[Week 6] The power of networks: distributed journalism, meme warfare, and collective intelligence



I made a rare Pepe. I don’t know if I’m ashamed or proud. I think it’s a mix of both.

rare pepe
This is a lie of course. I’m vegan. Just had to let you know.

Sincerely hoping I don’t get attacked by the Anti-Defamation League for this. I’m not an anti-semite, I promise. I’m just a woman studying memes for BCM112 – and for this week, briefly looking at how meme culture was turned into a tool for political warfare.

This is a bit of a cluster of a topic – so here’s CNN to sum it up Pepe the Frog’s leap from popular meme to tool of the anti-semites (yeah, I know).


So how did this even happen? Is it political correctness gone mad?

In a word, yes. Well, that is in my opinion, anyway. Please don’t flame me.

See internet, this is why we can’t have nice things. Because mean people do mean things with them, and then people who don’t understand and like to be offended take maximum offense and go way overboard.

In a way, one could argue that this event was entirely doctored through the entire political shitpost that was the 2016 US president’s election campaign; a lot of Trump supporters picked up the meme, quickly distributing it with hateful comments and using it in arguments against Clinton supporters. The Clinton campaign called this behaviour out and the leftist Anti-Defamation League jumped on this and quickly labeled it a symbol of hate.

I don’t have much of substance to say myself on the subject, other than I think using memes as a political warfare tool is not meant to be taken seriously; it is simply the mix of rising meme-culture being intertwined with politics. If I were to conspire, I could say that it was perhaps completely doctored to get younger people involved with politics. But I digress…

Youtuber thatistheplan sums it up from the view of someone who is a meme culture enthusiast.