Meme literacy in Russia: Perceptions of internet memes by a student audience and issues of critical thinking
NATIONAL RESEARCH UNIVERSITY HIGHER SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, RUSSIA
ABSTRACT: Internet memes, which constitute a significant portion of social-media content and an important vector of users’ communicative exchange, have by now turned from mere entertainment to a news source. However, they are still approached rather uncritically by young audiences. A survey was conducted among Russian students (N = 138) at the National Research University Higher School of Economics, and it identified not only the “problem spots” of the Russian memosphere but also a number of skills in decoding information, which are necessary today as part of “Meme Literacy.” These skills range from an adequate assessment of the type of message and verification of the news topic to the fact-checking of the verbal and visual content the meme is based on.