MEMETICS ON THE FACEBOOK - Polish Journal of Management Studies

Polish Journal of Management Studies
 ISSN 2081-7452
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Joanna Kwiatkowska, Joanna Gutowska

Abstract: The aim of this article is a verification of mems propagation in social networks. A mem is a valuable piece of information which has a viral characteristics and it constitutes at present the basis for actions in social media. The verification of the hypothesis established by the authors of this article has been conducted on the basis of computer simulation realised in the NetLogo environment.

Key words:
social networks, memetics, propagation of information, simulation, multi-agent programming

JEL Codes: Z10


Facebook is a social Internet platform that has been founded in February 4, 2004 and nowadays it joins together more than 700 millions users. It connects people, it enables to exchange messages an photos, it provides access to entertainment as well as the newest information. What is more, it is the best environment for actions in social media, where a mem, that is valuable piece of information which has a viral characteristics, constitutes a basic element.
Mem is a term proposed by Richard Dawkins in his book titled The Selfish Gene  and it defines the unit of cultural information. Mem might be subjected to replication, mutation or recombination, what leads to the propagation of information, for example. A theory which describes cultural evolution where a mem constitutes a basic unit of selection  
is known as memetics.
The aim of this article is a verification of the way of mem propagation in social networks as well as a simulation of the viral content spreading.
According to the above mentioned assumptions, the authors of this article elaborated a model of the mem propagation in the social networks of users who have accounts in the Facebook utility. The model has been implemented in the Netlogo environment.

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On the basis of the conducted simulations, all the hypotheses established by the authors have been verified. Nevertheless, the following problems have been identified:  
Problems emerged while social networks analysis:
network dynamics - networks change constantly,
borders of the networks are not strict - sometimes it is difficult to define who belongs to the given network or not,
networks are incomplete - there are always nodes or connections that are not visible for the researcher [11].
Factors that influence on mem propagation:
language barriers (in case that a mem is a text information),
 sex of the individual who propagate a mem[11],
social class [11].
The elements that might be applied in the future model have been identified as well:
introduction of the sex variable for every node and verification if propagation depends on this variable (for example mems that concerns technical issues) [22],
variable that is connected with the emotional value of the mem (negative or positive mem).


Abstrakt: Celem niniejszego artykułu jest weryfikacja sposobu rozprzestrzeniania się memów w sieciach społecznych. Mem należy uznać za wartościową treść o charakterze wirusowym, która stanowi obecnie podstawę działań w social media. Weryfikacji hipotez przyjętych przez autorki artykułu na podstawie symulacji komputerowej, która została przeprowadzona w środowisku Netlogo.

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