Memory policy on the Internet memes: from visualization of history to fakes

Memory policy on the Internet memes:
from visualization of history to fakes

Article received: 2020.03.15. Accepted: 2021.07.02
DOI: 10.17976/jpps/2022.05.06

For citation:

Artamonov D.S, Tikhonova S.V. Memory policy on the Internet memes: from visualization of history to fakes. – Polis. Political Studies. 2022. No. 5. P. 75-87. (In Russ.).

The reported study was funded by RFBR according to the research project № 20-09-42063 “Peter I in the historical memory of modern Russia: representation of the image in the digital media”.


Digital technologies are changing the way historical memory is constructed. Today, the masses of Internet users with the help of social networks have the opportunity to demonstrate their ideas about the past in the media environment. “Smart crowds” create their own version of history using the tools available to them, one of which is an Internet meme. The purpose of the study is to consider the process of visualizing images of the past with the help of Internet memes that form historical representations, combining them with mass cultural stereotypes. A historical Internet meme is a variation of a political meme containing a reference to the past or a representation of a historical fact. Addressing the problem of constructing historical memory in Internet memes makes it possible to overcome the methodological gap in memory studies between the study of the memory policy conducted by actors (politicians, scientists, opinion leaders, major media) and how it is reflected in the mass segment of public consciousness. The meme format allows one to give an arbitrary interpretation of the past, radically changing the image of a historical event or hero, and its endless variations and viral distribution contribute to the perception of a fake image of a mass audience. Memes have become a convenient and simple tool for creating and implementing a political myth, since its semantic structure contains myth elements that are recognizable by most Internet users. Historical memory is formed by various social and political forces that use a wide range of tools, and Internet memes play an important role in this process. 

memory policy, memes, Internet meme, historical memory, digital society, media environment, images of the past, memory studies.


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Content No. 5, 2022

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