Red flag meme: What is Twitter deal-breaker trend and what does it mean?

·3-min read
What is the red flag meme? (AFP via Getty Images)
What is the red flag meme? (AFP via Getty Images)

Twitter has become inundated with red flags as of late, as users have taken to the platform to share their opinions on behaviours that should serve as a warning.

The new trend, which began this month and typically follows the format of a line of text and multiple red flag emojis, started with Black Twitter users mostly sharing their dating red flags, according to CNET and The Mary Sue, as the term is most often used to discuss disagreeable behaviours or deal-breakers in a relationship, of both the romantic and platonic varieties.

However, as defined by Merriam-Webster Dictionary, a red flag is used to “identify or draw attention to a problem or issue to be dealt with” or as a “warning sign,” with the trend morphing into a way of sharing general red flags.

Over the past week, thousands of users have posted tweets - both jokingingly and earnestly - dedicated to highlighting unfavourable behaviours or deal-breakers, with many of these sentiments making their way to other platforms including Instagram and TikTok.

When it comes to romantic relationships, there are countless red flags, according to social media, with users calling out everyone from those who “justify their sh*tty behaviour by saying it’s because of their astrological sign” to partners who “don’t send you flowers regularly”.

“When he’s friends with all his exes,” another user wrote alongside the red flag emojis, while someone else said a red flag is “when he doesn’t laugh at your jokes”.

The meme is also frequently seen in the format of quotes, with users following the trend by posting sentences that they have deemed red flag-worthy.

“‘Reputation is Taylor’s worst album,’” one person tweeted alongside the red flag emojis, while another person suggested that: “I like pineapple on my pizza,” is the red flag.

As with most social media trends, brands have since joined in, with book publisher Random House describing it as a red flag when an individual says: “‘I haven’t read a book since high school,’” while beer company Sam Adams said: “‘I don’t like craft beer’” constitutes a red flag.

Ryanair also shared its take, with the airline claiming that “clapping when the plane lands” is red flag behaviour.

“When me hear someone say they don’t like cookies,” Cookie Monster added.

According to CNET, Twitter has reported a 455 per cent increase in the last week of tweets using the red flag emoji in the US, while Tuesday alone saw 1.5m red-flag-emoji tweets globally.

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