02 Mar

SXSWi 2014 – LOLs of Nations

DonkeyBlogger Somehow I will be unlocking a major nerd achievement and will be speaking at SXSWi on March 8.

My panel is called The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes. (We will also have a discussion of the panel at the Beacon Lounge immediately after the panel.)

all the animals

My talk is loosely based on these two papers that came out in January.

The TL;DR is that although memes have a lot of affordances that can make them powerful tools for political or social change, we should be cautious to assume that this will always be used for good. I’ll talk about how in Azerbaijan, memes created by those with very close ties to the government have been used to attack dissidents.

And what’s tough about this is that there is really no way for these dissidents to fight back without severe consequences. Retaliating is likely to result in worse punishment.

I’ll post my slides in the coming days once they’re finalized, but for now, here is a draft. There will also be an audio recording of this talk.