Has the tweet become a meme?

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The days where memes were plain image macros (an image that consists out of an imagecombined with text) are long behind us. New meme formats, some more obscure than others,are popping up like weeds. Memetic logics are also moving beyond the image into ‘the realworld’ (whatever that may be), but that’s a story for another time.In January 2022, when I was a participant in the Digital Methods Winter School of theUniversity of Amsterdam, my teammates and I came to an interesting conclusion. Inspired bythe forthcoming paper by Richard Rogers and Giulia Giorgi, called ‘What is a Meme TechnicallySpeaking’, we analyzed various meme collections taken from different software environments.1After a close reading of the dominant types of images, their ontology and epistemology, one ofthe most interesting findings, at least for me, was that our meme datasets were full of tweetscreenshots – which felt rather counterintuitive at first. However, once I started thinking aboutit, I realized that I have been noticing meme admins posting tweet screenshots on their pagesfor months now. One of my meme muses even told me that she did not know what her memepage has become, seeing all the tweets and other content she has been sharing lately. It hadme wondering. When leaving the technical and data driven context aside for a minute, has thetweet in its screenshot form become a viral image? Has the tweet become an actualmeme?
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationPrtScn
Subtitle of host publicationthe lazy art of screenshot
EditorsDunja Nešović
Place of PublicationAmsterdam
PublisherInstitute of Network Cultures
ISBN (Print)9789492302830
Publication statusPublished - 2022


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