An epidemiological approach is adopted to develop a model of viral meme propagation. The successful implementation in the modelling of meme spread as reflected in Internet search data shows that memes may be treated as infectious entities when modelling their propagation over time and across societies.
Memetic modelling techniques allow for estimation of public interests and predictions of what the public may find interesting in the future. They can model the acceptance of new ideas, the decline of old ones, and the rapid spikes produced by sensational events that happen around the world. Since the Internet plays such a central role in today’s world and mirrors society in so many ways, Internet data can be used for tracking and verification of memetic spread, as investigated in .