 tweeted a screenshot of the tweets along with the message "What the fuck is even going on anymore? Lmao.""
Fascists adopt dog whistles so quickly that as soon as one becomes recognizable to the public (like SJW) they’ve moved on, it’s not coincidence, it’s plausible deniability. “NPC” is explicitly meant to dehumanize, they’ll take advantage of lack of recognition as long as they can— Appropriating Mummy 🎃💀👻 (@DreddByDawn) September 15, 2018
Angry NPCs Twitter users continued their opposition to the meme, telling users to "report and block" anyone using the "dehumanizing" NPC meme.
PSA: there’s a new type of bot in town.
They will have a avatar similar to this one and have NPC in their name.
They are providing misinformation and pretending to be Democrats or progressives.
Report and block. pic.twitter.com/WSJ5C9AT2a— Storm #MobTheVote (@StormResist) October 14, 2018
Once the meme reached critical mass, it was only a matter of time before Silicon Valley did something about it:
The NPC meme hit Silicon Valley so hard that they’re planning on banning it. pic.twitter.com/KVN6IWSfK0— Faceberg (@thefaceberg) September 26, 2018
And before they're totally scrubbed from the internet, here are a few NPC memes that slipped through the cracks:
NPCs are even getting ready for Halloween: