Deep-fried memes: what are they and why do they matter?

By deep-frying a meme, you essentially replicate the damage to an image as a result of repeatedly sharing, resharing and screenshotting through social media’s compression algorithm. “It implies that, whatever the incomprehensible content may be, it somehow resonated with enough people to get to you in this godforsaken state,” says London-based producer Voidboi, who regularly posts deep-fried memes on their Instagram. The content of the meme is almost irrelevant; its formless quality moves beyond representation into a state of pure sensation: the crispier the meme, the more cursed and frightening it feels.