Maura Tuohy, head of social and event marketing at Mozilla, begins her talk with the kind of analogy not usually heard at a marketing conference: “I want to start with a story of how an internet meme spread through social media and provoked two 11-year-old girls to stab their best friend 19 times and leave her for dead in a forest in Wisconsin.”
Tuohy clarifies that these girls felt compelled to commit the act after becoming obsessed with the ‘Slenderman’ meme which had found traction on social media over a number of years. “Behind this horrific and unfortunate act were very deep human needs and human instincts,” she says.
“Memes crowdsource our cultural values, fetishes, fears and anxieties.”
Despite the dark beginning, Tuohy’s talk eventually takes a more positive turn. She points to three key human characteristics that are strengthened and enabled by social media, including friends and family, community and having meaning
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