Government Tries to Shut Down Fake, Funny London Tube Sign Meme

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The London Underground’s whiteboard “service information” signs sometimes contain actual service information, but often contain inspirational quotes or cheeky messages. But recently, some amusing fake station signs have spread far and wide on social media, and London’s transportation agency, Transport for London, is not pleased.

The faux photo that seems to have incited TFL’s ire is this one, based on London’s new, unofficial anti-terror slogan: “#youaintnomuslimbruv.”

Timely, yes, but apparently not real, despite being portrayed as an official note from the Underground.

TFL couldn’t really stop fake images from spreading on Twitter, though. All it could do is go after the source — which, in a lot of cases, was a fun little website that let people create their own station sign images.

Developer Tim Waters said he got a legal threat from TFL Thursday. On Friday his little tube-sign app vanished, and he even deleted the code behind it from GitHub:

All because TFL was worried people would have trouble telling the difference between an image like this:

and an image like this:

And because TFL also apparently hasn’t heard of the Streisand effect, whereby a public attempt to silence something only results in more attention and popularity for that thing. If the people demand fake tube signs, there will be fake tube signs, whether there’s an app for that or not.