Shitposting is posting large amounts of content of "aggressively, ironically, and trollishly poor quality" to an online forum or social network, in some cases intended to derail discussions or otherwise make the site unusable to its regular visitors.
The political uses of shitposting came to prominence during the 2016 United States presidential election. In May of that year, The Daily Dot wrote that a shitpost is "a deliberate provocation designed for maximum impact with minimum effort".
In September 2016 the pro-Donald Trump group Nimble America received widespread media attention. The Daily Beast described the group as "dedicated to 'shitposting' and circulating internet memes maligning Hillary Clinton".
In September 2016 The Independent wrote that shitposting is an apolitical "tool that can be put to a variety of effects". However, posts such as these have appeared long before the 2016 US presidential election. Engineering & Technology magazine wrote that "[s]hitposting, whether from the left or right, is perilously close to delivering an online metastasis of Orwell's Two-minute Hate [sic]".
In March 2018, talking about Facebook group New Urbanist Shitposting or New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens, Chicago magazine defined it as "posts that are meant to be awkward and irrelevant, aggravating and distracting social media communities from discussing their topic at hand".
Writing in Polygon, Sam Greszes compared shitposting to Dadaism's "confusing, context-free pieces that, specifically because they were so absurd, were seen as revolutionary works both artistically and politically". Greszes writes that the goal of shitposting is "to make an audience so confused at the lack of content that they laugh or smile".
- "How spammers nearly destroyed the biggest 'Simpsons' meme page". The Daily Dot. 2016-08-24.
... but that doesn't quite speak to the essence of "shitposting," which encompasses content of aggressively, ironically, and of trollishly poor quality. Incoherent jokes, hasty Photoshopping, mashups, irrelevance, errors in spelling or grammar—all are hallmarks of the shitpost ...
- "The racist, sexist alt-right is celebrating over Leslie Jones' abject humiliation". Mic (media company).
On alt-right forums, hate speech is passed off as "shitposting" — purposeful offensiveness meant to shock and provoke, a counterweight to calls for safe spaces and trigger warnings.
- "Shitpostbot 5000 proves internet memes will outlive humans". Geek.com.
- "Multimedia Artist manuel arturo abreu on Shitposting and the Infinite Scroll". Paper. 2016-08-25.
I also think i subconsciously associate endless scroll with low-quality / spammy content, memes, shitposting, etc, which appeals to me.
- Biggs, John (2016-09-23). "Papa, what's a shitpost?". TechCrunch.
But remember that the shitpost isn’t an expression of power rather it is the derailment of discourse.
- Walker, Alex (2016-04-05). "Purges and politics in cyberspace". Cherwell.
‘Shitposting’ according to the Open Oxford administrators Ash MQ & co involves “a small coterie of members posting in-jokes, diary entries, and pictures of excrement’ which meant that “discussions were derailed, serious threads became lost amongst the nonsense, and most of the group’s over 4000 members were put off ever getting involved.”
- "How to speak like a Donald Trump supporter". The Daily Dot. 2016-05-02.
... shitposting means good posts with bad behavior. It has roots in older communities like Something Awful and 4chan, which celebrates the shitpost like no other. The shitpost is a troll, a deliberate provocation designed for maximum impact with minimum effort. It's bad. It's good.
- Ben Collins, Gideon Resnick (2016-09-23). "Palmer Luckey: The Facebook Near Billionaire Secretly Funding Trump's Meme Machine". The Daily Beast.
- Hern, Alex (2016-09-23). "Oculus Rift founder Palmer Luckey spends fortune backing pro-Trump 'shitposts'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077.
- Horwitz, Josh (2016-09-23). "The founder of Oculus is funding a group that "shitposts" anti-Hillary Clinton memes". Quartz (publication).
- "Shitposting: What is the bizarre online behaviour that could win Donald Trump the election?". The Independent. 2016-09-23.
Shitposting in itself doesn't appear to have much of a politics, instead being a tool that can be put to a variety of effects – being used from everyone from the far-right such as Trump fans to left-wing groups online like those meant to support Bernie Sanders.
- Dempsey, Paul (2016-09-27). "Real-world politics torpedo Facebook's virtual pioneer". Engineering & Technology.
- "Why Canada Can't Laugh At America Anymore". Esquire. 2016-11-07.
- Mortice, Zach (29 March 2018). "Meet the 61,000 Transit Nerds of Facebook's 'New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens'". Chicago. Tronc. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Mortice, Zach (9 April 2018). "Meet the 61,000 Transit Nerds of Facebook's 'New Urbanist Memes for Transit-Oriented Teens'". Zach Mortice. zachmortice.com. Retrieved 30 April 2018.
- Greszes, Sam (2018-12-17). "Shitposting is an art, if history is any indication". Polygon. Retrieved 2018-12-18.
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