Rodley, Chris. “When Memes Go to War: Viral Propaganda in the 2014 Gaza-Israel Conflict.” British Journal of Social Work (early view; online first).
During the Gaza-Israel conflict of July-August 2014, a large volume of creative, multimodal digital content aimed at influencing public opinion was disseminated on social media by belligerents and their supporters. This paper highlights two related features of this ‘viral agitprop’: the use of a diverse range of novel, hypermediated forms to represent a limited set of messages, and thematisation of the act of mediation itself. I argue that these practices are a response to the challenges of communicating with multiple publics within data streams that are crowded, competitive and fast-moving. I suggest this content represents a distinctive new Internet genre which problematises accounts of the relationship between war and media by Friedrich Kittler and Jean Baudrillard.