For the next few summer weeks we will be lightening up Friday afternoons by showcasing media policy memes.

Many people nowadays probably equate the notion of memes with the image of the quizzical little boy circulated on Facebook. But memes can refer to anything from gestures and ritual to video and written text. They spread across populations and are often mimicked and modified, transferring cultural and political ideas, symbols, or even behaviour. We will be reaching back into the history of media and public policy related to it. We welcome your suggestions, so fee free to send your suggestions to or tweet to us using #mediapolicymemes. This week though we’ll start with a very recent one, so here your Friday Media Policy Meme:

Comedian John Oliver’s rant on net neutrality

The clip from HBO’s Last Week Tonight with John Oliver show was posted to YouTube on 1 June, 2014. In it Oliver uses plain language and mostly government backed research data some of the key issues at stake in the net neutrality debate in the US. The comedian’s phrase “seize your moment my lovely trolls” calling on internet commenters to direct their energy to the FCC’s comments page has been quoted widely in the press and shared abundantly on Twitter and other social media. The FCC’s website crashed the day after it was aired and posted online, and as of today, 6 June, the FCC has received nearly 50,000 comments on that issue. (Warning: contains strong language)

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