When was the last time you laid in bed too terrified of Slenderman, Jeff the Killer, or Candle Ja-(not taking any risks here) to go to sleep?
How often do these and other memes flow into the conversation you and your friends are having? How harmless are these memes? How fucking harmless indeed...
Memetics states that memes are actually sentient beings with the ability to grow, evolve, and most interestingly reproduce. Does that mean Jeff the Killer has a son? No, meme reproduction is comparable to tapeworms. They are brought into existence, find a few hosts to infect, grow and evolve within the host, and finally reproduce. Everytime you email, tweet, or Facebook a Slenderman pasta you are helping it reproduce.
It spreads like a plague, evolves to become more terrifying than the previous version. How did Slenderman receive tentacles on his back or why does he wear a suit? Because someone added that to its attributes and it made it more terrifying giving it a likeliness to spread. Would you show all your peers Squidward's Suicide if it wasn't so damn creepy?
Why should I care if memes can grow? They've never hurt me. How often does a pasta strike fear into your heart? That fear starts out small then grows into something more, every bump in the night is Slenderman ready to abduct you. My hypothesis is that if a meme can evolve, it can evolve to the point of being so scary it carries enough power to cause a phobia within a person. An extreme irrational fear of something, in this case a meme. The difference between say arachnophobia and memephobia is that a meme phobia can spread between people. These memes could generate so much fear they could cause someone to lose their life. People have died from being too afraid to live.
How do you stop something you create? You can't. You simply can't. There are men who become monsters, then there are monsters who become men.