Why is everyone on Twitter trying to #FreeKaren?

September 25, 2015
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#ICYMI, this week the Aussie Government launched a new "Radicalisation Awareness Kit" to help members of the community understand and identify potential extremists. The booklet notably included a section on "violent extremism" that used a made-up chick named Karen as a hypothetical case study of someone who becomes radicalised. Through getting involved in student politics at uni and listening to alternative music (among other wildly dangerous activities), Karen becomes an extremist left-wing hippie who cuts herself off from family and friends and gets arrested on numerous occasions. In other words, her typical student lifestyle turns her into a menacing eco-terrorist hell-bent on total destruction. Or so the Government thinks.
Naturally, just like a few other fusty government initiatives we've seen lately, this one backfired pretty spectacularly. Twitter became a veritable mother lode of facetious tweets and memes, and the hashtag #freekaren went nuts. Here are some of our favourites.

 

Hijacked

Body image: Australian Government Living Safe Together official website

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