Ai Weiwei "Gun-leg pose" Trends on Instagram and WeChat

By | Jun 18, 2014 09:42 PM EDT
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A new internet meme is currently trending in China, which involves taking a picture of yourself holding your leg up as though you're aiming a gun.

Chinese artist Ai Weiwei uploaded a photo of himself doing just that on the social network, Instagram. The photo shows Ai  wearing skimpy shorts and a straw hat, while holding his leg in a gun-like pose, aiming it like a rifle.

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Since the picture's release, Instagram users around the world have been posting pictures of themselves imitating the gun-like pose with tags such as #endgunviolence #gunleg #gunviolence. The tags were not added by Ai Weiwei himself. 

Almost 10,000 pictures have been shared via Instagram and the Tencent social app, WeChat. Ai Weiwei have picked some pictures to share on his Instagram handle "aiww"

What does this new trend mean?

People have come up with different interpretations of the new trend. Some users have called it "Legolution", while some have used the hashtag #endgunviolence #gunleg #gunviolence.

"Power is being overused in the name of counterterrorism," Ai said in an interview.

China is in the midst of an anti-terror campaign prompted by several high-profile attacks on civilians over the past year blamed on Muslim militants from the country's far Western Xinjiang region.

Scores of people have been arrested in Xinjiang, security on subways in cities throughout the country has been tightened and many local police are now carrying guns for the first time.

Also, three men were sentenced to death over a car crash in Tiananmen Square that left five people dead last October.

"Power is being used in the name of protecting you," Ai added. "But what the authorities are actually doing is something which deserves a lot of discussion.".

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