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Mechanisms of meme propagation in the mediasphere: a system dynamics model

Mechanisms of meme propagation in the mediasphere: a system dynamics model In the age of internet memes spread around the world in very short time, it has been already proved that, in several cases, the mechanism of propagation is very similar to a flu infection. However, this model turns out to be invalid if the spreading is generated by the mass media (TV, radio and the like). This paper aims to explore for the first time this non-viral dynamic (“fallout model”).Design/methodology/approachTwo different dynamic models were developed to explain the viral and the mass media-powered meme propagations, and both were tested using data from Google Trends.FindingsViral propagation is not the only mechanism of meme diffusion. Memes can also diffuse by a “fallout” model, in which the susceptible populations are affected by the meme messages almost simultaneously, as it happens in the physical world for a radioactive fallout or for other poisoning agents.Originality/valueThis study provides a method to determine whether a certain meme has been diffusing by means of its own viral power or has been “planted” as the result of a commercial advertising campaign or a government propaganda operation. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Kybernetes Emerald Publishing

Mechanisms of meme propagation in the mediasphere: a system dynamics model

Kybernetes , Volume 48 (1): 12 – Jan 25, 2019

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References (19)

Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
0368-492X
DOI
10.1108/k-05-2017-0192
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

In the age of internet memes spread around the world in very short time, it has been already proved that, in several cases, the mechanism of propagation is very similar to a flu infection. However, this model turns out to be invalid if the spreading is generated by the mass media (TV, radio and the like). This paper aims to explore for the first time this non-viral dynamic (“fallout model”).Design/methodology/approachTwo different dynamic models were developed to explain the viral and the mass media-powered meme propagations, and both were tested using data from Google Trends.FindingsViral propagation is not the only mechanism of meme diffusion. Memes can also diffuse by a “fallout” model, in which the susceptible populations are affected by the meme messages almost simultaneously, as it happens in the physical world for a radioactive fallout or for other poisoning agents.Originality/valueThis study provides a method to determine whether a certain meme has been diffusing by means of its own viral power or has been “planted” as the result of a commercial advertising campaign or a government propaganda operation.

Journal

KybernetesEmerald Publishing

Published: Jan 25, 2019

Keywords: System dynamics; Google Trends; Mass media; Meme; Viral replication

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