Memes are supposed to reach Millennials and make them DNC voters, but the right is ruining the plan.
What are memes? Here are a few recent examples from Liberty Memes on Facebook:
A lot of memes presuppose a knowledge of past memes:
One of the running gags on the internet is that the Left can’t meme. So we get this mixed message that memes are great for reaching younger voters but memes seem to damage the Left’s chances of setting the terms of the debate and getting their points across.
Thus, Teen Vogue pontificates: “The Rise of Political Memes Could Have a Major Effect on America.” But then asks: “But is that a good thing?”
But could they actually impact elections? It certainly seems possible. Funny memes can offer an inroad to young adults who wouldn’t otherwise pay much attention to politics and potentially get them to the polls in greater numbers than we’ve seen so far.[…]
If memes help politics reach young adults who weren’t previously interested and get them engaged to the extent baby boomers are, the political climate in America could shift drastically in favor of the millennial generation. “[Millennials] care more about economic opportunity, climate change, food and water security, lack of political freedom, lack of education, [and] security,” says Terri Towner, an associate professor of political science at Oakland University. “So if you see millennials getting more involved in politics, even beyond the ballot box, we would see some very different issues that would come to the top of the list.”
Perhaps that’s why we’ve already seen instances of politicians themselves creating or sharing memes. Hillary Clinton’s tweet directing Donald Trump to “delete your account” immediately became a meme, spurring hundreds of thousands of variations. “I think [visuals, including memes, is] a very effective way to campaign, especially if you’re targeting a younger generation,” Towner says.
On the flip side, though, they can be used as a form of dangerous propaganda. Trump, for example, has retweeted multiple antagonistic memes, including one of him “eclipsing” former president Barack Obama and one of him hitting Clinton with a golf club.[…]
And then there’s the fact that memes can easily become our own personal echo chambers. “Memes are entertaining, they’re appealing, [and] they’re sexy, so we stick with that and we don’t ever go beyond our one news source,” Towner says. And when you stick to one source, she adds, “You get one single view. Your viewpoint is never challenged.” If that one source is an uninformed social media user who may have an ulterior motive behind what they post (like gaining followers or creating controversy), it could further muddle your understanding and views of the issues.
Only two days after that story posted, Sky News reports, “Memes ‘will be banned’ under new EU copyright law, warn campaigners.”
The EU Copyright Directive intends to protect the intellectual property rights of people who upload their material to the internet.
However, campaigners are warning the law will require “all content uploaded to the internet to be monitored and potentially deleted if a likeness to existing copyright is protected”.
The campaign […] warns that online platforms would be economically damaged if they were forced to comply with its expensive obligations.
The law would “destroy the internet as we know it” warn the campaigners, who add it would “allow big companies to control what we see and do online”.
Essentially, the campaigners are arguing the stringent copyright protections of Article 13 would damage the sharing of parody content and memes […].
They’re not wrong to fear memes.
Memes make fun of ridiculous lies that tyrant’s tell to gain or stay in power. Right-wing memes not only beat left-wing memes, but they also wake people up to the lies of the mainstream media.
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