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An Internet meme is an activity, concept, catchphrase or piece of media that gains popularity and spreads rapidly via the Internet. An Internet meme is often helped along by social networking sites and blogs that post and repost popular memes and, in doing so, reinforce the popularity of the memes.
These are also known as Internet fads or Internet phenomenon.
The term meme comes from "The Selfish Gene" by the evolutionary biologist, Richard Dawkins. He used it to describe a non-DNA based evolutionary unit that was transmitted through group culture, such as the spread of tool making among hominids. Internet memes are perhaps a little less practical than a stone ax, but they do gain widespread acceptance and even spawn secondary memes parodying the first. Some notable memes include LOLCATZ, Rickrolling, planking and the digital Vuvuzelas.