The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes
Global memes add snark and commentary to politics. Memes have helped citizens around the world express political support and dissent: from the meme that helped a cat run for office in Mexico, to the goats that parodied Obama’s visit to Uganda, to the Myanmar kitten that people used to protest the cost of cellphone service.
Many memes stay within their culture, but advice animals, lolcats, and rage comics often get repurposed in surprising ways outside their origin.
What are the barriers for cross cultural memes to spread, and what is special about the ones that do? How are goat and cat memes an easier mechanism for people to begin to engage with international politics in an attempt to understand the LOLs?
Additional Supporting Materials
- Andres Monroy-Hernandez, Researcher, Microsoft Research
- Elena Agapie, Data Visualization Research Intern, Jet Propulsion Lab, NASA
- Ben Valentine, Strategist and Contributing Author, The Civic Beat
- J. Nathan Matias, PhD Student, MIT Media Lab
Andres Monroy-Hernandez, Researcher, Microsoft Research
Show me another