Information Warfare: Memes that Kill

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.

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Information Warfare Mimetic Warfare

Memes are pieces of information within a culture that are passed around. I have studies memes in psychology and they are a very powerful tool especially when utilized for warfare. There are probably strategies in the department of defense to utilize memes. If you use any of the social networks these days you will see that they are jammed packed with memes. Many people do not know the significance of a meme or the power that one can have over a society or culture. Is the military working on a meme warfare division? The truth is after seeing the power of memes on society and cultures that they probably have many strategies that consist of using memes to persuade the people one way or the other.

One way to stay clear of the Mimetic Warfare is to use your common sense. Many memes out there should be considered jokes. However, some of society will be offended or more gullible to feed into the information that the meme represents. In one ear and out the other is the perfect strategy for viewing memes on the internet. By the time a meme may actually get to you, it could have been altered hundreds of different ways. There is really no credibility in memes if you think of them that way even though many of them are very funny. If a meme is a crack on an issue that is very important to you then you might feel offended or start to state your views and opinions more strongly over social media which could actually be a strategy of using memes in actual warfare.

Many people have much to say about memes but the majority of them do not take the time to sit back and think of the implications of some of the memes that they are spreading. Not everyone sees everything as a joke, even though I personally thing that memes are the best going brand of jokes out there. People need to lighten up and really start to appreciate the humorous qualities of memes instead of getting bitter when the implication of the meme touches a sensitive part of your views. Memes will always be used for a certain kind of information warfare and always have been. People have been complaining about memes since papers in print first came out a long time ago.

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