MAN HUNT: This is Bill. Don't be like Bill.
MAN HUNT: This is Bill. Don't be like Bill. Facebook

Selfies, Hanson, Pokemon nearly break the net in 2016

Please stop being like Bill

THIS is 2016.

2016 doesn't last longer than 366 days.

2016 accepts there will not be another leap year until 2020.

2016 is smart.

Be like 2016.

In January, a strange little meme popped up on social media feeds across the globe.

If featured a little stick figure called Bill. For the next few weeks millions of Facebook users followed in Bill's line-art footsteps and started generating their own Be Like memes.

Very soon it all became pretty damn annoying and the rest of us were all Be Like <insert unmentionable words here>.

Thankfully Bill and all his silly stick figure friends did just that and faded into social media obscurity as fast as they appeared.

Pell's bells

COMEDIAN Tim Minchin's ditty about Cardinal George Bell baulking at returning to Australia to appear before the Royal Commission into Institutional Responses to Child Sexual Abuse went viral in February.

Minchin sang the song Come Home (Cardinal Pell) on The Project.


Musician Tim Minchin wrote the original score for Matilda The Musical. Supplied by The Helpmann Awards.
Musician Tim Minchin's tongue-in-cheek song, Come Home (Cardinal Pell), raised enough money to send a group of Ballarat survivors of child sex abuse to Rome for Cardinal Pell's testimony in the child sex abuse Royal Commission.

During the following month, the catchy tune raised enough money and publicity to send a group of Ballarat survivors of child sex abuse to Rome where they watched Cardinal Pell give testimony.

When selfie obsession goes too far

IN MARCH, a man called Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked an EgyptAir plane, forcing it to land in Cyprus.

For most people on the plane, this would have been a time of abject terror.

Then there's an English chap called Ben Innes and a stewardess known as Naira Atef. Like all good self-obsessed social media fans, the pair posed for selfies with their captor.

"I'm not sure why I did it - I just threw caution to the wind while trying to stay cheerful in the face of adversity," Mr Innes told British media.

"It has to be the best selfie ever."


Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked an EgyptAir plane and forced it land in Cyprus.  English man Ben Innes gets a selfie with the hijacker.
Seif Eldin Mustafa hijacked an EgyptAir plane and forced it land in Cyprus. English man Ben Innes gets a selfie with the hijacker. Contributed

Pauline Hanson explains a few things

THERE'S two things you can guarantee with Pauline Hanson - controversial views and viral gold.

Yep. The former Ipswich chippy is back in Parliament and taking up precious bandwith thanks to her love of the socials.

Before the June election, Ms Hanson told an ARM Newdesk journalist she believed most female domestic violence victims were whining over "frivolous" things.

And she said men were the real victims of Australia's domestic violence epidemic - despite truckloads of well-documented statistics proving otherwise.

The video of that interview went viral. A few weeks later footage of her copping a mouthful from a Queensland indigenous leader also set the social sphere alight.

And then there was the video of herself spruiking the benefits of buying milk from farmers without realising a half-used bottle supermarket brand milk lurked nearby. Her "I'll never eat Halal" stand also took a beating because the milk brand in the video is Halal-certified.

Then there was that moment Hanson decided to show us all how to use a squat toilet in response to news the Australian Tax Office was redesigning its loos to meet the needs of multicultural staff.

Possibly the oddest Hanson social media moment was when she used Facebook's "live" feature to broadcast herself watching herself in the SBS documentary Please Explain.

Stars go to the dogs

A FEW months before his wife Amber Heard accused him of domestic violence, Johnny Depp filmed the worst movie of his career.

You know, that one where he stars as an Amercian actor forced to uncomfortably apologise for bringing dogs Pistol and Boo into Australia illegally.


Johnny Depp and Amber Heard apologise for bringing their dogs into Australia.
Johnny Depp and Amber Heard apologise for bringing their dogs into Australia. Contributed

The 40-second video, also featuring Heard, is the best example of car-crash viewing since the invention of video cameras. In fact it's so bad, you just can't help watching and that's probably why it has racked up millions of views across social media sites.

Pokemon going, going ... gone

POKEMON Go. Look we know we don't have to say much more on this fad but hey, here goes.

In July, game developer Niantic released a mobile phone app called Pokemon Go. In the weeks that followed 500 million lemmings - errr sorry ... we mean people - downloaded the game.

Then for weeks on end those of us who weren't sheep - errrr sorry ... Poke gamers - watched as those around us spent hours on end roaming the streets looking for virtual characters on their mobile phones. Lots of people walked into poles. Some people even smashed their cars while playing the game.

Others stumbled onto crims in action. A few unlucky people found dead bodies and some were killed in Pokemon Go-related accidents.

Not long after launching in July, the game was raking in US$16 million a day as downloads hit a peak of 27 million. In November it was raking in just US$2 million a day and was being downloaded 700,000 times daily. It is expected to continue to fizzle as mobile gamers go in search of the next big thing.

Dave's date with destiny

IN SEPTEMBER, an obscure American journalist wrote an opinion piece about why he'd never date a feminist.

"People who are more loyal to their gender and not their significant other don't make good partners. They will always look at you as inherently more fortunate than them. They've bought into the 'battle of the sexes' mentality and it often pervades their perceptions of romance. Romance turns into a power struggle rather than a partnership," Dave Hon said in the News-Press Now about his decision to avoid feminist love.


Dave Hon is an American journalist who found 15 minutes of fame in 2016 for declaring he does not date feminists.
Dave Hon is an American journalist who found 15 minutes of fame in 2016 for declaring he does not date feminists. Contributed

Needless to say the feminists across the Twittersphere told Dave just how lucky they were with his decision.

"Stop mocking that Never Date A Feminist guy because of his looks. Mock him because he doesn't believe in a wage gap or rape culture," implored @jenny_trout.

"We're giving that "why I'll never date a feminist" piece a lot of traction considering the answer is "because we will never date him", was @annetdonahue's response.

Meanwhile, @maggieserota simply replied with "This was a hell of a way to find out that Dave Hon and I are never going to date".

Did the cops go too far?

IN SEPTEMBER, Ohio police published a photo of a couple overdosing on heroin in their car as a four-year-old waits patiently in the back-seat.

The photo went viral as people across the globe piled condemnation - and even death threats - on the addicts for their neglectful behaviour.


In this Wednesday, Sept. 7, 2016 photo released by the East Liverpool Police Department, a young child sits in a vehicle behind his mother and a man, both of whom are unconscious from a drug overdose, in East Liverpool, Ohio. The police department said it's trying to show the impact of the heroin and painkiller epidemic by sharing photos of the boy sitting in the vehicle behind the slumped-over adults who were later revived with an overdose antidote. The couple faces child-endangering and other charges. (East Liverpool Police Department via AP)
The East Liverpool Police Department released this image of a young child sitting in a vehicle behind his mother and a man, both of whom are unconscious from a drug overdose.

But some social media users hit back, saying authorities were simply releasing the image for click bait. However, the cops defended their move, saying "There is a real powerful story in that image. Children all over this country are going through the same thing. We can complain about the picture all we want, but what are we going to do to fix it?."

Blokes behaving badly

THIS was the year of Aussies blokes behaving badly on the internet. In July, disturbing screenshots from a secret Facebook page called Blokes Advice became public.

The images showed the group's members inciting others to rape, bash and harass unsuspecting women.

A domestic violence support group spent the next few weeks lobbying Facebook to close the 200,000-plus page down. Facebook eventually conceded the site had to go and the group was forced offline, albeit for only a short while.

Shortly after the Blokes Advice fiasco, reports emerged of an online forum where Australian schoolboys were posting photos of unsuspecting - and often naked - Aussie girls.

Authorities managed to shut the page down for about a week when they found out one of the thousands of photos on the overseas-hosted site was of girl aged under 16. Once the "illegal" photo was removed, the site simply returned and it continues to operate unfettered in Australia and around the globe.

Stoner Sloth's hefty price tag

LATE in 2015, the New South Wales Government unwittingly gave Australia the funniest Christmas present ever - the Stoner Sloth advertising campaign.

It was supposed to be a serious message about drug use. But those irresistibly cute stoned teenage sloths doing stupidly funny stoner-type things had us laughing so hard we cried buckets of tears. The campaign went viral, with millions of views across Facebook and YouTube.


The NSW Government's Stoner Sloth anti-marijuana advertising campaign cost more than $350,000.  Photo Contributed
Stoner Sloth gave us plenty of laughs. Contributed

In February, we laughed even harder when we found out the entire shebang cost the government a whopping $350,000.

Funniest videos of 2016

LET'S face it, if people and animals stopped doing silly things in front of Go-Pros and mobile phone cameras, the internet would be a pretty dull place. With that in mind - and absolutely no intention of enjoying ourselves on the boss's time - we watched a bunch of funny videos just for this article. Here's our top 10 must-view moments from 2016.

Woman paints portrait of Donald trump using her breasts: All we can say is thanks for the mammaries.

Chewbacca Mom: Who can forget the awesome video of Texas mother Candace Payne having the time of her life as she tries on a Chewbacca mask?

Cute bulldog becomes musician's muse: If you watch one video this year, make sure it's Beats By Bulldog: Derick Watts and the Sunday Blues. Why? Because a musician has turned his pooch into an instrument and it's jaw-droppingly great fun.

Donald Trump Lego robot: Donald Trump as a Lego robot. Need we say more. Check it out.

Aussie uses $200,000 car to tow a trailer full of goats: So here's a video featuring a 2002 Lamborghini Murcielago pulling a trailer with cute little goats along assorted city streets and main roads. Goats. Fast car. All on video. What's not to love.

Man wees on lava just because he can: What could possibly be stupider than a guy filming himself taking a slash on piping red-hot lava?

Dogs can't catch if their life depended on it: There's a reason why this video had more than seven million views when it was shared via Huffington Post.

Spider drops in on weather guy: Remember that American weather guy who was giving the forecast when a giant spider appeared on his screen? This never gets old.

Horror movie scars cute cat, world issues collective "aaaaawwwwww": Go on, you know you want to watch this big-eyed Tabby-Bengal kitty cat's reaction to some scary TV.

Man gets trapped in compost bin: OMG. How can you not fall over laughing watching Englishman Fred waddling along with a compost bin for a skirt?