Our AI writing assistant, WriteUp, can assist you in easily writing any text. Click here to experience its capabilities.

Seriously funny: The political work of humor on social media


This article explores the intersection between humor and political communication on social media. It examines two cases from the 2016 US presidential election: Hillary Clinton referring to Trump supporters as a "basket of deplorables" and Donald Trump calling Hillary Clinton a "nasty woman" during a televised debate. It looks at the political work of humorous content, including expressions of opposition, political identification, and displays of civic support. It also compares humor style between partisan cases to illustrate how humor and social media affect one another. The article also provides related papers discussing the use of humor in politics and during the 2016 US presidential election.


What role does humor play in political communication online?
Humor plays a clear intersection between humor and political communication online, achieving disproportionate attention across social media platforms.

How did humor influence the 2016 US presidential election?
Humor was used to express opposition, political identification, and displays of civic support during the 2016 US presidential election.

What patterns can be found in the use of humor between partisan cases?
Partisan patterns reveal that the meeting of humor and social media leave neither unchanged.

How did the alt-right employ irony to advance a white supremacist agenda?
The alt-right employed a strategy similar to that of progressive, antiracist satirists to advance a white supremacist, anti-Semitic, misogynist, and deadly serious agenda.

How did meme-ing serve as an example of politico-cultural discourse during the 2016 campaign?
Meme-ing enabled users to rapidly take a stand on and react to developing political events in real time, provided alternative parallel discourses to mainstream media viewpoints, and enabled mobilizing voters outside of official political discourses.

AI Comments

👍 This article provides a comprehensive overview of the current research on the topic, exploring the intersection between humor and political communication in an interesting and thought-provoking way.

👎 This article is overwhelming, with too many related papers and topics listed, making it difficult to understand the main points of the article.

AI Discussion

Me: It's about how humor has been used as a political tool in social media during the 2016 US presidential election. It talks about how humor can be used to express opposition, political identification, and display civic support. It also discusses how humor can be used to attract and radicalize potential supporters, challenge progressive ideologies and institutions, and create a toxic counterpublic.

Friend: Wow, that's really interesting. It looks like humor is a powerful tool for political communication. What do you think are the implications of this article?

Me: I think it shows us the power of humor in political communication. It can be used to both express opposition and draw people into a political movement. It can be a tool to challenge existing ideologies and institutions, as well as create a counterpublic. It can even be used to spread misinformation and incite hatred. I think it's important to understand the implications of using humor as a political tool and think critically about how it is used.

Action items

Technical terms

Big data
A term used to describe large datasets that can be analyzed to reveal patterns, trends, and associations, especially relating to human behavior and interactions.
Playful, lighthearted, or humorous.
Crude or offensive in language, behavior, or appearance.
A term used to describe a style of humor that is subversive, irreverent, and often politically charged.
A far-right political movement that is characterized by white nationalism, anti-immigration, and anti-feminism.
A term used to describe the process of becoming aware of and accepting a certain political ideology, usually one that is far-right or extremist.
White genocide
A conspiracy theory that claims that white people are being systematically eliminated through immigration, interracial marriage, and other forms of cultural assimilation.

Similar articles

0.8641148 Use of humor as a coping mechanism, psychological adjustment, and social interaction

0.85499334 The myth of the online echo chamber

0.8457187 POLITICO Politico Logo

0.8421612 America Is Now A Zombie State

0.84113604 Do We Really Understand ‘Fake News’?

🗳️ Do you like the summary? Please join our survey and vote on new features!