23-year old doctor to be Kareem Icy, as known by his friends on Facebook, created a group to get your daily fix of humor, wit and sarcasm. To Kareem, sarcasm is “basically a sort of self expression that uses mockery to deliver a message, usually in a witty, indirect way,” and that’s why he created Egypt’s Sarcasm Society.
When and why did you start your group?
The group was launched on February 2009. Before ESS, I used to post albums on my profile of funny and sarcastic pictures that I came across on the Internet. These albums attracted certain friends of mine whose mentality and sense of humor were pretty close to mine. I decided to create a Facebook group to gather these people together as well as reach more and for it to become a place where people can share the sarcastic/funny content they come across.
How does the group work and who monitors the material?
People post pictures on the group that are either original content or pictures taken from other sites. Since ESS contains over 10k posts, it has become increasingly hard to post non-originals that haven’t already been posted before which led to the increased amount of originals compared to the posts taken from other sites. There are 4 administrators who go through the pictures either as soon as they’re posted or on an hourly basis. Pictures that do not meet the standards of the group or that have been posted before get deleted. There are certain rules for the group to minimize mess, and members who break them get banned. These processes help keep the group clean both member and content wise.
How did the revolution affect your group activity and members?
People are mostly motivated and inspired to make original comics when there’s a real life situation happening. They use comics as a form of self-expression, for example, to disapprove or condemn whatever is happening. The revolution was one of these situations. During the early and current phases of the revolution, some people expressed discontent from the idea of being active on something related to humor while others are being killed in the streets. Although this was indeed a sad fact, people replied by stating that in times like these, they needed humor the most. Some of them also said, that after spending the majority of the day participating in demonstrations, they would feel even worse if they didn’t come home at night to find something humorous to laugh at. I personally think that it’s not disrespectful or harmful as long as everyone is doing what they can to help the cause, and not just using the page to live in denial from what’s happening. There was even a time when I used the page to ask people to stop sitting around and go do something to help the cause.
Do you get any material that you decide not to put on the group?
The only factors that help us decide which pictures stay or not are the quality of the post, and how funny or sarcastic it is. Regardless of the topic being mocked, sarcasm usually includes mockery of a certain subject which at least one party will find offensive. Choosing which topics to mock and which to avoid, in my opinion, makes having double standards inevitable.