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Internet Humor

  • By: Limor Shifman
  • In: Encyclopedia of Humor Studies
  • Edited by: Salvatore Attardo
  • Subject:General Media, Communication & Cultural Studies, Sociology of Culture

Internet humor can be defined broadly as any type of humorous interaction or performance that is manifest on the Internet. Although the Internet was initially developed as a serious means of transmitting academic and national-security-oriented information, from a very early stage it was clear that one of its main uses would be entertainment. And indeed, since the early 1990s, humor has been a dominant mode of communication in many Internet-based environments. It is prevalent on websites, in e-mails, and on social media such as Facebook and Twitter. Internet humor encompasses both interactional/situational/spontaneous humor, in which people react to each other humorously in settings such as forums and bulletin boards, and “pass-along” humor, which includes artifacts such as jokes, funny photos, and videos that are diffused ...

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