Browse Definitions:
Definition

internet meme

An Internet meme is a cultural phenomenon that spreads from one person to another online. In general, a meme is an idea that is passed from one person and possibly one generation to another througout a culture. Online, a meme is a prime example of viral content.

A meme spread online could be just about anything that is voluntarily shared, including phrases, images, rumors and audio or video files. In most cases, meme content is brief. In the case of an image, it's usually just a picture with a line or two of text. An Internet meme might originate and stay online. However, frequently memes cross over and may spread from the offline world to online or vice-versa.

Examples of Internet memes include:

  • In 2016, The Sad Men meme comemorated difficult moments in the lives of various well-known men. Sad Ben Affleck, for example, features the actor responding to questions about the "mixed" response to his movie "Batman v. Superman."
  • The hashtag #PopeBars went viral in 2015, along with many images of Pope Francis in which he appears to be about to launch into a rap.
  • In 2007, the RickRoll bait-and-switch prank became popular, serving videos of Rick Astley singing "Never Gonna Give You Up" to users who had clicked disguised links. In 2015, a RickRoll revival illustrated the generational aspect of meme spread.
  • Ryan Gosling won't eat his cereal -- a compilation of video clips with the actor dramatically refusing to open his mouth for a proffered spoonful. When the viral video's creator Ryan McHenry died of cancer, the actor posted a tribute video in which he did, indeed, eat the cereal.
  • LOLcats -- images of cats with semi-literate captions, such as "I can has cheezeburger?"
  • DogShame - images of dogs wearing signs around their necks.
  • The Crazy Frog video.
  • The Bride Has Massive Hair Wig Out video, secretly created by hair product manufacturers Sunsilk in an attempt to sow seeds for an upcoming advertising campaign.
  • Images of then-president George Bush falling off a Segway in 2003. (This meme sparked follow-up videos of various vertebrates successfully riding the vehicles, including Barbara Bush and a chimpanzee.)
  • The 25 random things about me list that propagated throughout Facebook.
  • The Dancing Baby - popular meme during the early days of the Internet.
  • Words such as pwn (meaning to defeat or dominate).

According to Lauren Ancel Meyers, a biology professor at the University of Texas, memes spread through online social networks similarly to the way diseases do through offline populations. Fittingly, viral marketing campaigns often attempt to create a meme.

Richard Dawkins coined the term meme in his 1976 book, "The Selfish Gene." As conceived by Dawkins, a meme is a unit of cultural meaning, such as an idea or a value, that is passed from one generation to another. A meme is the cultural counterpart to the unit of physical heredity, the gene.

 

This was last updated in September 2016

Continue Reading About internet meme

Join the conversation

2 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

There are memes with captions on it.
And meme generator, like this french one
http://www.memecenter.fr/
Cancel
A special kind of those is Twitter hash tags and hash tag polls. For example, and #WhatIsLoveIn4Words. 
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • cyborg anthropologist

    A cyborg anthropologist is an individual who studies the interaction between humans and technology, observing how technology can ...

  • RegTech

    RegTech, or regulatory technology, is a term used to describe technology that is used to help streamline the process of ...

  • conduct risk

    Conduct risk is the prospect of financial loss to an organization that is caused by the actions of an organization's ...

SearchSecurity

  • security

    Security, in information technology (IT), is the defense of digital information and IT assets against internal and external, ...

  • insider threat

    An insider threat is a malicious hacker (also called a cracker or a black hat) who is an employee or officer of a business, ...

  • virus (computer virus)

    A computer virus is malicious code that replicates by copying itself to another program, computer boot sector or document.

SearchHealthIT

  • HIPAA Privacy Rule

    The Standards for Privacy of Individually Identifiable Health Information, commonly known as the HIPAA Privacy Rule, establishes ...

  • HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA)

    Under the U.S. Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996, a HIPAA business associate agreement (BAA) is a ...

  • telemedicine

    Telemedicine is the remote delivery of healthcare services, such as health assessments or consultations, over the ...

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • data recovery

    Data recovery restores data that has been lost, accidentally deleted, corrupted or made inaccessible. Learn how data recovery ...

  • disaster recovery plan (DRP)

    A company's disaster recovery policy is enhanced with a documented DR plan that formulates strategies, and outlines preparation ...

  • fault-tolerant

    Systems with integrated fault tolerance are designed to withstand multiple hardware failures to ensure continuous availability.

SearchStorage

  • Secure Digital card (SD card)

    SD cards use flash memory to provide nonvolatile storage. They are more rugged than traditional storage media and are used in ...

  • data storage

    In a computer, storage is the place where data is held in an electromagnetic or optical form for access by a computer processor.

  • flash storage

    Flash-based storage, based on flash memory, is used for data repositories, storage systems and consumer devices, such as USB ...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • flash file system

    Flash file systems are designed specifically for memory devices. A well-designed flash device and flash file system ensure ...

  • IOPS (input/output operations per second)

    IOPS measures the maximum number of reads and writes to non-contiguous storage. It is not an actual benchmark since vendor ...

  • eMMC (embedded MultiMediaCard)

    An embedded MultiMediaCard (eMMC) is a small storage device made up of NAND flash memory and a simple storage controller.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close