This article investigates a sprawling archive of memes (about “Shakira law,” “shari’a Barbie,” and the “jihad squad,”) and incorporates analysis of the original Serial podcast (about the case of Adnan Syed) to look at the role of metadata and dataveillance in criminalizing and apprehending Muslims. Given technological innovations, like autocorrect functions that “correct” conversations about the “racialization” of Muslims to the “radicalization” of Muslims (to give one example), algorithmic manipulations of data depend on sexualizing and racializing assemblages that tell a familiar story about the way Muslim lives are shaped by the discourses and representations through which they are figured and apprehended. The author explores the way that this archive of memes figures Muslims as a “measurable type”—whereby they are profiled into highly fraught categories, like “terrorist,” through algorithmic interpretations of their online activity—therefore enabling what John Cheney-Lippold calls “soft biopolitics.” Given the ability of this sort of data to materially shape a person’s life, the author looks at the roles of metadata and big data in apprehending Muslims, Arabs, and SWANA-identified people through a biopolitical framing of population, where apprehend is understood in both senses of the word—in terms of understanding Muslims as well as criminalizing them.

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