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The design of a platform determines the kind of content produced

Seong-Young Her

Facebook allows users to post multiple photos in one post, hides parts of a large photo, flick through the photos one at a time and share the post with all of the photos.

This has led to the development of a new format of sequential memeing: rather than the traditional single-file practice, in which the unit of repost/share is an image or a video, users share a collection of images.

It’s a great example of how shaky the definition of ‘Internet meme’ as ‘a funny image or video clip’ really is. Are these photos each a meme, or do they compose a single meme through being viewed together?

I made these Siphonaptera (the Flea) images with no intention of posting each one independently. 25289626_10213166218221965_5340695023336171185_n.jpg 25157909_10213166218141963_763702513746986891_n.jpg 25442903_10213166218181964_7130385691842258542_n.jpg 25299431_10213166218821980_5133043539185894239_n.jpg 25358459_10213166218981984_4660872292872827797_o.jpg

If I were posting on an imageboard where I can only post one image per post, I might have replied to each previous post in order to join them into a single thread.

A primitive example of the same kind are combo threads on imageboards. You can see the Slowpoke example here. 25152433_10213166299744003_7310654686132518406_n.jpg

The unit is made up of three image files over three posts, in one thread. It is a single image made up of three image-files. Is it one meme? Are these three memes that must accompany each other to be complete? Are there multiple ‘levels’ of memetic content at play in every instance of a shitpost?

Originally posted to /tpml/