I am sure, like me, you, too, have been inundated by the photos of Senator Bernie Sanders sitting on a chair (wearing funky mittens) at Joe Biden’s presidential inauguration. It is a meme to the nth power. But when does a meme die? “When a meme breaks the online threshold and starts cropping up on cable news—or when your parents start dropping them in the family text chain,” points out Lifehacker. The average life of a meme is about four months, though lately, the speed with which memes spread and die has revved higher. The Bernie Mittens meme is not going away anytime — I got two new variants while sleeping.
The actions of technology platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, Google’s YouTube, and others have generated a lot of debate. This is a pivotal moment for technology and its role in what is speech in our post-Internet society. “At every level of the tech stack, corporations are placed in positions to make value judgments regarding the legitimacy of content, including who should have access, and when and how,” notes researcher Joan Donovan. Since this is an area of interest, I found this analysis informative and educational.