Dozens of people on Reddit are saying 'Thanks, Obama.' For real.

Approximately one year ago, the "Thanks Obama" subreddit was a repository for absurd memes blaming President Obama for everything from traffic tickets to snowstorms, framed as snarky, lighthearted commentary on the president's legacy.

Posts from 2015 sarcastically chide the president for posters' rough, dry feet, tearing grocery bags, and inability to unsuccessfully unwrap a muffin. The forum shut down nearly a year ago, after President Obama acknowledged the "Thanks, Obama" meme in a Facebook video. Users on the forum decided the meme had run its course.

In the wake of the 2016 presidential election, the ThanksObama subreddit has come back to life. Though today, the posts look ... a little different.

After nearly a year of inactivity, in anticipation of President Obama's final months in office, Reddit users are using the forum to finally thank him — for real this time.

Messages include thank-you notes to the president for "simply trying to do the right thing," for "being a pretty cool guy," and for keeping his cool while attending to a peaceful transition to the next administration (expressed in somewhat more colorful terms).

Users also thanked the president for "being a feminist," and they thanked Sasha and Malia Obama for sharing their dad with the country.

The list goes on — Redditors praised the president for standing up for LGBT rights:

His appreciation of the arts:

And, perhaps most importantly, for "giving us hope in dark times:"

Taken together, the thanks comprise an endearingly informal log of what the president, and the United States, have accomplished in the past eight years.

It can be easy to lose sight of the progress our country has made in just two presidential terms. In the first year of Obama's administration, unemployment had reached 10%, 20 million fewer people had health insurance, only two states had legalized marriage equality, and we had yet to commit ourselves — and the world — to doing anything significant about climate change.

In ThanksObama, policy victories like affordable health care and economic growth share top billing on the thread with less tangible positives — a White House that conducted itself with decency and dignity, a firm diplomatic style, and a lack of embarrassing scandal and drama.

It's an inspiring read, regardless of your politics.

The message to the president is clear: Sure, we may have teased you, and we didn't all agree with you all the time, but you were solid for us. You don't mind a good joke, and we respect the hell out of that.

Some things — and people — you don't appreciate till they're almost gone. Presidents are no different. For years, President Obama has been the (often self-aware) butt of a lighthearted gag. It was cool of him to be cool about it.

GIF by The White House

Now, President Obama is modeling how to say good-bye graciously, with a peaceful transition of power. Regardless of whether you ever supported the man or not, that's something to commend in a leader.

Thanks, Obama.

Canva

As millions of Americans have raced to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, millions of others have held back. Vaccine hesitancy is nothing new, of course, especially with new vaccines, but the information people use to weigh their decisions matters greatly. When choices based on flat-out wrong information can literally kill people, it's vital that we fight disinformation every which way we can.

Researchers at the Center for Countering Digital Hate, a not-for-profit non-governmental organization dedicated to disrupting online hate and misinformation, and the group Anti-Vax Watch performed an analysis of social media posts that included false claims about the COVID-19 vaccines between February 1 and March 16, 2021. Of the disinformation content posted or shared more than 800,000 times, nearly two-thirds could be traced back to just 12 individuals. On Facebook alone, 73% of the false vaccine claims originated from those 12 people.

Dubbed the "Disinformation Dozen," these 12 anti-vaxxers have an outsized influence on social media. According to the CCDH, anti-vaccine accounts have a reach of more than 59 million people. And most of them have been spreading disinformation with impunity.

Keep Reading Show less
True

Nicole Abate, a Registered Medical-Surgical Nurse living in New Mexico, starts her workday around 5:00 a.m. During her 20-minute drive to work, she gets to watch the sun rise over the Sandia Mountains as she sips her coffee.

"It's one of my favorite things to do," said Nurse Abate. "A lot of us need a little calm before the storm."

Nicole | Heroes Behind the Masks Presented by CeraVe youtu.be

In March 2020, after a fairly quiet start to the year, Nurse Abate's unit became the official COVID unit for her hospital. "It went full force after that," she says. Abate was afraid, overwhelmed with uncertainty, never knowing what was next on the wild roller coaster in this new territory, "just when you think ...we know exactly what we're doing, boom, something else hits so you adapt… that's part of nursing too." Abate faced her responsibilities courageously and with grace, as she always does, making life a little better for patients and their families "Thank you for taking care of my father," reads one recent letter from a patient's family. "You were kind, attentive and strong and we are truly grateful."

Keep Reading Show less