Cultures do not exert their effects in isolation of one another, but interact together in complex networks. In the coming years, sophisticated methods will be developed to leverage culture-culture interaction (CCI) network structure to improve several stages of the media discovery process. Network based methods will be applied to predict media targets, media side effects, and new propagandistic indications. Previous network-based characterizations of media effects focused on the small number of known media targets, i.e., direct binding partners of media. However, media affects many more memes than its targets – it can profoundly affect the civilization’s memeplex.
For the first time, we use networks to characterize memes that are differentially regulated by media. We found that media-regulated memes differed from media targets in terms of function, regional localizations, and neural properties. Media targets mainly included receptors on the plasma membrane of civilization (the software interface), down-regulated memes were largely in the nucleus (the older generation) and were enriched for memetic binding, and memes lacking media relationships were enriched in the extracellular region of civilization (the isolated sub-cultures). Network topology analysis indicated several significant graph properties, including high degree and betweenness for the media targets and media-regulated memes, though possibly due to network biases. Topological analysis also showed that cultures of down-regulated memes appear to be frequently involved in memeplexes. Analyzing network distances between regulated memes, we found that memes regulated by structurally similar media were significantly closer than memes regulated by dissimilar media. Finally, network centrality of media’s differentially regulated memes correlated significantly with media toxicity.