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Kanye West is Alive, But Memes May Be In Danger

Even if you hate the jackass who stole Taylor Swift's spotlight, it pays to know that Kanye lives. Why? Because the rabble have turned it into a Google-beating malware scheme that could punk you into downloading some bad stuff—before coercing you out of money for a fix.

According to ArsTechnica, the perps have taken advantage of an SEO hack to get their malware page to rise to the top of Google's results. That has led many unsuspecting searchers to exploitative sites as they try to verify the rumor.

What's bizarrely artful about the whole scheme is that the progenitors of the rumor—those 4Chan miscreants who vandalized West's Wikipedia page—are thought to be different from the opportunistic punks that saw the meme and then built the malware sites before pushing them up in Google's ranks to take advantage of the trend. That suggests that the age of innocence may be over for wildfire humor- and news-memes; if malware can exploit tomorrow's keyboard cat, the collective sense of web humor might lose its virality too, as users become more careful about where they click.