How Memes Became Weapons in the Culture Wars

Internet memes appear harmless enough. Here are some pictures of cats with grammatically incorrect text. Since the dawn of the internet, memes have advanced a lot. Memes have been used as weapons in culture wars for more than a decade. They are more persuasive than people realize. A well-placed meme can send someone down the rabbit hole of extremism, misinformation, or radicalization.ContentGadget Lab talks with Emily Dreyfuss, senior editor at Harvards Shorenstein Center on Media, Politics, and Public Policy, about the impact memes have had on politics and culture.Show notesLearn more about disinformation at Harvard Shorenstein Centers media manipulation Casebook. Angela Watercutters' story on the Bernie Sanders mittens memes.RecommendationsEmily suggests that you research what happens to an artichoke when it flowers. Also, Colin Woodard's American Nations. Mike recommends r/random which will take you to a new subreddit each time you click. Lauren recommends White Lotus, a HBO series.Emily Dreyfuss is on Twitter @EmilyDreyfuss. Lauren Goode can be found at @LaurenGoode Michael Calore can be found @snackfight @GadgetLab's main hotline is Bling Boone Ashworth (@booneashworth) produced the show. Solar Keys is our theme music.Take our short listener survey to give feedback or enter for a chance to win a $50 gift certificate.How to ListenListen to the podcast via the audio player at this page. But if you'd like to receive every episode for free, here's how to do it:Open Podcasts on your iPhone or iPad. Or just tap this link. You can also download apps like Overcast and Pocket Casts to search for Gadget Lab. You can also find us in Google Podcasts if you have Android. Just tap here. You can also find us on Spotify. You can also access the RSS feed if you absolutely need it.Here are more great WIRED stories