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Memetic copaganda: Understanding the humorous turn in police image work

Wood, Mark A. and McGovern, Alyce 2020, Memetic copaganda: Understanding the humorous turn in police image work, Crime, Media, Culture, pp. 1-22, doi: 10.1177/1741659020953452.

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Title Memetic copaganda: Understanding the humorous turn in police image work
Author(s) Wood, Mark A.
McGovern, Alyce
Journal name Crime, Media, Culture
Article ID 174165902095345
Start page 1
End page 22
Total pages 22
Publisher SAGE Publications
Place of publication London, Eng.
Publication date 2020-09-09
ISSN 1741-6590
1741-6604
Keyword(s) Copaganda
digital criminology
humour
Internet memes
police legitimacy
social media
visual criminology
Summary Recently, numerous police organisations have made a strategic decision to employ humour on social media, via memes and other comical posts, to increase community engagement with their content and manage their public image. One key example of this practice comes from New South Wales Police, a state-based Australian police force whose self-described ‘meme strategy’ led to considerable increases in the organisation’s social media following. Through analysing the content of NSW Police’s memetic copaganda, in this article we unpack this approach to police public relations, detailing its rationale and implications. Police on social media, we argue, must address two very different regimes of visibility: ‘policing’s new visibility’, characterised by the increased visibility of police indiscretion as a result of citizen-produced content, and a ‘threat of invisibility’, in which the visibility of police-produced content on social media is always provisional, never assured. We consequently argue that the humorous turn in police image work represents a countermeasure to not only policing’s new visibility but also the ‘threat of invisibility’ facing police-produced content on social media.
Notes In Press
Language eng
DOI 10.1177/1741659020953452
Indigenous content off
Field of Research 16 Studies in Human Society
20 Language, Communication and Culture
HERDC Research category C1 Refereed article in a scholarly journal
Copyright notice ©2020, The Author(s)
Free to Read? Yes
Persistent URL http://hdl.handle.net/10536/DRO/DU:30143546

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Every reasonable effort has been made to ensure that permission has been obtained for items included in DRO. If you believe that your rights have been infringed by this repository, please contact drosupport@deakin.edu.au.