Culture

What Is Happening To Brown Cardigan, Australia’s Favourite Instagram Meme Account?

In the past week, Brown Cardigan's disappeared twice. Stop it!

Brown Cardigan's instagram keeps getting deleted

Purveyor of distinctly Australian memes Brown Cardigan keeps getting booted off Instagram, having disappeared twice in the past week. And while Instagram purged meme accounts with millions of followers earlier this year for violating its terms and services, it seems something different is happening here.

Brown Cardigan, for the uninitiated, predates Instagram and Facebook pages: it’s been a meme blog for more than a decade but has racked up 690,000+ followers on Insta. Mostly, it deals in fan-submitted content, where people try to give a mob of emus an Emu beer, celebrate Jim Beam car mats and capture Magpies swooping window cleaners. Watch this video, and you will understand all.

But on Thursday night, that treasure trove disappeared, prompting a mass distress not seen since the whole of Instagram went down earlier this year.

Over on Twitter, the site shared the reason why: a recent post of a man skolling a beer with a distinct flair was flagged for ‘bullying and harassment’. The account was completely deleted for three nights, before returning on Saturday.

The account was subsequently removed again Monday night, before returning Tuesday morning, with Brown Cardigan telling Junkee another fan-submitted video of a prank against cops was flagged as bullying and harassment. It’s their suspicion the account’s being auto-banned whenever it’s flagged: Junkee has reached out to Instagram for comment. And whoever is flagging this content, please stop, you’re hurting white Australia’s best contribution to our culture.

The shadow-ban comes at an interesting time, given that Instagram purged massive meme accounts earlier this year which, between them, had 30million+ followers, after Vulture writer Megh Wright began #FuckFuckJerry, a campaign to boycott one of Instagram’s most successful meme accounts, due to it making money off stolen content.

The purge was not due to stolen content, nor did it affect FuckJerry (who helped market Fyre Festival, too), but due to the accounts violating t&cs: while Instagram never made a statement on the mass deletion, it’s suspected it was due to concerns over not correctly attributing paid and sponsored content.

Despite being the most well-known meme account that generates money off the back of stolen content, FuckJerry continues to this day, as it acknowledges when its stolen content is making them money. It also got into beef with Brown Cardigan back in 2015 after Cardigan called them out for stealing content, beginning their own copycat account Beige Cardigan in response and stealing their designs. Unlike Brown Cardigan, it’s shit.