All of a sudden, a head-banging purple bird is all over on Facebook. People are using it in comments, status, photos, and news articles, but what is it? and what does it mean?
Florida-based illustrator Syd Weiler, launched a set of these stickers, earlier this month and quickly it became a rage on the Internet.
How did it start?
Thai page published a video of the nodding bird in a dance-off with the cat on 7 Feb. The video has been viewed by more than 5 million times and received a flurry of media attention as well in Thailand.
Syd Weiler later thanked Thailand media for making the purple bird a meme with a drawing of Trash Dove holding the Thai flag with its foot.
Some commenters later pointed out that the foothold was offensive, Syd Weiler tweaked the image a little bit and posted a thank you video.
“Hello Thailand, thank you all so so much for your support. I’m really glad that you like the stickers,” Syd said.
So what does it mean?
Well, the answer is “no one really knows what it is”. Rozina Sini of BBC suggested, “perhaps its ambiguity is one of the reasons it is so popular”.
Kaitlyn Tiffany of The Verge said it went viral because “birds are funny, and flailing is a common response to the trips and trials of every life on the web”.
Syd Weiler herself wrote on her Facebook page “In case you didn’t know, I made some fantastically dumb iOS stickers, you can spam your friends and family with them!”
An Austrailian user filled a petition on Change.Org to ban Trash Dove stickers. But we are confident that it won’t be going anytime soon.