The 2016 Australian election may be over, and while political commentators may not be quite done commentating, there is one aspect of the election that largely went ignored by the mainstream media: the War of the Memes – aka the Facebook election.
The War of the Memes is essentially an ongoing battle between two Facebook pages: Innovative and Agile Memes on one side and ALP Spicy Memes Stash on the other. The former meme page only really popped up across the newsfeeds of young political nerds midway through the election, but the war doesn’t seem to be quite over yet.
The purpose of both pages is essentially to provide a parallel but not-quite-as-dull version of party policy, pumping their campaign slogans through the mass medium of meme distribution. It seems a decent way to target young people and potentially bring them on board with mainstream politics through a new opposition-bashing platform.
And although it isn’t possible to check whether or not the pages were effective at disseminating party policy throughout the campaign and securing votes (yet), it is entirely possible that Facebook pages-like Innovative and Agile memes, or ALP Spicy Meme Stash-will be indicative of youth pork-barrelling into the future.
Funnily enough, there was indeed an official declaration of war in June, as reported by Buzzfeed. ALP Spicy Meme Stash threw down he gauntlet and the challenge was answered by their Innovative and Agile competitors with a savage burn:
So, on to the review.
The ALP spicy memes page has been around since April this year; its first post was a picture of Bill Shorten with a photoshopped mullet. Not a meme, I am aware. However, they had a string of memes that followed a storybook format inherently designed to have a long-winded whinge about Turnbull, and that’s hardly dank at all. Today, they uploaded a freakish One Direction video with the line ‘100 positive policies’ inserted at some point during their music video for ‘one thing’.
How abjectly dated – and not in a good way.
Innovative and Agile memes on the other hand; with an exquisite tagline ‘welcome to the #memesboom’ has had greater success in producing quality memes: We’ve had the ‘jobs and growth’ tagline abused within an inch of its life; the absolute BBQing (that’s right, roasting squared) of the ALP, as well as their allegedly spicy memes whilst attracting cyber vitriol for the Labor candidate of Higgins – a seat retained by Liberal minister Kelly O’Dwyer. The page manages to rise above the tomfoolery and yahoo-like unprofessionalism exhibited by the ALP Spicy Meme stash; choosing instead to focus on variations of the glorious phrase ‘Malcolm Turnbull has a strong economic plan for jobs and growth’.
I mean, if one group has the line ‘Welcome to the Memes Boom’ while yours is a pity-laugh inducing joke about the Liberal Party’s approach to the NBN; you’ve pretty clearly lost the war on innovative and dank af memes.
4 stars to the Libs, none for the less-than-spicy lefties.
I am not an Admin for Innovative and Agile memes, nor to the best of my knowledge do I know any of the meme-makers from either page. I am merely an avid Facebook user pointing out that the ALP Spicy Meme Stash is about as spicy as vanilla soy milk ice cream.