LOLitics: The Content and Impact of Dutch Populist Internet Memes

48 Pages Posted: 6 May 2019

See all articles by Ofra Klein

Ofra Klein

European University Institute

Date Written: 2019

Abstract

Social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter have created a space for user generated content. Users create their own humorous pictures, catchphrases, hashtags or videos, called internet memes, which are widely shared via social media. These memes, often satirical, are also used to express political criticism. As such, it represents a new form of political participation and deserves further inquiry. This study (i) analyses the content of internet memes posted on Dutch right-wing populist Facebook pages; and (ii) using an experimental design, it examines the impact of memes on political cynicism and sympathy for politicians. The results show that (i) memes are more than just entertaining images. They are carriers of anger and political discontent; (ii) yet, there is not enough evidence to assert that memes affect political cynicism or attitudes towards politicians.

Keywords: right-wing populism, internet memes, new social media, political participation, digital culture

Suggested Citation

Klein, Ofra, LOLitics: The Content and Impact of Dutch Populist Internet Memes (2019). Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3371224 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3371224

Ofra Klein (Contact Author)

European University Institute ( email )

Via dei Roccettini 9
San Domenico di Fiesole
Florence, 50014
Italy

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