Successful broken meme

The reason Facebook is important to me is that it shows me what type of propaganda works from a memetic perspective.  What images and ideas are so catchy and infectious that the person who ingests them then wants to serve them up to everyone else they know.  In short: reposted.

Here is this months winner:

There are lots of problems with this piece.

So for starters, there is no graphic content.  Given that FB and other social media will share this effortlessly, there is no reason not to put some graphic stronger than your web address in.  The author is a Presbyterian Minister in Austin Texas and a blogger.

Second, item 3 is off the hook incomprehensible.  I play fantasy role playing games and Magic : The Gathering – both use manna, neither like this.  Nor am i familiar with this kind of manna – tho it sounds interesting.  But wrong place for exotic ideas.

What clearly works is the overall tight logic and powerful critique of the (mostly US fundamentalist Christian) religious arguments against gay marriage.    Esp point 1, 4, 6, 8, 9 and 10.  Demonstrating  the logical/ethical case against a same sex marriage ban is quite weak.

The memetic metrics are worth inspecting.  This is a screen shot, which became a FB post.  At the point i got it, it had 6K shares on 9K likes (that is a high reposting rate and it got 550 comments, which is also high).

And what i think makes it successfully memetic is the unfairness pieces represented in points 2 (on persecution), 4 (special rights), 6 (civil ceremony thus civil right), 9 (you grand children’s wrath).  These are what get people to share or repost, these are the places where readers say “Something is wrong here, and i can help by pushing this other button.”

We probably could have made a tighter list, better written and sharpened some of the points.  But this is out there and moving and doing the conversational heavy lifting.   And for what it is i am quite pleased.  It is not the truth, dearest Jason, but it is compelling propaganda.

This could have been a nice accompanying graphic

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About paxus

a funologist, memeticist and revolutionary. Can be found in the vanity bin of Wikipedia and in locations of imminent calamity. buckle up, there is going to be some rough sledding.

4 responses to “Successful broken meme”

  1. felarhin says :

    Spreading propaganda in order to advance your dark and evil agenda of treating people fairly and equally, I’m on to you! 😛

    My main criticism of this approach is that generally the people on facebook – and even more so the people who are on your friends list, are not going to be the type of people who would be inclined to disagree with you. So it is like preaching to the choir, so to speak. The kind of people that these messages need to reach are the types of people who don’t use the internet at all.

    Society has gotten more insular now; It is true we have free speech, but if you try to spread these kinds of ideas at a Republican rally, there is a good chance of getting arrested, and conversely, if you tried to advocate an anti-equality stance over the internet, it is likely that you would get trolled and delisted by most people.

  2. Erik Piper says :

    Point three is perfectly comprehensible for the target audience, which you are not. 🙂 (It’s also spelled differently, two n’s.) Manna was a food substance that God sent to feed the starving Israelites during their travels in the desert. It arrived like frost and melted like it, but was as delicious as honey.

    Hey, don’t look at me, I had to wiki for the details!

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