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"Going Viral": Internet Fame and Influence.

For the past few years, the phrase ‘going viral’ has been shown, to a increasingly greater extent, to shape what we might see and hear in the media – for better, or worse. Snapchat stories, vines, Youtube videos, memes, etc. gain attention and become news, earning their ‘stars’ perhaps longer than five minutes of fame, and instead spawning television appearances, or merchandise, for example.

How much is this a sign of the ongoing pace of what we consume as media on the internet, and how much of it can be controlled? Does this have any good, or detrimental effects (e.g. using examples, is there anything very good, or very bad, that has happened from a particular video/article/picture, going viral?)?

  • This is definitely a current, relevant topic that can be widely explored. Some good aspects would be viral causes that help a charitable organization or raise awareness of a certain issue, the 2014 ice bucket challenge to raise ALS awareness and funds for The ALS Association, for example. A downside that is slightly less specific is how the pressure to 'go viral' effects the quality of content that people and content creators churn out. As a writer who has looked into freelance opportunities, there is no shortage of online publications that demand writers who are able to produce 'attention-grabbing' articles with vague titles to pique the curiosity of bored internet users. The actually quality of the writing is secondary to the amount of clicks an article can attract. Sites are clogged with slideshow articles with clickbaity titles to bump up ad revenue. More of a comment on the decent of online writing content and journalism I suppose, but a topic that could be relevant while exploring the 'going viral' aspect of modern online culture. – Analot 3 years ago
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