Trolls, Crusaders, and Internet Territories

The conditions that enable and encourage trolling aren’t exclusive to the internet, but they are more prevalent online than off, mostly thanks to the ease of anonymity and effects of crowd psychology. Territorial behavior โ€” based either on platform loyalty or tight-knit communities โ€” is amplified when geographical constraints no longer play a part. Internet crusades targeting other groups or individuals have become so commonplace that major platforms like Twitter have had to rethink their stance on free speech.

The internet population is growing, but it’s also fragmenting as real world issues polarize mainstream and fringe subcultures alike. In this article, I’ll examine the phenomena of internet territorialism and those who coordinate trolling on a large scale.…   [continue reading]

Facebook’s Meme Explosion: Why Are There So Many Memes on Facebook?

Itโ€™s easy to disregard memes as the scourge of your news feed โ€” which used to be populated with nothing but narcissistic diary entries โ€” but they have a much richer history than that.

Memes are iterative visual jokes developed by a community. Confined to the internet, where the tools to remix and republish are in the hands of every user, they should technically see more innovation as distribution increases. As weโ€™ve seen with the explosion of memes of Facebook, this is no longer the case.

Memes, which rise and fall democratically, are often jokingly referred to in economic terms.…   [continue reading]