Passing along a couple of links without endorsement:
1. "The Triumphant Rise of the Shitpic" (Brian Feldman, The Awl)
What do you mean, rise? We've been covering cruddy image quality around here for years (bicubic mush, quantization noise) but the particular wrinkle of Feldman's article (that we don't much care about) is image noise and compression artifact buildup as a true indicator of virality, or authenticity, or something. Feldman assumes an internet full of non-Turing Complete Users screenshotting and re-screenshotting pictures because of the limitations imposed by phones and social media on downloading and lossless saving. Call us snobs but we're just not very interested in those idiots or their memes.
2. "It’s Supposed to Look Like Shit: The Internet Ugly Aesthetic" (Nick Douglas, Journal of Visual Culture [PDF]
This article is a bit better but still too focused on 4Chan stuff that isn't all that funny (rage comics) or fresh (LOLcats). The subject is meme culture as perpetuated on Tumblr, Reddit, Cheezburger, etc and a kind of sloppiness aesthetic that dominates in comment threads. Again, many Dump.fm users are going to cop to a certain snobbery about the lameness of Douglas's examples.
The bigger question is what's at stake here? Douglas sees these cruddy pictures as the visual face of trollpunk but within that vague label, perhaps we still need to separate true revolutionaries from hapless participants in the troll economy.