Bangalore schoolkids unleash Facebook wars

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BANGALORE: Likes and pokes are creating a slugfest among Bangalore’s schools. A Facebook page dedicated to school stereotypes hit 37,000 likes last week. “12 ‘A’ Memes” was launched in late January 2013 by two 12-graders from a local institution for “trolling” (posting inflammatory posts with the intent of annoying others ) their classmates.

“We started the page during our board exams, intending it to be something like a stressbuster. The initial idea was to troll certain people belonging to our class, but we moved to making memes about other schools. That’s when it started gaining momentum ,” says one of the administrators of 12 ‘A’ Memes, which gets an average of 300 likes a day.

The popularity of the page has led to innovation. One of the administrators was frustrated by his inability to view the page on his phone. This led to the team behind the page developing an Android app.

Most of those who follow the page are in school. “I love reading the page. I can relate to most of the memes and punch lines,” says Abhilasha Seth, a student of Vidyashilp Academy. “Some memes are really hilarious,” she says. “It’s funny, relatable and talks about a variety of topics and events happening in and around Bangalore ,” says Nikita Naik, a student of Indus International School.

The schools that feature most often on this page are Bishop Cottons, Deeksha and Frank Anthony Public School. Sometimes, the memes are lighthearted; other times, they may seem naughty and malicious. Since school loyalty can be a sensitive subject , people do take offence.

“I really don’t like the way they portray the students of Frank Anthony . Their jokes give a wrong impression of the people of the school,” says a bewildered 11-grade student. One of the early targets of the 12 ‘A’ Memes were Cottonians. Even now, a slim majority of the memes deal with students of Bishop Cottons.

“Many of my Cotton’s friends are outraged about the page. However, it’s all in good humour; one needs to be very sporting,” says Shloke Chaudhari, an alumnus of Bishop Cottons, now studying in National Public School. The administrators have not been immune to the page’s contents either. One controversial meme, posted during the height of the IPL season, led to threats and lots of hate mail. “Having been in both the rival schools, I can say the page is only for the general amusement . The administrators believe in keeping a broad perspective,” says Surya Narayan, 17,of St Josephs.

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