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Swimming up the waterfall: Researching the permanence and ephemerality of 4chan/pol/

Réalisation : 28 janvier 2021 Mise en ligne : 28 janvier 2021
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Swimming up the waterfall: Researching the permanence and ephemerality of 4chan/pol/

From Anonymous to QAnon and LOLcats to Pepe the Frog, the infamous forum 4chan has continued to act as a fertile ground for viral memes, conspiracy theories, and protest movements. This presentation concerns how this archaic “underbelly of the Internet” has managed to remain influential, even when its ephemeral and anonymous infrastructure seems to contradict any attempt at organised activity. We first introduce the history and infrastructure of 4chan, with a particular focus on the far-right /pol/ board and its pace and ephemerality. We then outline the practice of creating “general threads”, referring to 4chan users’ thread-making practices that establish continuity within ephemerality – a practice at the root of both the QAnon conspiracy theory and 4chan/pol/’s continued Trump-partisanship. After this, we take a closer look at the role of memes within 4chan. The presentation specifically argues how “panoramic memes” act as continuous grammars for simplistic and conspiratorial narratives with which to (re)construct group boundaries in a transient environment. Extending this, the presentation argues how memes, despite being conceptually problematic, form useful “drosophila” to trace repetition within online environments when coupled with digital- and computational methods.

Date de réalisation
Langue :
Anglais
Conditions d'utilisation
CC BY 3.0 FR
Citer cette ressource:
CNRS_Pouchet. (2021, 28 janvier). Swimming up the waterfall: Researching the permanence and ephemerality of 4chan/pol/. [Vidéo]. Canal-U. https://www.canal-u.tv/105925. (Consultée le 19 janvier 2022)
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