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In “Stitch Bitch: The Patchwork Girl”, Shelly Jackson writes, in regards to hypertext, “You can’t tell what’s the original and what’s the reference. Hierarchies break down into chains of likenesses.” Hypertext essentially operates as flattening tool that, in some instances, reclaims power from what Jackson refers to as (in so many words) reality’s hegemony within fiction.

In my group presentation, my peers and I explored the way in which hypertext operates within Buzzfeed’s listicles. While hypertext makes the lateral and flattening movements that Jackson describes, it also facilitates the listicle’s massage-like quality which can quell the reader into a spell of the unquestioning intake of information. Hypertext, in this way, is rather harmless in the typical listicle (11 best condiments to put on french toast!) where the stakes of the content are low. However, as Buzzfeed transitions towards more politicized and long-form content, hypertext potentially becomes more insidious. I bring my extremely condensed version of my group project into this discussion to illustrate the fact that hypertext’s lateral, or flattening, movements are not always as ‘democratic’ as they appear to be. I am interested in the ways in which hypertext becomes insidious, and how we navigate these instances.