Miller, I. D. & Cupchik, G. C. (2012). Memelab: can pictures of adorable kittens explain political revolutions? Presented at the bi-monthly meeting of WIDEN UTSC. Toronto, ON, Canada. doi:10.6084/m9.figshare.3428180
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Last year, Tweets across Egypt called a political system into question, while more recently PSY’s Gangnam Style music video received over 300 million views in just two months. These viral phenomena are the product of information flowing through an interconnected population, so could the same viral mechanisms be an explanation for both events? My work uses internet memes to study the way we create and share things online. During the spring of 2012, over 100 UTSC students used Memelab, an online viral research laboratory, to create memes and share them with friends. This presentation includes a history of memes, the results of the first Memelab experiment, and the future of social network simulation.