When Memes Become a Serious Business: Memetics as a Political Communication Strategy in the United States and Ecuador

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The media convergence model refers to a context in which the information is produced by every and anybody, without intermediates or filters. This offers new possibilities for citizens and politicians to interact and frame situations. One way to do so is by memetics. Memes have 3 main characteristics: (1) Diffuse at the micro level but shape the macro structure of society; (2) Use cultural items that people can potentially imitate; (3) Travel through competition and selection. When it comes to political memes, few research has been held. That is why the research question that arises is how memes allow prosumers to interact and opine about politicians? The present investigation based in multimodal analysis compares memes among United States and Ecuador when former Presidents were banned from social networks. It concludes that public discussion memes are the preferred ones for prosumers; they use cultural items to create situational jokes and make fun of politicians. These memes imitate instead of creating new messages, are restricted about the topics and generate polarized meanings.
Redes Sociales, Comunicación, Memes