- Explore memes as an instrument for communication in social media.
- Critically assess the impact of memes as a medium for malinformation and hatespeech.
- Create counter strategies
1. Ask participants if they know and can show some memes or present a collection of your own. There are numerous memes on the internet for entertainment, but also for political statements. Participants can look for political memes as an own task.
2. Analise together the elements that make the memes remarkable, funny or shareable. Participants should come up with their own memes, maybe based on already existing ones or completely new ones.
3. There are several websites (e.g. imgflip.com) helping with creating memes.
4. After creating the memes they can be shown to the whole group. You could also have a contest for the funniest, best, counter speech-best meme in the group.
Memes are cultural symbols or social ideas that spread viral with the main intension to either make someone laugh or to make fun of someone/something (Paul Gil, Lifewire.com). Find examples for memes on https://9gag.com, https://memebase.com or other websites.
However, looking on problematic forms of information and on information disorder (you might also learn more here: Fake News, Disinformation, Malinformation):
- Why could memes also be problematic? And for whom?
- What kind of memes are you aware which transport malinformation, disinformation or hatered?
- What distincts your creation from the problematic ones?
- DARE network: Survival Toolkit for EDC in Post-factual Societies
Activity can be tough because of having insults as centre theme. You can remind the group that it is not about offending each other, but finding out what the most common insults are.
TIPS FOR FACILITATORS
Memes have a common appearance and they relate mostly on one idea/joke with the same scheme. On a website like imgflip.com memes can be easily created, saved to the device and shared with others. Be advised that the websites state that any created meme will be “their idea” and the legal situation for the meme images are currently under heavy debate in a lot of countries.