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Word Count: 578
In the journals entitled Virtual Urban legends Investigating the Ecology of the World Wide Web by Edmund Chattoe and Emotional Selection in Memes The Case of Urban Legends by Chip Heath Chris Bell and Emily Sternberg the spread of urban legends across the internet is the issue at hand While Heath Bell and Sternberg seem to take a more direct view on the issue making the point easy and with lots of examples and studies done to check the psychological and emotional effects it has on the general public Chattoe takes a more complicated path making the urban legend seem almost like a virus or a parasite of the internet tracing the evolution of the urban legend over time giving the internet a biological view Instead of just loads and loads of information the internet its just another life form Both journals are very well written and it looks like all of the authors did a lot of research for their particular paper some of the cited work I have been able to identify and have read it myself most of the websites used as reference are the leading ones in the field of urban legend research And although Chattoes paper seems more in depth it concentrates more on the evolution of urban legends or as he calls them replicating messages thru their time on the internet While Heath Bell and Sternberg concentrate more on the emotional and psychological effect these myths have on the general public Chattoes views the urban legend as a virus replicating itself all over the internet via memes What is memes As Chattoe puts it Richard Dawkins coins the term meme for a social replicator the examples he uses are tunes and jokes A successful replicator in this context is a tune or joke which can get itself transmitted continuously Chattoe 2 Heath Bell and Sternberg also used the word memes to describe an urban legend and give the same
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