chapter  15
Internet Memes as Polyvocal Political Participation
ByAndrew S. Ross, Damian J. Rivers
Pages 24

Social media platforms have provided an avenue to more organic and expansive possibilities for individual political participation and engagement during the past decade. Traditionally, individual political participation has been somewhat curtailed to voting (often hailed as the cornerstone of a representative democracy), campaigning, communicating with officials, and other collective activities (Verba & Nie, 1972). Gil de Zúñiga, Molyneaux, and Zheng (2014) have recently argued that these traditional means of political participation have ignored the multitude of channels through which the use of different media typologies and tools can facilitate more inclusive political participation. Widely used social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook stand as two examples of social media platforms that have been utilized to expand opportunities for individual political participation (see Loader, Vromen, & Xenos, 2014). Although there have been debates concerning the extent to which Internet memes are able to be categorized as a form of social media due to the absence of a personal profile (see Xenos, Vromen, & Loader, 2014), they do represent a tool within the wider social media framework that permits creative content sharing with a political slant.