Memes, Conspiracy Theories, And Fake News: Lynne McNeill On Tuesday's Access Utah

May 4, 2021

Credit Utah State University Office of Research

Quoting Kristen Munson in Utah State Magazine: “In mid-January, the internet was awash in sea shanty videos on TikTok. A week later, memes of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders, bundled in a Burton coat and sweater mittens, made the rounds on Twitter. Within minutes, Sanders, originally photographed at the January 20 inauguration ceremony, was Photoshopped sitting on a subway, perched on the iconic Friends couch, and on the White House lawn near a boy pushing a lawnmower. Where do memes come from and why do we love them so?”

And what do the memes we share say about us? We’ll ask Lynne McNeill, associate professor of folklore at Utah State University and co-founder of the USU Digital Folklore Project.

Lynne S. McNeill is author of the popular textbook Folklore Rules, co-editor of Slender Man is Coming: Creepypasta and Contemporary Legends on the Internet, co-editor of This is the Plate: Utah Food Traditions, and reviews editor for the journal Contemporary Legend.