How about this for unintended consequences? A bunch of kids in Macedonia are gaming Facebook's algorithms and combine it with American gullibility to make some side money from banner ads. The side-effect of this particular hustle is the derailment of American democracy. NBD.
“I started the site for a easy way to make money,” said a 17-year-old who runs a site with four other people. “In Macedonia the economy is very weak and teenagers are not allowed to work, so we need to find creative ways to make some money. I’m a musician but I can’t afford music gear. Here in Macedonia the revenue from a small site is enough to afford many things.”
People are exploiting vulnerabilities of social networks.
The reason why it is now possible for Darryl from Accounting who hates “social justice warriors” to have the same communicative power as a television network is down to the DNA of the medium: speed and lack of gatekeepers. Memes thrive on a lack of information – the faster you can grasp the point, the higher the chance it will spread.
Memes have been weaponized by both the left and the right.
When appropriated by the emerging alt-right, memes become a different weapon. They call it “meme magic” – a phenomenon which has helped vocalize and activate the more extreme wings of the Trump base and introduce white nationalism to a new generation of disaffected nerds. Meme magic is almost identical to meme warfare in that it attempts to use shareable images and ideas in an effort to engender real political change.