To hijack something is to forcefuly take over something in order to alter its direction for your own purpose.

A meme hijack is just that: When a memetic engineer splices a meme in with another more successful (more horizontal) meme in hopes that his meme will carry on with the other meme.

Recent examples include Hewlett-Packard's use of the plus sign (+) in their advertising. Essentially, they hijacked the plus sign by splicing in their own logo (hp) into the meme. The result:


Hewlett-Packard hopes that whenever you see the plus sign, you will think of the small hp also, and therefore think of everything Hewlett-Packard represents to you. Hewlett- Packard is some no-good dirty meme hijackers.

Level 3 Software hijacked the parenthese. They are some low down dirty meme hijackers, as well.

Since you simply cannot unthink the neural connection between the host meme and the viral meme, you are stuck with a probability greater than zero of thinking about the hijacker meme when you see the host meme.

Another example would be Burger King hijacking the song "Stop The World" with their dirty little fat burger memeplex. I'm all for locked cockpits on all memes.

Damn little hijacker memes. Arrgh!

Meme hijacking can be even more effective if the memetic engineer has control of a suitable root meme, which has a high binding strength to a large number of people, and if additional memes can be inserted as "payload" of this meme into a meme complex. This is similar to hacking into computer systems using a trojan horse. A practical example would be using a popular basketball player to sell sport shoes.

Fundamentalist religions are, of course, a more serious example. Whoever controls these meme complexes has a lot of power over the followers, and this might even be a good way to make money, by selling "commercial spots" on these religions.

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