What is it about?

This study proposes that ‘Fake News’ Internet memes are weaponized iconoclastic multimodal propaganda (WIMP) discourse and asks: What power relations and ideologies do Internet memes featuring the expression ‘fake news’ harbor? How might those manifestations qualify as WIMP discourse? An analysis of a small pool of ‘fake news’ Internet memes drawn from four popular social media websites revealed that many are specifically directed at certain news agencies, revealing an underlying hazard that they could diminish democratic processes while influencing online trajectories of public discourse.

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Why is it important?

The expression ‘Fake News’ inside Internet memes engenders significant online virulence, possibly heralding an iconoclastic emergence of weaponized propaganda for assaulting agencies reared on public trust. Internet memes are ideological singularities designed for ‘flash’ consumption, often composed by numerous voices echoing popular, online culture.


Internet memes featuring the expression 'Fake News' attack the public's faith in their institutions.

Christopher A Smith
Carleton University

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This page is a summary of: Weaponized iconoclasm in Internet memes featuring the expression ‘Fake News’, Discourse & Communication, April 2019, SAGE Publications, DOI: 10.1177/1750481319835639.
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