Proceedings of The 6th International Academic Conference on Humanities and Social Sciences
Memetic Warfare: Case Study of Memes in Pakistani Social Media during February 2019
Assistant Professor Dr Shema Bukhari and Muhammad Tariq
Memes are inherently text-pictures, as visuals are more receptible to a larger audience than the written text. Memes are being favorably used in the digital media, in the garb of pun and fun to bring across the inherently disturbing message. This has resulted in memetic warfare that has rapidly taken its root on social networking sites (SNS) around the globe. They serve a specific purpose that includes effective communication, displays strong cultural affinities and provoke a strong reaction among audience. The current study is based on the communicative yet viral and spreadable media attributes of memes. In recent years, with the immense popularity of SNS in Pakistan and India, it is but natural to use and create memes on the escalating political and military tensions between the two countries. The whole process is considered a battle to gain audiences’ attention disregarding the protocol. This study analyses the memes that appear in Pakistani sites in the month of February 2019 due to increasing military tensions between the two countries. Almost all the memes reflect a cultural background based on cognition of the audiences of digital culture. For an outsider some of these memes will not make any sense as they belong to a specific culture and history. Multi-modal Critical Discourse Analysis is used to examine the corpus of memes that appeared on Twitter and Facebook in February 2019 in Pakistan. The multimodal CDA highlights the presentation, intensification, identification and implementation of memes.
keywords: cultural affinity; digital culture; memes; modal Critical Discourse Analysis; social networking sites.