I often ask myself why I still use Twitter. Twitter is an aging platform that refuses to fix its primary systemic problems like platforming some really bad actors and enabling disinformation. It is literally the preferred broadcast system for demagogues around the world, from President Trump to El Salvador’s President…

A dog gives side eye to the viral instagram challenge
A skeptical dog with the viral sticker

At least 4.1 million people participated in an Instagram viral trend on November 9 and 10. Post a picture of your pet and somehow, someone is going to plant a tree. The viral challenge grew exponentially, even though the climate activism offered little details of its follow-through.

We know now…

An artistic rendition of Salt Bae and a customer from a recent viral video
Salt Bae and the customer, a modern classic on TikTok — Art by bunny0jr

Fifteen years ago I started to study YouTube content and web television. It was at the dawn of a new era. New formulas, new characters, experimental television, no more gatekeepers! However, for the most part, web television was just television on the web.

Webseries were a type of new media…

A screengrab from Google search by typing “Let’s Go Brandon” into the search. The image shows a return of hats and t-shirts adorned with the phrase, all from different online shops.
Grifting off the latest extremely lazy meme

It seems the meme war never ends and is usually at odds with reality. When you build an entire political movement on memes and shallow rhetoric packed with unrewarding nostalgia, you have to constantly reinvent the messaging. …

“Melted” by craig1black is licensed under CC BY-NC 2.0

The last 48 hours have not been great for Facebook. In fact, it really hasn’t been all that great for the last month. Over the last several weeks, Facebook has suffered a variety of public relations issues from leaks, to user pushback, to congressional hearings to an untimely massive blackout.

On the morning of August 19, diehard Trump supporter Floyd Ray Roseberry parked his truck outside the Library of Congress. He turned on his cellphone camera and began to livestream on Facebook. For five hours, Roseberry held a standoff with police as his pickup truck allegedly held enough explosives to…

A man looking at three dimensional displayed data while he wears a headset.
“Data immersion” by Idaho National Laboratory is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Near the end of July 2021, Mark Zuckerberg had some thoughts about Facebook’s evolution. A few days later, the word “metaverse” was trending on Twitter and references were being made to the origin of the term: Neal Stephenson’s 1992 sci-fi novel Snow Crash.

Jamie Cohen

Digital culture expert and meme scholar. Cultural and Media Studies PhD. Internet studies educator: social good, civic engagement and digital literacies

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