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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. »

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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, »

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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 »

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Humor and Visibility: A Chat With the Person Behind #BisexualFacts

I’m really proud of #bisexualfacts today. Good day for laughing instead of being angry. — ASSHOLE WIZARD GIRL™ (@verylemonade) December 2, 2013 Point of clarification: #bisexualfacts the HT itself was not my invention, it got used a couple years back — ASSHOLE WIZARD GIRL™ (@verylemonade) December 2, 2013 but I »

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Tom Daley, #BisexualFacts and Queer Visibility

Editor’s Note: Be sure to see our interview with @verylemonade, who tells us she started the hashtag in response to mainstream media commentary on the issue. Olympic diver Tom Daley recently came out on his YouTube channel as being in a relationship with a man. Despite Daley clearly admitting to liking »

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Shut Down All the Things: Looking Back on Memes and the US Gov’t Shutdown

Like Roy from the IT Crowd, we’ve seen this script before. An intractable political dispute that is only resolved by a hard reboot to the political system. Whether it be the 1994 government shutdown, the economically costly 2011 dalliance with default, or the fiscal cliff, it seems that only through »

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Instagram Selfies and Hong Kong’s Free TV Movement

Tens of thousands of protestors thronged the streets of Hong Kong on Sunday to call for greater transparency in its Executive Council. Protestors were reacting to the recent government refusal to grant a free-to-air TV license to HKTV, an eagerly-awaited newcomer in the industry. Not only did the government not »

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When Pastas Fall In Love… and #BoycottBarilla

Guido Barilla, chairman of the Barilla Group pasta empire, is apologizing for his remarks last week about gay families. Last Thursday, The Independent reported that Barilla expressed his views on La Zanzara, an Italian radio show: “I would never do an advert with a homosexual family…if the gays don’t like »

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#WeAreOne: Creative Images for Peace and Unity After the Westgate Mall Attacks

A version of this article originally appeared in Tech Post Uganda. It has received a few addenda tailored for The Civic Beat’s Reader audience. What happened in Nairobi’s Westgate Mall didn’t just stay on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and YouTube but rather left scars deeply ingrained in hearts the world over. What started »

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#TransferDeadlineDay: The World Awaits Football Results

Football, or soccer as it’s known in North America, is the most popular sport in the world. Hundreds of thousands get up early, stay up late, or skip work to watch important games, not to mention the world cup. However, the action starts well before the season, a time that »