The Gist

Know Your Memes, or Be Fooled by Them

The internet’s briefest form of (dis)information is here to stay. So what’s the best way to understand it?

Listen to Slate’s The Gist:

Listen to The Gist via Apple Podcasts, Overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, or Google Play

On the Gist, the knife-wielding skills of Nancy Pelosi.

In the interview, An Xiao Mina has tracked the meme from its goofy origins to its use in anti-authoritarian protest and (more recently) disinformation. What’s next, and how can we minimize the harm caused by the internet’s worst actors? An Xiao Mina is the author of Memes to Movements: How the World’s Most Viral Media Is Changing Social Protest and Power.

In the Spiel, Pelosi can’t go to Afghanistan because Trump is one impetuous manbaby.

Join Slate Plus! Members get bonus segments, exclusive member-only podcasts, and more. Sign up for a free trial today at

Join the discussion of this episode on Facebook.

Twitter: @slategist

Podcast production by Pierre Bienaimé and Daniel Schroeder.