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Pop Polyvocality: Internet Memes, Public Participation, and the Occupy Wall Street Movement

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Abstract

From the inception of Occupy Wall Street (OWS), participatory media played a key role in the movement. Members of the public engaged OWS on sites like Tumblr and reddit. Central to the discussion were Internet memes. Memes are multimodal artifacts remixed by countless participants, employing popular culture for public commentary. Analyzing the use of memes in political discourse can illuminate the nature of mediated commentary on public events. This article examines how memes were used to articulate perspectives on OWS. A corpus of memes commenting on OWS from multiple participatory media networks was analyzed using multimodal critical discourse analysis. Findings indicated memes facilitated conversation between diverse positions. OWS memes employed populist argument and popular texts, intertwining them into a vibrant polyvocal public discourse.

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... While they are produced and horizontally distributed in online environments usually with the ludic intent of sharing humorous content, there is a growing volume of academic writing on how internet memes serve serious social purposes. In this regard, internet memes have been analyzed as a highly popular discursive tool for not only cultural, political, and consumer commentary (Gilbert, 2013;Milner 2013;Mortensen & Neumaye, 2021;Nissenbaum & Shifman, 2018;Wiggins, 2019) but also for socially significant processes of collective cultural/political identification (Coleman, 2015;Nowak, 2016;Nissenbaum & Shifman, 2017;Shifman, 2013aShifman, , 2013b. The memes' potential for being used as language and communicative space for group articulation (Hall, 2018) stems also from peculiar aesthetics and values inscribed onto them. ...
... These memes consist of jokes based on really dark humor by depicting practices allegedly performed on the darknet that are illegal and undisputedly wrong, like hired killings, live-streamed killings, human trafficking, rape (including of children), pedophilia, and many more. Naughty internet memes are produced and read according to pop cultural online logic of lulz with its vulgar, provocative, offensive, and cynical humor (Milner, 2013; see also Wiggins, 2019, pp. 130-155 for considering memes as a form of art by making a connection to Dada and Surrealist movements). ...
... Memes creators' contribution to darknet's depictions works in this light as meta-commentary discussing regulatory attempts of the darknet or moral panics about it. Here, internet memes work as a space of global polyvocal expression in which multiple opinions and identities are negotiated (Milner, 2013). Hence the analyzed memes may be seen as a collective spontaneous popular contribution to debates on not only the darknet but digital technologies in general. ...
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Dominant discourses on the darknet present it either as a dangerous space with flourishing crime or a place for civic action and political activism. However, these depictions have been challenged in online popular culture, particularly in memes. By utilizing the concepts of double articulation of media and cultural imaginaries, this article reveals how memes shape popular definitions of darknet. Our qualitative, social semiotic content analysis of 505 memes reveals an ambiguous and complex vision of the darknet that both supports and demystifies the mainstream imagery. We introduce the concept of discursive malleability of niche technologies to describe how cultural practices reshape technologies, especially those with small userbases. Additionally, we present a “representational map of the darknet” and indicate how this contributes to social understanding of digital technologies more generally, and, not least why the analyzed memes may be read as lens exposing contradictory notions and policies regarding digital technologies nowadays.
... Existing research on memes has tended to focus on their function as communicative or linguistic tools: Speech acts (Grundlingh, 2018), sites of identity construction (DeCook, 2018) and tools for political commentary (Milner, 2012). The memes that were created and shared during the pandemic filled multiple communicative functions typical of memes -they "Stay Alert, Control the Virus, Make Memes" 231 2 provided humour and levity (Aslan, 2020;Kuipers, 2005), they explained confusing or new information in a simple way and they allowed people to comment on the political response to the pandemic (Milner, 2013;Ross & Rivers, 2017;Wiggins, 2019). ...
... In a participatory culture, individuals may represent their rhetorical interests through the semiotic decision-making involved in making memes. Participants can use memes to comment on any issue, from any standpoint -a varied representation of voices dubbed "pop 232 Avery Anapol 2 polyvocality" (Milner, 2013). Milner found that memes were used by individuals on opposing sides of the Occupy Wall Street movement in a kind of discursive battle through image (Milner, 2013). ...
... Participants can use memes to comment on any issue, from any standpoint -a varied representation of voices dubbed "pop 232 Avery Anapol 2 polyvocality" (Milner, 2013). Milner found that memes were used by individuals on opposing sides of the Occupy Wall Street movement in a kind of discursive battle through image (Milner, 2013). Milner also notes the similarity between memes and discourse, citing Aunger's description that both are "an idea that becomes commonly shared through social transmission" (Aunger, 2002in Milner, 2012. ...
... With high novelty value, political memes are popular subjects in mass media reporting (DeLuca et al., 2012;Freelon & Karpf, 2015;Huntington, 2013), where they are billed as curios of internet participatory culture (e.g., Miranda, 2016). Scholarship has tried to catch up to this moving target with descriptive and conceptual work undertaken by Milner (2012Milner ( , 2013, Shifman (2013Shifman ( , 2014, and others, often taking a qualitative approach to exploring media forms' cultural meanings (e.g., Rodley, 2016;Wetherbee, 2015). Some quantitative work has focused on their diffusion (Huntington, 2013) and usage (Chagas, et al., 2019;Martínez-Rolán, & Piñeiro-Otero, 2016;Moody-Ramirez & Church, 2019), but researchers seem to have neglected political memes from basic media effects and political psychology perspectives. ...
... Like other new media formats before them, studying memes has become critical to "understanding the fabric of opinion formation," as it changes with technology and social trends (Banning & Sweetser, 2007, p. 453). Internet memes are "multimodal symbolic artifacts created, circulated, and transferred by countless mediated cultural participants" (Milner, 2013(Milner, , p. 2359. Of these media, those arguably most commonly referred to as political memes are partisan "image macros": template-based single images superimposed with two lines of bold text (Börzsei, 2013;Lyons, 2017;Rintel, 2013;Vickery, 2014). ...
... At the same time, political memes are deeply rooted in internet subculture (Milner, 2013), and are often absurd (Chagas et al., 2019;Jurgenson, 2012;Katz & Shifman, 2017), objectively wrong, or obnoxious even to in-groups. For these reasons, they are trivialized in media coverage (Huntington, 2013), and citizens may likewise look down their noses at them. ...
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If citizens systematically respond differently to claims conveyed by memes, their effects on the broader information ecosystem may be underestimated. This US-based study (N = 598) uses a 2 (partisan news/meme format) x 2 (congenial/uncongenial message) design to examine perceptions of partisan memes’ influence on self and others, and the format’s effect on willingness to share disagreement in the context of partisan claims about corruption surrounding biofuels operations. Results indicate that meme format enhances individuals’ tendency to see messages as less influential on oneself than on others and individuals less intent to share disagreement with claims presented in meme format. This decrease is mediated by the decrease in perceived influence over self. These findings call attention to the role format differences may play in the psychological processes underlying political discussion as it becomes increasingly mediated and visual.
... Although, at the beginning of their evolution, Internet memes were characterized by humor, in recent years, many scholars have pointed out that memes have become increasingly politicized (e. g., Johann & Bülow, 2019;Shifman, 2014). In fact, a growing body of research on memeified politics has emphasized that politics and the use of Internet memes are interconnected (Shifman, 2014), and PIMs have been investigated in the context of major political events, such as elections (e. g., Ross & Rivers, 2017), geopolitical to pics (e. g., Dynel, 2021), and political activism (e. g., Milner, 2013). Moreover, many scholars have underscored the importance of Internet memes for individual identities and social critique (e. g., Brantner, Lobinger, & Stehling, 2020). ...
... Therefore, it is not surprising that PIMs have often been associated with a certain degree of democratic potential. Scholars have argued that PIMs serve as a "legitimate avenue to political participation" (Ross & Rivers, 2019, p. 976), which reflects the normative ideal of the memesphere as a "polyvocal public discourse" (Milner, 2013(Milner, , p. 2357. Moreover, scholars have repeatedly claimed that political communication on social media platforms in general (e. g., Kim & Chen, 2016;Valenzuela, Arriagada, & Scherman, 2012), especially when Internet memes are used (e. ...
... Based on these findings, PIMs' mobilization potential is clear, a finding that has been previously researched in the context of protest movements, such as Occupy Wall Street (Milner, 2013;Shifman, 2014), or campaigns against racism (Williams, 2020), sexism (Brantner et al., 2020), and climate change (Ross & Rivers, 2019), as well as far-right movements (Peters & Allan, 2022). Concepts such as connective action (Bennett & Segerberg, 2012), individualized collective action (Micheletti, 2003), or social norms (Uski & Lampinen, 2016) can help future research shed more light on the question of how PIMs mobilize heterogeneous users. ...
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Internet memes have become a popular format for expressing individual political opinions in social media. Based on a quantitative online survey of political Internet meme users from fringe web communities and sharing platforms (n = 482), this study examines the factors related to political expression in Internet memes. The analysis reveals that political Internet meme usage depends on users’ political interest and the intensity of social media prosumption. Political Internet meme usage is also positively related to users’ motivations for political engagement and internal political efficacy. Moreover, the use of Internet memes for the expression of political opinions is related to users’ online and offline political participation. This study represents the first empirical exploration of users who create and share political Internet memes. The results contribute to the body of knowledge on changing and elusive participatory practices in social media and shift the focus from general social media usage to a specific type of content.
... Исследователи обращают внимание, что появление и распространение интернет мемов плотно связано с развитием партисипаторной интернет культуры, в которой каждый пользова тель не просто пассивно потребляет контент, но и становится его потенциальным соавтором [Jenkins, Ford, Green, 2013]. Мемы в этой среде играют роль особых медийных артефактов, которые катализируют информационный обмен между раз личными пользователями и вовлекают их в потребление политического контента [Milner, 2013]. Эта черта является отличительной особенностью меметического распространения информации по сравнению с вирусным механизмом 1 . ...
... Отдельные авторы акцентируют позитивные [Rieger, Klimmt, 2019;Penney, 2020], но большинство ученых обращают внимание на такие аспекты, как распро странение расистского дискурса в сети, подрыв культуры политической корректности [Topinka, 2018], делегитимация политического процесса [Ross, Rivers, 2017], распро странение фейковых новостей [Oeldorf Hirsch et al., 2020] и эйджистских установок [Lee, Hoh, 2021]. В то же время некоторые пишут о появлении культуры «народного многоголосия» при обсуждении интернет мемов на онлайн площадках [Milner, 2013]. ...
... Само по себе сочетание популистского и регионального фреймов не является конфликтным. Исследователи отмечают, что популистский компонент присущ партисипаторной интернет культуре [Milner, 2013]. В то же время визуальное сопровождение образов движущейся толпы региональной символикой дополнительно усиливает идентичность протестного движения за счет конкретных символов. ...
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Интернет-мемы давно стали привычным атрибутом новой медийной среды. Большинство исследователей рассматривают их как юмористические картинки, которые способствуют распространению расистских стереотипов и подрывают доверие к политическому процессу среди пользователей. В данной статье рассматривается вклад мемов в консолидацию протестного движения на примере коротких видео социальной сети TikTok, посвященных протестам в Хабаровском крае в 2020 г. На основе анализа коротких видео (N = 65) в статье показано, какими особенностями обладает меметическая структура, какие функции выполняют мемы в отношении протестного движения, какие символические конструкции при этом используются. Авторы проводят визуальный анализ фреймов, включающий в себя семиотический и дискурсивный уровни интерпретации видеоконтента. В силу предполитического характера социальной сети TikTok в коротких видео в большей мере акцентируются сюжеты, связанные с мобилизацией и сплочением социального движения — в противовес артикуляции политических требований. Другими особенностями коротких видео о протестах в Хабаровске стали отсутствие фокуса на политическом противнике, сочетание популистских образов и региональной символики при общем низком уровне символической нагруженности. Благодарность. Авторы выражают благодарность Элиф Шипи за помощь в сборе эмпирического материала.
... Due to the immense popularity of memes and troll content online, considerable attention has been given to the study of the nature, political notions, and semiotic complexities of internet memes (Burgess 2008;Knobel and Lankshear 2007;Milner 2016;Shifman 2012Shifman , 2013. From sociologists to anthropologists and from big data analysts to media and communication scholars, each has delved into the research of memes from their respective fields. ...
... From sociologists to anthropologists and from big data analysts to media and communication scholars, each has delved into the research of memes from their respective fields. In terms of digital scholarship, Burgess (2008), Knobel and Lankshear (2007), Milner (2013Milner ( , 2016, and Shifman (2012and Shifman ( , 2013and Shifman ( , 2014 associate their idea of memes to their quintessential characteristics such as virality, (re)distribution, (re)production, and its propagation in digital networks. ...
... From sociologists to anthropologists and from big data analysts to media and communication scholars, each has delved into the research of memes from their respective fields. In terms of digital scholarship, Burgess (2008), Knobel and Lankshear (2007), Milner (2013Milner ( , 2016, and Shifman (2012and Shifman ( , 2013and Shifman ( , 2014 associate their idea of memes to their quintessential characteristics such as virality, (re)distribution, (re)production, and its propagation in digital networks. ...
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Despite Bangladesh's alarming population density and crippling economy, the state has homed over 1.1 million Rohingyas in recent years. The frustrations of the netizens over the worsening living conditions and rising crime rates have culminated in memes. Internet memes are effective and humorous tools to express one's views while evading the clutches of 24/7 active surveillance and the social gaze. In Bangladesh, Facebook is the most popular social media platform where netizens have shared, reshared, and indulged in their reactions on several memes regarding the Rohingyas and their migration to Bangladesh. This paper investigates and interprets the possible reasons behind the attitudes or sentiments that have led to the creation of these memes. Through Bakhtinian polyphony and heteroglossia, this paper uses an adapted model of Fairclough's three-dimensional conception of discourse analysis to analyze select Bangladeshi memes on the Rohingya migration that surfaced on Facebook in response to the Rohingya exodus of 2017-2018. Through critical content analysis, this paper uses a heteroglossic scope to analyze their intended messages and how these can dodge the panopticon gaze of constructed social obligations. This analysis offers distinct grassroots applications of memes and an overview of the Bangladeshi netizens' depictions of the Rohingya community.
... This does not mean that all of them imitate other stances and that the public memesphere is actually monological. As noted by Shifman above, some people may choose a different discursive orientation, thus creating another stance that contributes to making the public discourse polyvocal (Milner 2013). ...
... These memes are viewed by some scholars as the products of digital amateur activism engaged in politics in an alternative way representing "a digital nonmovement forming a black parliament" that opens up "debates that challenge dominant political discourses" (Moreno-Almeida 2021: 1561). Their contribution to the public debate, though drawing largely on pop culture, cannot be cheapened as memes can really be a "key for the understanding of social and cultural processes" (Milner 2013(Milner : 2360, and even offer alternative forms of understanding and perspectives. It is actually a form of critical resistance in an authoritarian regime that has become more aware of the role of digital media after the Arab Spring and takes them seriously, especially when such memes become viral. ...
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The analysis of memes posted on Moroccan Facebook pages during the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic shows that the use of humour by Moroccans is not only motivated by achieving mirth but it also vehicles critical views about issues of common concern debated in the digital public sphere. Some of these memes were used to cope with fear and uncertainty. However, most memes harboured mixed feelings about the situation and were used for social control and the expression of conflict and resistance, addressing issues of behaviour, governance and communication. This article uses a social semiotic approach to analyse the collected memes (460 from personal and communal pages) as a multimodal discourse in terms of context, culture, and media affordances. This article contends that the study of these memes can be a key to understanding how Moroccans used humour to cope with danger and radical uncertainty, build identification and strengthen social cohesion. It also highlights the polyvocality of humour in times of the pandemic and the gradual shift from inclusive, conformist and sympathetic humour to disparaging, exclusive and challenging humour as the pandemic lingered, consensus began to crack, social control was challenged and injunctive norms were replaced by survival values. The results show how these memes are indicative of the way humour changes mechanisms and functions in terms of contingent motivations.
... This does not mean that all of them imitate other stances and that the public memesphere is actually monological. As noted by Shifman above, some people may choose a different discursive orientation, thus creating another stance that contributes to making the public discourse polyvocal (Milner 2013). ...
... These memes are viewed by some scholars as the products of digital amateur activism engaged in politics in an alternative way representing "a digital nonmovement forming a black parliament" that opens up "debates that challenge dominant political discourses" (Moreno-Almeida 2021: 1561). Their contribution to the public debate, though drawing largely on pop culture, cannot be cheapened as memes can really be a "key for the understanding of social and cultural processes" (Milner 2013(Milner : 2360, and even offer alternative forms of understanding and perspectives. It is actually a form of critical resistance in an authoritarian regime that has become more aware of the role of digital media after the Arab Spring and takes them seriously, especially when such memes become viral. ...
Article
Full-text available
The analysis of memes posted on Moroccan Facebook pages during the first wave of Covid-19 pandemic shows that the use of humour by Moroccans is not only motivated by achieving mirth but it also vehicles critical views about issues of common concern debated in the digital public sphere. Some of these memes were used to cope with fear and uncertainty. However, most memes harboured mixed feelings about the situation and were used for social control and the expression of conflict and resistance, addressing issues of behaviour, governance and communication. This article uses a social semiotic approach to analyse the collected memes (460 from personal and communal pages) as a multimodal discourse in terms of context, culture, and media affordances. This article contends that the study of these memes can be a key to understanding how Moroccans used humour to cope with danger and radical uncertainty, build identification and strengthen social cohesion. It also highlights the polyvocality of humour in times of the pandemic and the gradual shift from inclusive, conformist and sympathetic humour to disparaging, exclusive and challenging humour as the pandemic lingered, consensus began to crack, social control was challenged and injunctive norms were replaced by survival values. The results show how these memes are indicative of the way humour changes mechanisms and functions in terms of contingent motivations.
... Мемы являются «популистским способом общения с публичным дискурсом»: посредством сатирических высказываний пользователи социальных сетей и других площадок Интернета могут обсуждать свои взгляды и высказывать свое мнение, критически оценивая происходящее в политической сфере [15]. Широкое использование политических мемов, позволяет создать свои средства коммуникации, а их агрессивный провокативный стиль нужен только для того, чтобы привлечь внимание пользователя в гипернасыщенном информацией мире, шокировать его, зацепить внимание, выделиться на общем фоне. ...
... Соответственно, современный исследователь должен критично подходить к вопросу о границах между использованием мемов как элемента политической дискуссии и как пустого развлечения. Впрочем, несмотря на отмеченные ограничения, непосредственно политические интернет-мемы следует признать важным фактором, влияющим на гражданственность и уровень политического участия граждан [15]. Они позволяют вовлечь все большее количество населения в демократические практики. ...
... The basic assumptions of multimodality are that communication is genuinely multimodal and that an information's meaning is always constructed multimodally (i.e., that different modes work together requiring specific affordances to unfold meaning) (Jewitt, 2014). In this vein, Milner (2013Milner ( , p. 2359 described Internet memes as "multimodal symbolic artifacts created, circulated, and transformed by countless meditated cultural participants". Linking the concepts of multimodality and recontextualization with the functional logic of memes, it can be concluded that memes multimodally display at least one (re-)contextualization cue for interpretation and meaning-making. ...
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Internet memes are an integral part of social media communication and a popular genre for humorous engagement in online political discourses. A meme is a collective of multimodal signs that refer to each other through shared formal, content-related, and/or stance-related characteristics and can be recontextualized on different levels: (1) language, (2) mode of presentation, and (3) humor. In this paper, we examine the perceptions and effects of recontextualization in image macros—the most prominent meme subgenre. Two between-subjects online experiments from Austria offer a holistic approach to meaning-making through multimodal recontextualization in political image macros. The first experiment explored the perception of language variety and its effects on users' intentions to forward a humorous image macro. The second experiment further investigated the effects of a political message's language variety, mode of presentation, and humor on users' perceptions and behavioral intentions. The experiments' results indicate that perceptions and behavioral intentions are mainly affected by a political message's presentation as an image macro, while the recontextualization of language variety and humor plays a minor role. The study contributes to the growing body of knowledge on Internet memes as multimodal and recontextualizable political messages from the receivers' point of view.
... Central to the discussion were Internet memes." (Milner 2013(Milner : 2357. ...
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This article explores if and how populist elements are expressed in Internet memes within German-language political discourses. This is done by conducting a data-based investigation rooted in the discourse historical approach and multimodality theory. Memes with varying political alignments are analysed with regards to how they express either of the following features of populist style: the appeal to the people vs. the elite, the use of bad manners, and the performance of crisis. Special focus is given to the political context as well as the semiotic resources used to convey populist themes. The findings of this study show that in order for populism to be analysed within memes a gradational perspective on populism is necessary. Applying this method, a diverse variety of populist characteristics can be found in memes, revealing the many possibilities of populist expression in this format.
... Further reasons for scrutiny become clear when we earmark other avenues of utopian thinking which exist in the reputation gained by social networks in the previous decade. The utopian reputation of social networks as spaces for facilitating protest and mobilising political action have been established by landmark acts of civil unrest over the last decade, spanning the Arab Spring (Wolfsfeld et al. 2013) to Occupy Wall Street (Milner 2013), through to Russia's Snow Revolution (Shomova 2019). These dialectics of digitally led protest have been earmarked as "revolutionary" (Clarke and Kocak 2020;Wolfsfeld et al. 2013) by the wider public, in the case of the Arab Spring for instance; a hype which was dispelled as fast as it emerged (Gerbaudo 2012;Joffé 2011). ...
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The meteoric rise of TikTok, the video-sharing app owned by Chinese technology giant ByteDance, is already being hailed as a potent platform for political expression, but this is complicated by its economic and geopolitical entanglements, namely the ongoing power rivalry between China and the US, as well as TikTok’s adherence to a business bottom line. This short commentary aims to unpack some of the structural issues which contextualise TikTok’s particular brand of political ambivalence ahead of designations of the platform as a meaningful site for political participation.
... Ao nível de conteúdo, o meme da Internet pode ser entendido como uma peça cômica de informação, expressões de artistas digitais, mas ela é essencialmente muito mais poderosa e multifacetada do que isto. Estes são compreendidos na literatura como "multimodal artefacts remixed by countless participants, employing popular culture for public commentary" (Milner, 2013(Milner, , p. 2357, enquanto que Börzsei (2013) entende que a maioria dos memes na Internet hoje em dia são manifestações da cultura visual: um meme pode consistir em uma imagem estática, uma imagem com uma frase, um gif ou um vídeo; pode conter uma piada (citações de aforismos, bordões de filmes ou quaisquer slogans espirituosos) ou fazer uma declaração sem texto adicionado (Blank, 2014). Adicionalmente, Shifman (2014) entende os memes da Internet como (a) um grupo de itens digitais que compartilham características comuns de conteúdo, forma e/ou postura; (b) que foram criados com consciência um do outro; e (c) foram divulgados, imitados e/ou transformados via Internet por muitos usuários. ...
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Digital culture is a consolidated cultural field in post-modernity. Despite the lack of materialization of this culture, the significant impact on the spheres of life in society is felt, as new forms of communication, interaction and symbols are developed between individuals who share, in this online space, a sense of deterritorialization. These specificities arising from the social development of the Internet and its uses brought several cultural characteristics based on the online reality. Memes, replicators of culture and information and the basic unit of culture, copied, disseminated and transmitted are performances of Internet culture. They can be defined in images, gifs or videos, without a strong presence of the author; being created, recreated and spread across all Internet platforms, developing an inclusive process of cultural experience. Having said that, the greater relevance of thematic analysis resides in the inherent complexity of the appropriations of meaning of a meme idea, which characterizes a significant part of digital culture. Launching a sociological look articulated with studies already carried out on the subject can draw different perspectives about this cultural practice, so present in today's communicative functioning. In this article we will discuss memes as a cultural practice within digital culture.
... No obstante, el meme debe a la revolución de las tecnologías de la información su capacidad de anclaje y popularización en los imaginarios sociales. Aunque los investigadores en el campo de la comunicación se han preocupado por el estudio de los memes en la historia reciente (Neumayer y Rossi, 2018), debe reconocerse que hay investigaciones que ya advertían el poder de los memes en las movilizaciones sociales, como sucedió con el caso de la Primavera Árabe (Castillo, 2013) o los movimientos antisistema en Occupy Wall Street (Milner, 2013). ...
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El 21 de noviembre de 2019 (21N), Colombia vivió una de las protestas sociales más impactantes de su historia. . La efervescencia de la movilización fue neutralizada por el aislamiento social generado por la Covid-19 y desafiada el 11 de septiembre de 2020 (11S), tras el asesinato de un ciudadano por excesos de la fuerza policial. No obstante, la sociedad civil resistió a las medidas coercitivas de la pandemia y la violencia estatal, con la viralización de memes como expresión sintética, hiperbólica e irónica de la realidad. En esta dirección, el objetivo del artículo, es analizar cómo los memes desde los planos icónico, semántico y humorístico, catalizan la comprensión de las protestas sociales y movilizan una tendencia global a reforzar las críticas al poder político y económico, desde el activismo digital. Se trabaja la metodología del análisis multimodal en con un corpus de 201 memes. Los resultados evidencian cómo el meme transforma un mensaje instantáneo, en prácticas discursivas que critican la acción o inercia de instituciones estatales y privadas. En conclusión, se propone que si bien los memes no son garantía de una transformación de la realidad, sí revitalizan movilizaciones sociales tradicionales que buscan empatía social desde la esfera pública.
... In the social sciences and humanities, the main focus is on building an in-depth understanding of the communicative and discursive properties of memes. As digital artifacts at the nexus of language, culture, and society, the lion's share of research on internet memes has relied mainly on (critical) discourse analytic approaches (Andreasen, 2020;Hakoköngäs et al., 2020;Massanari & Chess, 2018;Milner, 2013b;Moritz et al., 2012;Wiggins, 2020), rhetorical and linguistic analyses (Iloh, 2021;Mielczarek, 2020;Onanuga, 2020), or feminist perspectives (Drakett et al., 2018;Harlow et al., 2020;Massanari & Chess, 2018). ...
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Internet memes are a fundamental aspect of digital culture. Despite being individual expressions, they vastly transcend the individual level as windows into and vehicles for wide-stretching social, cultural, and political narratives. Empirical research into meme culture is thriving, yet particularly compartmentalized. In the humanities and social sciences, most efforts involve in-depth linguistic and visual analyses of mostly handpicked examples of memes, begging the question on the origins and meanings of those particular expressions. In technical disciplines, such as computer science, efforts are focused on the large-scale identification and classification of meme images, as well as patterns of “viral” spread at scale. This contribution aims to bridge the chasm between depth and scale by introducing a three-step approach suitable for “computational grounded theoretical” studies in which (1) an automated procedure establishes formal links between meme images drawn from a large-scale corpus paving the way for (2) network analysis to infer patterns of relatedness and spread, and (3) practically classifying visually related images in file folders for the purpose of further local, hermeneutic analysis. The procedure is demonstrated and evaluated on two datasets: an artificially constructed, structured dataset and a naturally harvested unstructured dataset. Future horizons and domains of application are discussed.
... Este fato político-jurídico ocorrido recentemente gerou uma profusão de mensagens visuais na Internet, conhecidas como memes. Os memes, enquanto fenômeno, estão ligados diretamente ao crescimento do uso da Internet e representam conteúdos veiculados de forma rápida, praticamente instantânea, em geral com viés humorístico (Milner, 2013). ...
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No mês de março de 2019, o ex-Presidente da República Michel Temer (2016-2018), do MDB, foi preso, após operação da Polícia Federal, após decisão do juiz federal Marcelo Bretas (TRF2-RJ). A operação incluiu a prisão de vários outros políticos ligados a Michel Temer, como o ex-ministro e governador do Rio de Janeiro, Moreira Franco, e o coronel João Baptista Lima Filho. Em atos seguidos e articulados, a prisão de Temer gerou uma grande repercussão nos meios de comunicação, em especial na internet. Tal reflexo midiático se percebeu nos portais de notícias, buscando as causas e consequências das prisões, assim como na construção de vários memes, em geral com conotação jocosa, tratando, pejorativamente, da prisão do ex-presidente. No presente trabalho, busca-se a identificação de como houve o uso dos memes neste escândalo político, com desdobramentos para outras análises de casos. Aplica-se uma avaliação imagética, como caminho metodológico, para entender a rápida mobilização social no uso dos memes, em especial no caráter político, além do uso da revisão de literatura. Como conclusões, identifica-se o uso de memes de humor como forma de desqualificação da imagem do ex-presidente com algumas referências pejorativas ao entorno familiar de Temer, algo muito peculiar nesse tipo de evento.
... Meme research hence tends to emphasize the role of memes in social movements. For example, Milner (2013b) writes that protesters who use memes during the Occupy movement do so to participate in political discourse, with memes playing a crucial role in shifting the national (US-American) discussion during the 2011 protests. Hristova (2014) in her study of memes during the Occupy movement also examines the relationship between online and offline political action, showing that protesters formed a "meme movement", relying on memes for "outreach and definition" (p. ...
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Political Internet memes significantly contribute to discourse around contemporary events. By studying memes, scholars understand these ‘units of culture’ as forms of participatory content that can fulfill political functions. To explore whether users ascribe memes a political role and consider them an alternative to or supplement of traditional political participation, this study provides a user-centered perspective focusing on core motives of meme use. Via a Delphi method interview approach, participants discuss uses and gratifications of memes in political contexts. A qualitative content analysis provides insight into the role and impact of memes in social movements and everyday politics. The findings show that users perceive memes as a tool for easy, effortless engagement in the public sphere driven by the interplay of self-expression, social identity, and entertainment motives. Participants also discuss potentials and limitations of memes in political contexts, concluding that political memes can only support other efforts. The study contributes to our understanding of memes from a psychological perspective and establishes a basis for further research on deliberative political practices from a user perspective.
... There is a political dimension inherent to the popular participation in digitally mediated cultural practices as it aligns with a shift towards an active voluntarist citizenry (Deuze, 2006). The fact that netizens are able and also willing to voice their concerns and weave their personal feelings and experiences into the public narrative (Milner, 2013c;Papacharissi, 2015) reveals an important dynamic not only in the narrow sense of political engagement but also more widely regarding the rise of individuals in discourse and cultural formation in public life. ...
Thesis
This thesis works on the digital cultures of friendly political humour on the Chinese internet, examining the potential of humour in bridging communication and negotiating the hegemonic relationship between the online public and the state. Previous research mostly emphasises the more extreme cases of digital humour in China, understanding them primarily as grassroots resistance with subversive potential in the authoritarian context. To move beyond the restricted scope of humour practiced by few and far between, my research focuses on non-contentious humour that circulates more widely among the online public. With its creative discourse strategies to repurpose political language for entertainment, non-contentious humour has much less critical or subversive implications and wider impacts on everyday life. I argue that these much-neglected cases of humour are highly relevant to understanding everyday politics in authoritarian societies. Based on ethnographic observations on Chinese social media, discourse analysis of online humour, and 40 in-depth interviews with cultural participants, I find that practices of friendly political humour can lubricate communication on sensitive and controversial topics, and open up the official rhetoric on socialist ideology in China to personalised reinterpretations and redefinitions. Furthermore, while interweaving individuals’ everyday experiences with ideological discourse, these practices of humour reconfigure the socialist hegemony in China from authoritarian coercion to be more firmly based on active cultural participation from the online public in the discourse formation process of dominant ideology. With these findings, I argue that humour plays an important role in enabling the public to negotiate the relationship between the dominant discourse of ideology and the public discourse of diversified voices orchestrated through practices of digital culture. In so doing, humour serves important functions of mediating and negotiating the hegemonic relationship between the state and the online public in China. Rather than signifying grassroots resistance to the authoritarian rule, friendly political humour can mobilise potentials of humour and digital affordances to steer political persuasion towards benign and harmonious ways of state-society interaction. This thesis on humour as negotiation brings much-needed theoretical nuance to our understanding of the power dynamic in authoritarian societies as well as valuable empirical nuance to the discussion of culture and everyday politics in the digital age.
... For example, feminist memes mobilise parody and humour to critique sexism in politics (Rentschler & Thrift, 2015) and everyday life (Jane, 2016). Similar techniques have been used to call attention to economic inequality in the Occupy Wall Street protests (Milner, 2013) and racial injustice in the Black Lives Matter movement (Dynel & Poppi, 2021). ...
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Bird of the Year has become a cultural phenomenon. Designed by Forest and Bird to raise awareness of New Zealand's endangered wildlife, the competition attracts engagement from dedicated campaign managers, fans, and baffled international news outlets. Internet memes have become an integral part of the competition. We analyse how Bird of the Year memes (n = 489) support engagement with the campaign. Our thematic analysis of 489 memes circulated on Facebook and Twitter revealed that memes invoke emotions, reflect and (re)produce identities, and encourage pro-environmental action. Memes mobilised humour and fear, cultural ideas about what it means to be a New Zealander, and information about how to conserve endangered species. Memes also self-referentially questioned the efficacy of memes for conservation, raising questions about the potentials and pitfalls of online engagement. Our findings point to the powerful psychological processes through which seemingly light-hearted memes can operate for consciousness-raising.
... However, meme-based humor is far from being neutral and often manifests itself as a powerful means for voicing critique vis-à-vis contemporary social and/ or political issues; as a case in point, consider the Occupy Wall Street movement (Milner 2013); the rights of the LGBTQ community (Gal, Shifman and Kampf 2013); the Greencepeace's Let's go! Arctic campaign (Davis, Glantz and Novak 2016); and the 2016 US presidential elections (Ross and Rivers 2017), to name just a few prime examples. This paper is not primarily concerned with the ideological dimension of meme-based humor, since Classical Art Memes can hardly be considered exemplars of ideological messages. ...
... Initially defined by Dawkins (1976) as a cultural unit that disseminates in a viral way, the concept of a meme is intensively applied in mediatization research. Usually understood as digital content units sharing features of content and form (Shifman, 2014), internet memes play an important role in mediatizing phenomena ranging from political protests (Milner, 2013) to climate change (Zhang and Pinto, 2021). The prominence of memes as a form of mediatization can be attributed to their intertextuality and high affective potential (Makhortykh and González Aguilar, 2020). ...
Article
The rise of user-generated content (UGC), such as internet memes and amateur videos, enables new possibilities for mediatization of the past. However, these possibilities can facilitate not only more diverse and less top-down engagements with memory, but also lead to its trivialization and distortion of historical facts. The latter concerns are particularly pronounced in the case of memories about mass atrocities (e.g. the Holocaust), where online media are often used to promote denialism and attack the victims’ dignity. To better understand the relationship between UGC and memory mediatization, we examine a selection of internet memes dealing with Anne Frank, an iconic Holocaust victim. Using a combination of inductive content analysis and close reading, we identify four classes of Anne Frank memes: (1) ad hominems; (2) deniers; (3) trivializers; and (4) thought provokers. Our findings demonstrate the multi-faceted functionality of memes, which are used not only to trivialize Holocaust memory, but also to reinforce canonical narratives about Anne Frank, and highlight the dependency of memes on other forms of memory mediatization, thus raising questions about the interrelations between UGC and institutionalized forms of remembrance.
... Good online branding allows customers to establish closer relationships with the department store brand (Rezaei and Valaei, 2017). Websites represent for department stores the opportunity to create online retail brand equity (Agrebi and Boncori, 2017;Simmons, 2007;Vasudevan and Peter Kumar, 2019); to interact quickly and easily with consumers (Coyle and Thorson, 2001;Ha and James, 1998;Seo, 2013); and to exchange information and have two-way flows between department stores and consumers (Phippen, 2004;Pitta and Fowler, 2005;Milner, 2013;Rowley, 2004;Schiller, 2014;Taylor and England, 2006). Therefore, it is necessary to understand and evaluate the particular qualities of websites to optimize their effectiveness as online retail brand equity building tools. ...
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Purpose This study aims to assess how department store websites can add online retail brand equity. A quick, relatively easy and low-cost diagnostic tool for stakeholders (e.g. retailers, investors) is presented. Design/methodology/approach A content analysis of department store websites in the USA and Latin America was conducted. Findings The findings show that Latin American and US department store websites exhibit acceptable use of online retail brand equity dimensions related to emotional connection and trust. In contrast, compared to their US counterparts, Latin American department store websites show weak usage on some of the dimensions of responsive service nature, online experience and fulfillment. The results also show that higher online retail brand equity is positively associated with average daily time on site. This indicates the usefulness of this index for developing effective websites to creating online retail brand equity. Practical implications This study suggests that Latin American department stores should improve three dimensions of online retail brand equity: responsive service nature, online experience and fulfillment. The online retail brand equity index presented can serve as a diagnostic tool for department store managers to monitor the online retail brand equity they are building on their websites. It is also possible to analyze the websites of competing department stores and monitor the long-term impact of modifications made to their websites and those of competitors. Originality/value This paper proposes an easy-to-apply index to assess online retail brand equity through website design partially. In addition, this research is the first to evaluate how Latin American department store websites, compared to those in the USA, are building online retail brand equity.
... Occupy Wall Street fue iniciado por activistas asociados en Adbusters (adbusters.org). "El plan era organizar una protesta a largo plazo de las injusticias sociales y económicas prevalentes, como la desigualdad de ingresos, la influencia empresarial en la política y las prácticas comerciales no reguladas" (Milner, 2013(Milner, , p. 2357. Los manifestantes se instalaron en Zuccotti Park en una acampada con el fin de llamar la atención sobre las prácticas financieras perjudiciales para el bienestar social y la prosperidad individual. ...
Chapter
El capítulo presenta el panorama actual e invita a la reflexión sobre aspectos relacionados con la diversidad social y activismo digital ante el poder de los medios, las redes sociales como potenciadoras de la Inclusión social y digital, y, la educación mediática y diversidad en pro de la participación ciudadana con el fin de mostrar el papel que la educación mediática cumple hoy en día como favorecedora del activismo digital de la ciudadanía.
... Occupy Wall Street fue iniciado por activistas asociados en Adbusters (adbusters.org). "El plan era organizar una protesta a largo plazo de las injusticias sociales y económicas prevalentes, como la desigualdad de ingresos, la influencia empresarial en la política y las prácticas comerciales no reguladas" (Milner, 2013(Milner, , p. 2357. Los manifestantes se instalaron en Zuccotti Park en una acampada con el fin de llamar la atención sobre las prácticas financieras perjudiciales para el bienestar social y la prosperidad individual. ...
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Los medios de comunicación ocupan un papel preponderante en la sociedad actual, adquiriendo cada vez más poder, a la par que los gobiernos y aquellos que tienen acceso al podio discursivo social (Aguaded y Romero-Rodríguez, 2016). Su capacidad de influencia en la opinión pública, gracias al uso de las tecnologías de la información y la comunicación, su presencia ubicua y su maximización de alcance por parte de los prosumidores (Civila et ál., 2020), es aprovechada por diferentes agentes, para sus propios fines, como en el caso de los partidos políticos para modificar la intención de voto, las empresas para incidir en el consumo de sus productos, a través de la publici-dad y el marketing, o los influencers a través de las redes sociales, entre otros.
...  "multimodal artifacts remixed by countless participants, employing popular culture for public commentary" (Milner 2013(Milner : 2357; ...
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The present study focuses on multimodal conceptual metaphors with the TRUMP-PRESIDENT target domain in Twitter-based political memes. The source and target domains of such metaphorical memes are cued (exclusively or partially) in visual and verbal semiotic modes where verbal texts anchor the images guiding their interpretation. Expressing a strong critical stance, the analysed memes are designed to elicit negative inferences and emotional attitudes.
... Shifman (2013a) argues that memes can act to persuade or advocate, powerfully transmitting loaded messages under the guise of humour or jokes. Milner (2013) also recognizes the role played by memes in participatory media and popular culture, especially in political commentary. Lou (2017) analyzed the "when" meme and found that it makes use of selective mapping between verbal and visual elements to produce a multimodal simile. ...
... Occupy Wall Street fue iniciado por activistas asociados en Adbusters (adbusters.org). "El plan era organizar una protesta a largo plazo de las injusticias sociales y económicas prevalentes, como la desigualdad de ingresos, la influencia empresarial en la política y las prácticas comerciales no reguladas" (Milner, 2013(Milner, , p. 2357. Los manifestantes se instalaron en Zuccotti Park en una acampada con el fin de llamar la atención sobre las prácticas financieras perjudiciales para el bienestar social y la prosperidad individual. ...
Chapter
Der Beitrag befasst sich mit der kollektiven Semiose der multimodalen Metapher Politiker als Verkäufer im Kontext des sogenannten ThermiLindner-Memes. Dafür werden 591 Image Macro-Adaptionen dieses Memes, die zwischen dem 24. August und 10. Oktober 2017 auf Twitter gepostet wurden, mithilfe korpuspragmatischer und kognitionslinguistischer Verfahren quantitativ und qualitativ analysiert. Wir weisen für die Adaptionen des ThermiLindner-Memes nach, dass sich neben Mustern (N-Gramme, Kollokationen) auf der sprachlichen Ebene auch wiederkehrende konzeptuelle Integrationen beobachten lassen, die wir soziokognitiv als multimodale Metapher Politiker als Verkäufer interpretieren.
Article
Using welfare memes as a case study, this research explores the characteristics and efficacy of counter memes, including anti-legend counter memes, as strategies for the critique of hegemonic discourse and pervasive stereotypes in the increasingly powerful realm of the internet and social media. Key findings suggest that while many memes that appear to counter dominant legends may do more harm than good, anti-legends as well as memes that target stigma are particularly effective due to competing strategies using parody, irony, and factual claims.
Article
The academic paper analysed the role of Twitter memes as means of political expression in Cuba and Zambia during protests and elections that took place in July and August 2021, respectively. The comparative study sees internet memes as a means through which individuals online communicate their economic, social and political views. By using a content analysis with an inductive approach, we found that memes conveyed the main-and simplified-opinions of internet users about the salient event that defined each of the countries. Twitter users targeted politicians to mock, make political statements about the ongoing events, called for action and engaged in playful dynamics in the process. In Cuba, politics-themed memes with a serious tone received more engagement through likes and retweets while in Zambia memes were more diverse ranging from politics to economy. Serious and neutral memes demonstrated that humour is not the only tone of communication used to convey political messages.
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The Tower shooting at The University of Texas at Austin on August 1, 1966 is among the first and most memorable mass shootings in U.S. history because of its wide media coverage. Drawing from theorization of cultural trauma and trauma cultures after World War II, this chapter explores the mediation and narrativization of the Tower shooting as a cultural trauma. In this framing, trauma is a product of history and politics, and subject to reinterpretation. The chapter takes a closer look at the KTBC special news report aired immediately after the shooting, and two narratives: Elizabeth’s Crook’s novel Monday, Monday (2014) and Keith Maitland’s animated documentary film Tower (2016), created in response to a collective need for commemoration several decades later. The narratives reify a particular imagery that shapes the collective trauma and its affective resonance. The chapter focuses on the gendered figures of heroes, victims, and survivors in constituting the collective trauma that emerges as a result of a cultural crisis. How are these figures highlighted in the narratives? What cultural values and concerns relating to mass shootings as traumatizing experiences does the gendered imagery reveal? An analysis of gendered heroes, victims, and survivors brings perspectives on the pervasive cultural mode in which the collective trauma of mass shooting is processed within U.S. gun culture.
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The mass student protest for road safety in Bangladesh started in the capital city Dhaka after the death of two students by a road accident. Focusing on the event during 2018, this paper analyses the comments and memes of selected Facebook pages to find out the reactions by netizens towards the protest. Although there are several studies based on protest and social media in different nations, in Bangladesh it remains an under-researched field. Data were collected from four selected public Facebook pages using the thematic analysis method. Through the analysis of the data, it became clear that netizens wanted to express their feelings and thoughts freely in this open space as new media offers them an almost censor-free platform. The findings contribute to understanding how social media plays a role in providing an open platform of freedom of expression.
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The issue of Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. Presidential election has been widely debated by scholars and journalists. However, these works have not fully analyzed the ads that have been released by Facebook and the U.S. Congress. This project uses a case study to analyze the ads posted by the Russian-affiliated Internet Research Agency, considering the quantities of ads targeted to particular geographic locations, the frequency of targeting for unique keywords, and the reach and impressions of each of the ads. Further, these results are compared to results from best practices in traditional social media campaigns as a way to better understand the goals and potential impacts of the IRA ads. In conclusion, the project, by analyzing the full set of IRA ads, sheds new light on the way false information narratives were leveraged by the Russian-linked IRA.
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This study provides an analysis of the monomodal and multimodal metaphors and metonymies depicting COVID-19 in a corpus of 250 memes. The theoretical framework adopted in this study included Conceptual Metaphor Theory (CMT) by Lakoff and Johnson (1980), Forceville's (2008) Mono-modal and Multimodal Metaphor Theory, and Musolff’s (2006) approach in identifying source domains scenarios. Various source domains that depict different aspects of COVID-19 were used, and some of them reflected certain aspects of the Jordanian culture. The analysis also revealed that multimodal metaphors were more frequent compared to monomodal ones. Primarily, the researchers ascribed the salient presence of multimodality to the medium-determined specificities characteristic where pictorial and textual cues are carefully selected to reinforce the message the meme intends to convey. Furthermore, conceptualizing a new pandemic required the pervasive use of multimodality. The analysis also demonstrated the crucial role of metonymy in interpreting certain conceptual metaphors.
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<3 I AM TRACY examines the social, cultural, and psychological impact of the COVID-19 pandemic through Internet memes. It considers how meme culture has been utilized to weather the COVID-19 emergency and how this practice fits within a larger history of mobilizing humor to cope with crisis. By analyzing coronavirus memes shared via Instagram in the spring of 2020, I shed light on the ways in which they contributed to the resilience of those who created and circulated them. I argue that meme culture helped participants to cope with the psychological stress of the crisis—providing a means to defuse anxiety, reassert control, establish a sense of continuity between past, present, and future, and develop and maintain bonds within communities. I establish, moreover, that, despite the novel form, the features and functions of meme culture during the pandemic share important characteristics with the coping strategies—prominently, dark humor—of Lost Generation writers in Britain and the USA. In doing so, the chapter contributes to existing work in the fields of communication studies, literature, anthropology, popular culture and folklore studies, psychology, science and technology studies, and history.
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The paper focuses on identifying the usage patterns amongst Gen-Z regarding political memes on social media platforms in Delhi, India. Memes have been observed as unconventional ways of expressing political dissent with the rise of the networked society. With the growth in the use of social media platforms as forums for public dialogue and sharing of political opinions, memes are seen to be extensively used not just for creative expression but also in regard to sensitizing a larger virtual community about various political discourses. In the case of the west, the use of political memes by the youth have been observed as informal ways of engaging with different political situations within society and creating an independent space for public forum through social media. Memes which are commonly known as 'idea viruses' have garnered greater acceptability and virality on different social media platforms. They are often considered as a part of the participatory political culture on the internet and are associated with 'networked individualism'. In the case of India, especially regarding Gen-Z, the use of social media is evolving complementary to the different ways of experimenting and engaging with political discourses. Political memes are seen to be used for expressing opinion and engaging with political issues in both conventional and unconventional ways. One of the primary factors seen is the rising level of political awareness due to rising education and socioeconomic status (E-SES). The paper, therefore, seeks to understand the usage patterns of political memes by Gen-Z on social media and whether it complements the model of Data-Knowledge-Action in a networked setup. It also aims to understand the kind of sensitization it is shaping within a larger virtual community of Gen-Z in Delhi, India. The study will utilize a survey method to understand the factors for the widespread popularity of political memes and its impact on the political choices of Gen-Z in Delhi, India.
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This empirical exploratory study examines a number of insulting hashtags used against Islam and Christianity on Twitter and Instagram. Using a mixed method, the findings of the study show that Islam is more aggressively attacked than Christianity by three major communities, unlike Christianity, which is targeted much less by two main online groups. The online discussion around the two religions is politically polarized, and the negative language especially used against Islam includes the strategic use of hashtags and emojis, which have been weaponized to communicate violent messages and threats. The study is situated within the discussion of trolling and hateful content on social media. Aside from the empirical examination, the study refers to the differences in Twitter’s and Instagram’s policies, for the latter does not allow using hashtags such as #f***Christians and #f***Muslims, unlike Twitter, which accepts all types of hashtags to be used.
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The article deals with Internet memes that function in the professional community of lawyers in the social networks VKontakte and Odnoklassniki as a polycode text. The question is raised about the grounds for the analysis of Internet memes. The purpose of the study was to consider the semiotic organization of Internet memes of the professional community of lawyers. The relevance of the study is related to the need to study the features of speech practces determined by the forms of informal communication within such a social structure as the professional community of lawyers. The novelty of the research is seen in the development of analysis parameters that take into account the specifics of the Internet meme as a kind of polycode text, due to the peculiarity of the professional community of lawyers. An analysis of Internet memes is presented for a number of reasons. It has been established that textual memes and creolized memes, in which the text component plays a leading role, prevail quantitatively. Images in Internet memes have a high artistic and general cultural potential, which indicates a high level of the general culture of the authors and recipients of Internet memes. The semiotic analysis of Internet memes gave an idea that the professional community of lawyers significantly influences all parameters of the description of Internet memes functioning in it, which allows us to make an assumption about the existence of a specific unofficial discursive area of the corresponding professional discourse.
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La Mesa Amplia Nacional Estudiantil fue una organización que abanderó varias movilizaciones nacionales en contra de las reformas educativas del primer gobierno de Juan Manuel Santos (2010-2014). Promovió formas organizativas y de movilización innovadoras, entre ellas, la administración de una página de Facebook desde la que asumió los memes de internet como una forma de lucha. Los memes de internet democratizaron la producción y distribución del humor político dentro de la ascendiente esfera pública digital en la Web 2.0, por lo que fueron aprovechados por los estudiantes para promover sus ideas y mediar entre el movimiento social y el campo político. Por ello, mi pregunta de investigación es: ¿Cuáles fueron las formas en las que el movimiento estudiantil de la MANE usó los memes de internet entre 2011 y 2014 a través de Facebook para posicionar sus ideas en el debate público, acumular fuerza y llamar a la acción? Mi hipótesis general es que estos fueron empleados para establecer un campo simbólico general desde sátiras y parodias al poder, a sí mismos y a sus aliados en orden de establecer sentidos comunes nuevos a partir de símbolos preexistentes para generar puentes entre la esfera pública digital y el campo político. A partir de esta postura exploré los memes de internet producidos y difundidos en la página de Facebook de la organización como fuentes nacidas digitales, las cuáles fueron sistematizadas en una base de datos orientada por la pregunta realizada y completadas con entrevistas a participantes de la movilización. Ambos ejercicios permitieron brindar una imagen panorámica de las relaciones establecidas entre los estudiantes y los memes dentro del ascenso de la cultura digital, periodizar la vida de la MANE en dos grandes momentos y establecer las formas en las que los memes de internet se usaron como artefactos culturales y prácticas discursivas.
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This chapter aims to approach the phenomenon of post-truth theoretically by tracking its connections with algorithmic culture. It argues that post-truth is closely tied to the transformations of media markets, changing patterns of news distribution, and collectively shared definitions of digital media. The chapter explains the four principles of the discourse of post-truth: there is no need for news to have a positive reference to facts; truth comes from algorithmic visibility; truth is voted upon, thus it is quantitative; and the rules of this voting are not public. The institutional apparatus of digital media is a broad and heterogenic perspective, comprising technologies, market agents, practices, norms, and imaginaries. The Foucauldian method consists of critically investigating “the margins” of the analyzed events. The chapter presents some margins: crisis of traditional journalistic media, the culture of lulz, and political management and post-politics.
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Scholars and activists have hotly debated the relationship between social media and social movement activity during the current global cycle of protest. This article investigates media practices in the Occupy movement and develops the concept of social movement media cultures: the set of tools, skills, social practices and norms that movement participants deploy to create, circulate, curate and amplify movement media across all available platforms. The article posits three key areas of inquiry into social movement media cultures, and explores them through the lens of the Occupy movement: (1) What media platforms, tools and skills are used most widely by movement participants? (Practices); (2) What role do experienced practitioners play in movement media practices? (Expertise); and (3) In what ways does the movement media culture lean toward open or participatory, and in what ways toward closed or top–down? (Open/Closed). Insight into the media culture of the Occupy movement is based on mixed qualitative and quantitative methods, including semi-structured interviews, participant observation, visual research and participation in Occupy Hackathons, as well as the Occupy Research General Demographic and Political Participation Survey, a database of approximately 1200 local Occupy sites, and a dataset of more than 13 million Occupy-related tweets. The findings will be of interest to both scholars and movement participants.
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Analysing the Occupy movement is important for understanding the political importance of social movements and the theoretical limits of social movement approaches. Occupy enables us to critically re-examine and question what we think we know about the processes of collective action. We identify eight contentions which illustrate why Occupy matters to scholars and which challenge us to re-examine existing assumptions: (1) the core claim to space that Occupy asserts; (2) the power of the language of occupation; (3) the need to pay more attention to the importance of crafting and repeating slogans; (4) the politics of prefiguring a new society (and its contradictions); (5) the implications of not making demands on the state; (6) the importance of ritualising and institutionalising protest; (7) the messy diffusion and mediation of a potentially global movement and finally (8) why confrontation with the police is understood as important as a movement tactic. Whatever the outcome, Occupy has enthused and mobilised activists in new ways and has articulated that inequality is something we all can, and should, seek to remedy.
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