Memes are one of the most popular internet trends today. In psychology, I learned that memes are ideas that are spread through different cultures. In the world today and in the future, information warfare will utilize memes because they are potent and powerful. In the future artificial intelligence may be designed to scrape the web for information on pressing issues and generate a vast wealth of memes to target certain audience and persuade the peoples view on those issues. Since there are so many memes out there today on social media and all different kinds of internet platforms, I am not so sure that we are not in that future already. The use of phishing to make personalized memes to attack people personally could be a future problem, and computational propaganda may be able to manipulate the public opinion.
So let us say that you and one of your friends are in an argument and it is getting very heated. The more and more that you argue, the more likely you are to become enemies. Since you are fighting, your friend has some pictures of you intoxicated and decides to make a meme out of your embarrassing pictures. Your friend posts that meme all over the internet and you are so embarrassed that you decide to never talk to that friend again. That is an example of using phishing to make personalized memes to hurt someone. Now let us apply that to the election where Hillary Clinton was accused of deleting emails. If you think about it that could have been a hugely magnified phishing meme attack from the Russians. On the other hand, she could just be guilty. Information warfare is definitely a politician’s favorite choice of weaponry so always keep in mind when you see memes that it could be part of a bigger agenda.
Computational propaganda is a big part of the usage of memes on the internet these days and will be for a long time to come. Memes have been around since the beginning of the human race, maybe even longer. Persuading the public opinion could be easy with memes because everyone loves them. Maybe, just maybe if you love a meme so much that if you confront a certain issue in life and you remember that meme that made you laugh so hard with similar attributes as the issue you are facing, you might be persuaded to act according to the views of the meme. If artificial intelligence gets involved in the making of memes, that is, if it is not already, there could be huge benefits for politician with that type of meme technology. Politicians’ lives are controlled by the public opinion so information warfare could be a very beneficial platform for them.
Author: John Rowan
I am a Senior Android Engineer and I love everything to do with computers. My specialty is Android programming but I actually love to code in any language specifically learning new things.