Sharing of memes criticizing presidents without military service has decreased by 87%, study finds
WASHINGTON — A research study into behavior on social media has found a sharp decline in the sharing of images regarding military service as a prerequisite for being President of the United States, sources confirmed today.
“There’s a correlation here; the metrics clearly show it,” said Dr. Hector Navarro, a data scientist and social network analyst supervising the RAND Corporation research team. “The curve plummets after the first third of November 2016.”
The memes, previously widespread on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere, often asked readers of military, veteran, and conservative-themed pages if they believed that serving in the armed forces should be a requirement for the nation’s highest office. The images have all but disappeared since the close of last year’s election, researchers said.
So far, researchers have struggled to understand the reason behind the downward trend.
“We’re still trying to nail down what could have triggered this,” Navarro told reporters.
“Memes of this nature were fairly common between January 2009 and November 2016,” said Cherie Kensington, a student at Pardee RAND Graduate School who helped with the study. “At first we thought it had to do with the explosion in Facebook membership in 2009, but that doesn’t account for the recent drop-off on the graph.
“To complicate things further, it’s not like the current president has served in a military branch, so we’re quite puzzled as to what could explain such a trend. In any case, now we’re back to the drawing board.”