I've been passively gathering data from 4chan's /pol/ board to keep tabs on the "Qanon" conspiracy, and the communities that were promoting it. I had started out with a "set it and forget it" sort of a deal for my 4chan /pol/ scraper. The problem is, though, I set it and the I forgot it. Read on about some of the challenges of studying online communities and ephemeral content...
Just a few days ago, Nike unveiled the latest iteration of their "Just Do It" campaign. Over the course of the 2ish minute advertisement, multiple inspiring stories are shared–and dare the audience to set lofty goals, and dream ambitious dreams. The final voiceover at the end of the clip speaks directly and states, "don't ask … Continue reading Just Meme It
It’s difficult to talk about 4chan without addressing the idea of Anonymous. Though the imageboard includes a name field for individual users, doing so is not required, and the feature is rarely used. This is a fundamental quality of the 4chan platform; you don’t have offer any form of identification whatsoever. Virtually every users posts … Continue reading Breaking Through 4chan’s Anonymity
Memes, and social media more generally, are incredibly powerful tools that contribute to the normalization of ideas, beliefs, and overall culture. The things that we are exposed to in our social media feeds have significant potential to reinforce certain ideas, and perhaps misrepresent how commonplace and accepted they really are. Despite this significant power to … Continue reading A Mechanism of Normalization
Wait just one goddamn minute… Is this loss? The format of the is astoundingly simple: Four panels. One figure. Then two. Then two once more. Then one figure upright, the second on its side. And that’s it. So long as the meme instance follows that basic format then it’s loss, a meme that has recently … Continue reading Is this Loss?
This thesis examines Internet memes, a unique medium that has the capability to easily and seamlessly transfer ideologies between groups. It argues that these media can potentially enable subcultures to challenge, and possibly overthrow, hegemonic power structures that maintain the dominance of a mainstream culture. I trace the meme from its creation by Matt Furie … Continue reading Pepe the Frog: A Case Study of the Internet Meme and Its Potential Subversive Power to Challenge Cultural Hegemonies
At the end of each year, YouTube releases a "rewind" video - a compilation of popular videos, music, and trends from the previous 12 months. A collaboration with hundreds of YouTube content creators, each year's YouTube rewind ends up being a rapid-cut montage of song, dance, and celebration. However, this year's YouTube Rewind broke slightly … Continue reading YouTube Rewind 2017: All Hail Our Corporate Overlords