Although the “I can count to potato” meme predates 2012 by a couple of years—the folks over at Know Your Meme claim the first macro associated with it emerged in 2008—it came back with a vengeance in late April 2012 when Liz Cowter lashed out against the Internet after she discovered that her daughter Heidi, who has Down syndrome, was the subject of the meme’s cruelty.
“These trolls are cowardly, nasty people who should be punished for the damage they are doing to people with their comments,” Cowter toldThe Sun. “Heidi has told me she is very upset by the sites and she turns her head away when we have them on the computer screen.”
Instead of apologizing for making fun of Heidi, online communities like Canvas and the subreddit r/adviceanimals doubled down on their awfulness—turning Liz herself into a meme.
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