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

  • Travis Wall University of Wollongong
  • Teodor Mitew University of Wollongong

Abstract

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.

Author Biographies

Travis Wall, University of Wollongong

Ph.D. candidate in the school of The Arts, English and Media at the University of Wollongong. Wall is a graphic designer interested in the trajectory of visual communication and design process in a context of digital media. His research looks at the manifestation of design process in online communities and user generated media, particularly in information warfare. He also experiments with creation of online digital artefacts to understand design and development process in this space.

Teodor Mitew, University of Wollongong

Senior Lecturer in digital media in the School of the Arts, English and Media at the University of Wollongong. Dr. Mitew’s research background is in actor network theory and internet studies. His current projects range across the internet of things, swarm content networks, memetic warfare, object oriented ontology, and smart textiles.

Published
2018-04-30
How to Cite
Wall, T., & Mitew, T. (2018). Swarm networks and the design process of a distributed meme warfare campaign. First Monday, 23(5). https://doi.org/10.5210/fm.v22i5.8290
Section
Articles