The New York Times admits that political memes are major “tools of influence” in the run up to the mid-term elections as Twitter dropped the ban hammer on over 1500 accounts associated with the ‘NPC’ meme.
The Old Gray Lady waded into the NPC meme debate last night, publishing an article entitled, What Is NPC, the Pro-Trump Internet’s New Favorite Insult?
The article goes some way in acknowledging that the meme rings true in that it exposes how the left has become ideologically intolerant and ‘can’t take a joke’.
The NPC meme originated on 4chan but has since spread like wildfire. It portrays leftists as NPCs (non-player characters) who robotically repeat the same glib mantras and talking points while ruthlessly suppressing anyone who dares think outside the box.
“Understanding how these things happen, and how easily joke memes can escape the internet’s seedy underbelly and morph into actual tools of influence, is part of understanding the mechanics of modern politics,” writes the NY Times’ Kevin Roose.
Over the past weekend, Twitter suspended a whopping 1500 accounts associated with the NPC meme for violating Twitter’s rules against “intentionally misleading election-related content,” despite the fact that the accounts were merely amplifying a widely held belief – that leftists do just formulaically repeat the same ad hominem insults and phrases.
Many on the left also complained that the NPC meme “dehumanizes” them, ostensibly as part of a lobbying attempt to have Twitter ban it since the company updated it terms of service to disallow language that “dehumanizes” people based on their political beliefs.
However, the thousands of Twitter accounts that depict Donald Trump as an orange or a cheeto have not been suspended, nor have any of the legions of blue checkmarks who routinely dehumanize Trump supporters by referring to them as Nazis or Russian bots.
Given the fact that the establishment media admits that memes are significant “tools of influence” with the mid-terms just weeks away, does Twitter banning thousands of accounts that post memes constitute election meddling?
As I document in the video above, leftists are terrified of political memes because the left can’t meme.
A study undertaken by researchers at University College London found that the most effective memes largely originated in two places – The Donald subreddit and 4chan. A VICE write-up of the study acknowledges that the most “effectively spread” memes originated on r/the_donald and /pol.
Because the left is in a permanent state of terror over ‘offending’ someone, they routinely fail at edgy satirical banter, the very lifeblood of meme culture.
Being unable to respond to the NPC meme with memes of their own, it’s far easier to lobby Twitter to ban it, which is exactly what happened.
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