Memes and 4chan on The Guardian

That’s a solid definition of ‘memes.’ This will likely be the initial introduction of Google Hot Trends to many readers, too.
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Time magazine calls it the wellspring of net culture and its online pranks are world-famous. David Smith reports on the man who began the chaotic but powerful 4chan website from home

How did the swastika get there? Why did so many people search for it at the same time? It was a demonstration of how peculiar fads, jokes or videos can come out of nowhere and run riot across the web. Such phenomena are known as ‘memes’ – cultural fragments that catch someone’s eye, get forwarded to friends and spread like a virus.
The invisible hand behind many memes, apparently including the googled swastika, is a website called 4chan. From semi-literate cats to the ‘ironic’ comeback of singer Rick Astley, this online community is building a reputation as a nursery of all that is weird and wacky and likely to be landing in your inbox tomorrow.