Life

Meet Bill. The stick person dividing the internet with his Facebook etiquette tips

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha
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You know Bill, right? The one who's all over Facebook? The one who claims to always know what's right?

If not - of if you're wondering why there's a stick man filling up your news feed - let us introduce you to the latest craze taking the internet by storm.

'Be Like Bill' is a collection of memes that have been dispensing social media etiquette tips in a very polite, light and matter-of-fact fashion. 

From not posting countless pictures per day to not inviting friends to play games he knows they don't play, Bill is the face of many of our online frustrations. 

And the message is always the same: “This is Bill. Bill does [blank]. Be like Bill.”

Popularity of the images have surged and it now has its own page on the social network with over 1.5 million followers, and a female spin-off "Be Like Emily".

There are even versions in Arabic (as Bilal), in Malaysia (as Rashid) and in Spanish (as Jose).

This is bill

“It’s hard to put a finger on what exactly makes a good meme,” said Debabrata Nath, one of two men behind Bill’s English-language Facebook page. “[But] we feel it has to be something that doesn’t take itself too seriously, is simple to understand and at the same time can make people relate.”

But not everyone is happy about the Bill effect and a backlash is underway. Critics say the messages are narcissistic, arrogant and judgemental.

"Bill represents social media's worst impulse: the claim to moral superiority wrapped in nagging, passive-aggressive complaint," writes Brian Feldman, a non-fan, on nymag.com. "Bill is every subtweet, every behavior-policing Facebook status update, every smug and condescending comment, illustrated exactly as crudely as the sentiment deserves."

Entire Facebook pages have been aimed at mocking Bill by using the same stick drawing and a parody caption. 

One read: "This is Bill. He claims not to be attention seeking. He has a Facebook page to post exclusively about him. Bill needs to review his ego/id balance. Don't be like Bill."

Take a look at a few of the original Bill posts to make your own mind up...

This is bill
This is bill
This is Bill
This is bill
Bill
Bill

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Sejal Kapadia Pocha

Sejal Kapadia Pocha covers stories about everything from women’s issues to cult foods. She describes herself as a balance between Hermione and Luna Lovegood.

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