When Asif Raza Rana, a Pakistani government worker, posted an image to his Facebook page on 13 September 2015, he had no idea that it would make internet history. It was a photograph of him shaking hands with a man named Salman, above two small photos of another man—Mudasir—who had been crossed out in each one with a lime-green X. Colourful WordArt letters at the top blared “Friendship ended with Mudasir / Now Salman is my best friend”. A caption explained that Rana was parting ways with Mudasir because the latter had become “selfish” and “proudy”.

Rana’s post got thousands of shares and likes, and in the three years since he first uploaded it, it has spawned countless memes riffing on its “Friendship ended with X…” phrasing.

AUTHOR

Aria Thaker

Aria Thaker is a journalist based in Delhi who reports and writes on issues of technology, politics and culture. She tweets at @ariathak.

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