Swarm networks and the design process of a distributed meme warfare campaign

Travis Wall, Teodor Mitew


This paper aims to develop a systemic perspective of the mechanics of an online memetic warfare campaign. The paper uses as its case study the #DraftOurDaughters campaign, a viral memetic campaign conducted in October 2016 as part of the U.S. presidential election campaign. #DraftOurDaughters was organised and produced by anonymous members of the Internet board 4chan, and then deployed to wider audiences on platforms such as Reddit, Twitter and Facebook. This process is documented from inception to completion, capturing the swarm like topology of 4chan’s /pol/ forum, and the logistics of the swarm’s rapid prototyping, coordination, production and dissemination of content. Through examining these phenomena, this paper also provides perspective on the manifestation of collaborative design practice in online participatory spaces.

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i5.8290

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