Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash is a Facebook group that exploded in popularity during the Democratic primaries. Originally intended as a repository for the best image macros (aka memes), Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash has now sold out to spammers who riddle the group with links to sites with stolen content and malware.
For the last couple of months, it became obvious that something wasn’t right. In the beginning, anyone could submit whatever they wanted to the group without first being approved by group admins. One of our satirical links was submitted there when Modern Liberals was brand new, and it turned out to be more than our server could handle. With nearly half a million members, it’s no surprise that spammers would target Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash and other groups like it to get traffic and ad revenue.
What was bizarre is the fact that almost anything submitted to group would not be approved, and there were suspicions that the admins were being paid off by spammers in return for allowing their links to go through. That suspicion was confirmed last week when one of the admins, Zack Harris, made the announcement that another admin was on the payroll of individuals posting links for BigBlueVision and other sites run by Eastern European spammers.
For approximately the next 24-36 hours, order was restored in the Dank Meme Stash and posts by spammers were removed. The dankest Bernie memes were appearing once again, and it seemed like the group was back on track. By Saturday evening, the spammers had returned and all reports were being ignored. The admins who had apparently righted the ship, could not be reached for comment.
This is the problem with nearly every political group or movement, with enough popularity comes people trying to cash in and twist it for their own purposes. Bernie Sanders Dank Meme Stash is no different, and Bernie Sanders himself would be sickened by the same kind of corruption he fights against polluting what is likely the biggest Facebook group with his name on it.
Update 6/28/16: The spammers disappeared briefly Monday night, but are back in full force with the same accounts and spamming the same sites. These posts are being immediately approved by admins while legitimate posts and memes are not. According to anonymous sources, the admin who originally created the group, Will Dowd, has admitted to taking payments from the spammers in exchange for allowing spam links to be posted and approved.
And this is a screenshot of an admin group message involving Will Dowd who booted out other admins who were not happy with his corruption, after he openly admitted to allowing the spammers.