The Life of a Hashtag Meme: #BringBackOurGirls

The #BringBackOurGirls hashtag meme is everywhere – as I’m writing this article, there are over three million tweets and over 377,000 Instagram photos tagged with it (not including whatever’s happening on Facebook, Tumblr, etc.). As such, #BringBackOurGirls makes for a great case study of a great, global, political hashtag meme. »

Breaking down the Knight News Challenge Applicants

Updated 4/29: head to the bottom of this post to see who did and didn’t get into the semi-finals! As you may have already read, we submitted a project to the Knight News Challenge to amplify, archive and create a community around social change memes. (More about that on our »

SXSW Follow-Up: Understanding Global Memes and the LOLs of Nations

The second day of SXSW I spoke on the panel, The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes, looking at the role of memes in civic life around the world, focusing specifically on Azerbaijan, Mexico, Romania, Uganda, and Kenya. I joined Andres Monroy-Hernandez, who discussed Mexican memes and Elena Agapie, who »

Introducing Our New Editor: Dorothy Santos

In the past year, The Civic Beat has published some great articles and developed a small but dedicated readership curious about this emerging space of social change memes around the world.  We’ve been thrilled to see some of our recent articles–like a long interview with Vietmeme about Vietnam’s internet, and »

Journalism and Citizens: Reflections on Lessons Learned at SXSW

Spending a week in Austin, TX for my first SXSW conference was exciting, but the opportunity to be a panelist discussing social change memes around the world alongside accomplished scholars and researchers was thrilling. Our panel, The LOLs of Nations: Understanding Global Memes, was a great success, and a recap »

Recent Protest Memes and Music in Uganda

With the recent passage of the Anti-Pornography Bill and the Anti-Homosexuality Bill in Uganda, memes and art have emerged quickly online.  The Civic Beat writers An Xiao Mina and Ben Valentine recently contributed a couple articles to Hyperallergic looking at the responses: From An Xiao Mina: Nkoyooyo Brian, aka Brayo Bryans, »

Cultural Specificity and Conceptions of Privacy: An Interview with Vietmeme (Part 3 of 3)

In the final section of a three-part interview with Patrick Sharbaugh of Vietmeme,we look at the culture of the internet and how the internet is shifting citizens’ world views. See Part One and Part Two. Tell us a bit about your research into the culture of Vietnam’s internet. Vietnam’s Internet culture differs from »

Censorship and Surveillance on Vietnam’s Web: An Interview With Vietmeme (Part 2 of 3)

Shortly before the end of 2013, we published the first of a three-part interview with Patrick Sharbaugh of Vietmeme, focusing on civic life in Vietnam as seen through and influenced by the web. We continue that discussion with the second in our series, looking at censorship and surveillance within the country. Some »

Year of the Selfie: Why Owning Our Self-Representation Matters

Editor’s Note: You might remember Ben Valentine’s take on the “protest selfie”, a look at how the selfie has been used as a form of political expression around the world. We thought it would be great to look more closely at the selfie in context, and why 2013 really has become »

The Civic Beat Sundae: Dec 16 Edition

As we enter the holiday season, we have lots of treats in store. Last week, we summed up our panel on “Arts and Culture Criticism in the Age of Networked Power” at the Yerba Buena Center’s Dissident Futures Art and Ideas Festival. And today, we kicked off our three-part interview with »