Reuters: Internet’s ‘Hide the Pain Harold’ accidentally used by Swedish COVID-19 vaccine website

Reuters: Internet’s ‘Hide the Pain Harold’ accidentally used by Swedish COVID-19 vaccine website. “A health authority in Sweden unwittingly used ‘Hide the Pain Harold’ – one of the internet’s most-recognised figures – as the face of its COVID-19 vaccination booking website, officials said on Tuesday evening, adding the image had now been removed. Harold is actually Hungarian man Andras Arato, who in 2008 and 2009 posed as a model for stock photographs.”

Commentary: Social media worsens growing anti-China sentiments in Southeast Asia (Channel News Asia)

Channel News Asia: Commentary: Social media worsens growing anti-China sentiments in Southeast Asia. “It might be easy to dismiss the Milk Tea Alliance as a Gen-Z Internet joke. But the meme is successful in tapping into something deeper in the collective consciousness of a region that is famously diverse and defiant of collective action. It taps into discontent with the regional decline of democracy and fears about the rise of China as a hegemonic power. There is a bigger picture beyond the protests in Myanmar. The country fits a broader pattern of recent years in which disparate protests in Southeast Asia, triggered by different events, exhibit undercurrents of anxiety about the growing influence of China.”

CNN: How a year of living almost exclusively online made the internet weird again

CNN: How a year of living almost exclusively online made the internet weird again. “After several years of concerning headlines about misinformation, election meddling, filter bubbles, online harassment and more, there are flickers of a more carefree — and weird — internet. At times it felt like a throwback to a more innocent web, when Dancing Baby filled our inboxes, Second Life took on a life of its own and Rickrolling was an ever-lingering threat. And all it took was a devastating pandemic that forced many in the United States and around the world to live their lives almost exclusively online for much of the past year.”

TechCrunch: Memes for sale

TechCrunch: Memes for sale. “The creator of the Nyan Cat, Chris Torres, has organized an informal collection of meme originators — the creators or original popularizers of meme images — into a two-week-long auction of their works. Under the hashtag #memeconomy the creators of memes like Bad Luck Brian, Coughing Cat, Kitty Cat Dance, Scumbag Steve, Twerky Pepe and some others are finally finding a way to monetize the creation of genuine cultural phenomena that have been used freely for decades.”

PsyPost: The memes we read might influence how we love, study finds

PsyPost: The memes we read might influence how we love, study finds. “The prevalence and importance of social media has made the sharing of internet memes a primary method of communicating ideas today. Short and punchy, memes are pervasive and often emotionally salient, making them prime candidates for influencers of human behavior. This observation led a team of researchers to explore the influence of romantic memes on relationship beliefs. Their research is published in Psychological Studies.”

Bernie Sanders’ inauguration mittens meme: The funniest versions (CNET)

CNET: Bernie Sanders’ inauguration mittens meme: The funniest versions. “Joe Biden and Kamala Harris were sworn in as president and vice president on Wednesday in a fanfare-filled inauguration ceremony. But neither set the national meme machine churning in quite the same way as Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. An image of him sitting with his arms crossed, wearing a mask and big, cozy mittens, has been shared and tweaked endlessly — and even inspired a bobblehead figurine.”

CNBC: How to put Bernie Sanders into any shot on Google Maps Street View or Snapchat

CNBC: How to put Bernie Sanders into any shot on Google Maps Street View or Snapchat. “An image of Sen. Bernie Sanders became an instant sensation Wednesday after the senator was photographed sitting cross-armed in knit mittens, a mask and a winter parka at President Joe Biden’s inauguration ceremony. Before long, the image had spread far and wide as a reaction meme. People also quickly figured out how to help people make their own Bernie memes using Snapchat and a meme generator that uses Google Maps Street View.”

Covid-19: What’s the harm of ‘funny’ anti-vaccine memes? (BBC)

BBC: Covid-19: What’s the harm of ‘funny’ anti-vaccine memes?. “Memes, often in the form of humorous images and videos, are a major part of how people communicate on the internet, but they can also be used to spread disinformation. We’ve been looking at how these memes can present false and misleading information about Covid-19 vaccines, feeding into concerns about their efficacy or safety.”

MassLive: Pat Quinn, co-founder of viral social media ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, dies at 37

MassLive: Pat Quinn, co-founder of viral social media ALS Ice Bucket Challenge, dies at 37. “A co-founder of the social media ALS ice bucket challenge, which has raised more than $200 million worldwide for Lou Gehrig’s disease research, died Sunday at the age of 37, according to the ALS Association. Pat Quinn was diagnosed with Lou Gehrig’s disease, also known as amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, in 2013, a month after his 30th birthday, the organization said in a statement announcing his death.”

Fast Company: Why do people share political memes? It’s not always about changing anyone’s point of view

Fast Company: Why do people share political memes? It’s not always about changing anyone’s point of view . “Regardless of which side of the political divide (chasm?) you currently sit—or which gender you identify with—a new Harris Poll conducted exclusively for Fast Company reveals that 55% of Americans have shared a political meme in the past three months. Broken down by platform, 90% say they’ve shared a political meme on Facebook at some point (the top spot to post among respondents), and 59% posted one on Twitter. Fifty-four percent are sharing more this year than they did last. And over a third share them daily.”

JSTOR Daily: How to Meme What You Say

JSTOR Daily: How to Meme What You Say . “In a socially distant world, online life for many people has become normal life. How we express ourselves on the internet has become more important as we lose the social signals of body language and facial expressions. Without handshakes, hugs, and in-person social rituals, such as public gatherings and assemblies, how do we socialize and bond with each other? How can we convey emotionally what our lives have become in this pandemic era without having to explain it all through painstakingly literal language?”

Mashable: The ‘I have a joke’ meme gives us some much-needed humor

Mashable: The ‘I have a joke’ meme gives us some much-needed humor . “2020 has already ushered in new and sometimes painful memes — which, given that many of us are in front of our screens while social distancing, isn’t wholly surprising. Not all of these new memes have to do with our current reality, either. In recent days, the people of Twitter decided to add some levity to our strange year as the ‘I have a joke’ meme erupted on the platform.”