Memes

A topic covered in this module which captured my interest is memes (and remix culture). Mainly the fact that a meme is actually non-genetic behavior; to put it in context, genes determine physical characteristics of an organism and memes determine the behavior of an organism. A debate that was brought to my attention due to the module was whether memes and viral remixes have a positive impact on society. As mentioned in the presentation, the likes of Sweet Brown and Antoine Dodson (Bed Intruder Song) extremely benefited from these viral remixes.

Kim K with money

 

Disney Gasp GifWhilst internet remix culture only started within the last decade, remix culture has been around since the early 1900s. A major culprit of this is Disney, for example, most of its classic films are remixes of older stories. As we all know, the actual stories are quite grim.

 

One of the arguments against memes is the fact that creators disregard attribution and metadata, however the main argument is anonymity. Similar to YikYak, the anonymity allows people to be racist, sexist and promote other means of discrimination without having to deal with the repercussions. Could of the use of memes turn from being funny jokes to serious bullying?

 

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3 Comments

  1. Interesting post. I can definitely see how memes can lead to bullying. If you think of the memes we see with actual people behind them, such as the ‘psycho girlfriend’ meme. Although a lot of people behind the memes probably take it lightly, in fact, I found out that the girl behind the ‘psycho girlfriend’ meme currently makes funny videos on YouTube. But for those who unfortunately get an unlucky picture taken of them and it’s made into a meme, it can definitely lead to bullying.

    http://canyouactually.com/13-regular-people-behind-some-of-the-most-famous-internet-memes-on-the-planet/

    Here’s the article which tells us what people behind popular memes are doing now!

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  2. Nice post and a really interesting article posted by Megan. I agree that people who happened to be turned into memes are quite unlucky as their photos are obviously embarrasing but at the same time I think it has helped them a lot in their ‘careers’ – most of them became YouTube vloggers etc.

    My favourite platform for memes is 9GAG and I am really positive about it. The slogan: Go Fun Yourself makes it clear that all the pictures are made for fun and I don’t think anyone should take the meanings personally. I would define Facebook, for instance, as a platform much more suitable for bullying people as personal photos and thoughts are shared there.

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  3. I saw a tweet yesterday about the fact that Broad City now seems almost to be generating it’s images in the show purely to be ‘gif-able’; i.e. a short moment of Ilana dancing, or Abbi physically over-reacting. I thought this was interesting as it suggests, as internet remix culture becomes more and more prevalent, perhaps the media we are remixing is playing up to it’s remixability in order to ensure online success and popularity – we might not watch the show, but we’ve probably seen the gif/meme.

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