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This Is Why We Can't Have Nice Things

Whitney Phillips (2015) · Read 2/28/2021

  • Why did people want digital spaces that were "pure", with real names, etc?
  • How might new mythologies and understandings of the Internet and Internet-based subcultures improve the way media outlets report about online communities and happenings? (thinking about how Fox News framed 4chan within the hacker archetype)
  • How does understanding the asymmetry of troll-audience relationships give us practical ways to "deal with" trolls?
  • What's the origin of the mindset that "public displays of sentimentality, political conviction, and/or ideological ridigity" is to be trolled and something that the target, for their own sake, should avoid expressing? Do trolls not see the irony/hypocrisy?
  • Are memes inherently fetishistic (in the Marxist sense)? When we circulate and remix bits of memes, do we take them out of their emotional context/social conditions/relations of power?


Ch. 1: Defining Terms: The Origins and Evolution of Subcultural Trolling

Ch. 2: The Only Reason to Do Anything: Lulz, Play, and the Mask of Trolling

Ch. 3: Toward a Method/ology

Ch. 4: The House That Fox Built: Anonymous, Spectacle, and Cycles of Amplification