Florida Man

Florida Man is an Internet meme that typically consists of links to news stories and articles about unusual or strange crimes or events occurring in Florida, particularly those where the headline refers to the subject as ‘Florida Man,’ calling attention to Florida’s apparent notoriety for strange and unusual activity. It also implies that the consumer is to consider this ‘Florida Man’ to be an individual wreaking havoc rather than multiple people being referred to by the same title.

‘Miami New Times’ noted that freedom of information laws in Florida make it easier for journalists to obtain information about arrests from the police than in other states and that this is responsible for the large number of news articles.

The meme was originally popularized by the Twitter feed @_FloridaMan in 2013, which quoted news headlines which began with/contained the words ‘Florida man’ such as ‘Florida man run over by van after dog pushes accelerator’ or ‘Police arrest Florida man for drunken joy ride on motorized scooter at Wal-Mart.’ The feed refers to Florida Man as the ‘World’s Worst Superhero.’

Before its popularization through Twitter, Florida already had a colorful reputation on the Internet, as evidenced by social aggregation site Fark having had a Florida tag for years before the Twitter feed appeared. However, after the creation of the Twitter feed and its simultaneous popularization on social media sites Reddit and Tumblr (initially through the subreddit r/FloridaMan and the Tumblr blog ‘StuckInABucket’), the meme rapidly gained the attention of news media and the population of the internet at large, being featured in numerous news articles and stories.

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