Meme-Mutation on Facebook

Facebook hat eine kleine, aber sehr schöne Studie über Meme-Mutation online gestellt. Anhand eines Spruchs zum amerikanischen Gesundheitssystem haben sie untersucht, in welcher Weise dieser im Verlauf des Sharings remixt wird und von wem welche Remixe kommen. Solche Studien mit ziemlich genauen Details zu Memetik würde ich mir viel öfter wünschen, die Psychologie hinter Sharing und Memes und Virals ist schließlich das einzige, was an diesem Kram im Jahr 2014 noch wirklich interessant ist – für mich zumindest.

Nettes Detail übrigens: amerikanische Demokraten neigten zu Remixen mit Star Wars und Zombies, während Republikaner Alk und Staat/Steuern bevorzugten.

Take for example, the meme: “No one should die because they cannot afford health care, and no one should go broke because they get sick. If you agree, post this as your status for the rest of the day”.

In September of 2009, over 470,000 Facebook users posted this exact statement as their status update. At some point someone created a variant by prepending "thinks that'' (which would follow the individual's name, e.g., “Sam thinks that no one…”), which was copied 60,000 times. The third most popular variant inserted "We are only as strong as the weakest among us'' in the middle. “The rest of the day” at one point (probably in the late evening hours) became “the next 24 hours”. Others abbreviated it to “24 hrs”, or extended it to “the rest of the week”. […]

The original variant in support of Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) was propagated primarily by liberals, while those mentioning government and taxes slanted conservative. Sci-fi variants were slightly liberal, alcohol-related ones slightly conservative, while opposition to cancer was uniform. Just as certain genetic mutations can be advantageous in specific environments, meme mutations can be propagated differentially if the variant matches the subpopulation's beliefs or culture.

The evolution of memes on Facebook (via Quartz)