For a brief moment, we had a glimpse of a world without Unilad and it was glorious
Their main page with 35m likes was deleted this morning
There was a time, not too long ago, when uni was quite a different place. Far from the bastions of wokedom that they are today, lad culture reigned supreme. If you look back at social media from that time, it was all fluorescent polos and poorly themed socials, and a lot of moronic humor.
And no-one took advantage of this quite like Unilad and Lad Bible. With shit jokes and Page 3 girls, their obnoxious brand of humour quickly took over the newsfeeds of nearly every young person in the UK.
In their early days, they came under fire regularly for not just their articles or pictures, but their rabid army of commenters spewing hate at everything they touched.
They were called endorsers of rape culture, a symptom of everything wrong with uni at that time. They were a place for lads of all strains (not just uni lads) would comment and argue and chip in with their unwanted two cents on anything and everything.
But then something happened. Bless their little hearts, they tried to grow up. LadBible with its weird fascination with rubbish in the sea and UniLad with its partnership with Drinkaware on the dangers of freshers' week (???). By pretending to care about these issues, they tried to shake off the cavalier attitude and the army of LADS they'd amassed.
But there's a problem here. UniLad doesn't really have a brand any more. They're just a viral dump for stories and videos you've probably seen either in real news outlets or on the social media networks they were stolen from.
And it's the same for all their weird side projects. UniLad Film, UniLad Tech, UniLad Grub are just awkward concepts smashed together. What is a film that a uni lad might enjoy? Whom are these uni lads? Do they even still exist?
The fact that Unilad had 35m Facebook followers isn't surprising. You skim the lowest tier of the internet, give the people what they want and you get bigger, that's how it works.
But there's nothing interesting or unique or clever or funny about ANY of their pages. The only thing that differentiates Unilad from anything else, is their denizens of hate. The shit joke peddlers, the offense givers.
According to The Telegraph, one Twitter user is claiming that the reason Unilad is gone is because of some pretty vile comments made about the death of Soundcloud rapper Lil Peep. That doesn't surprise me.
The comment section of Unilad is like an SU bar from the 2011 on sports night. A bunch of dickheads making terrible jokes, perving on anyone, maybe threatening sexual violence if the mood takes them.
For a moment this morning, we had a taste of what life would be like without Unilad. One less place for trolls to make crass jokes and make fun of rape victims, one less place for these views to be legitimized and tolerate.
They're already back, they will probably get even more fans. But why are we giving them any attention? We can get our viral dog videos somewhere else.