We investigated with Elisa Omodei and Thierry Poibeau the proliferation and diversification of clearly-cut pieces of content: quoted texts in social media. In line with the pioneering work of Leskovec et al. and Simmons et al. on meme dynamics (see the memetracker website) we tracked the transformations that quotations published online undergo during their diffusion. We deliberately put aside the structure of the social network as well as
the dynamical patterns pertaining to the diffusion process to focus on the way quotations are changed, how often they are modified and to what extent these changes shape diverse families and sub-families of quotations. Following a biological metaphor, we try to understand in which way mutations can transform quotations at different scales and how mutation rates depend on various properties of the quotations such as quotation popularity, length, etc.