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Vol. 4 No. 1 (2022)

Memetic Moments: The Speed of Twitter Memes

June 25, 2021


This paper examines how speed shapes internet culture. To do so, it analyses ‘memetic moments’ on Twitter, short-lived and rapidly circulated memes that quickly reach saturation. The paper examines two ‘memetic moments’ on Twitter in 2018 and 2019 to assess how they develop over time. Each case study comprises a week’s worth of relevant tweets that were analysed for temporal patterns. We analyse these ‘memetic moments’ through Lefebvre’s (2004) work on rhythmanalysis, arguing that the temporal patterns of memes on Twitter can be understood through his concepts of repetition, presence and dialogue. While seemingly trivial, memetic moments underscore the didactic relationship between social media and news media while also providing a way to approach complex social issues.


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