Viral stories on the Internet: How many were actually true? An online discussion

if there is one single characteristic from social media, especially Facebook, is its power to take one short video and turn it into a viral tool with not much newsworthy information but with the power to influence in a society quite influential.

You just have to check the news section of Google and it will be thousand of news in different languages about the same topic: a viral video that we all will forget about in 48 hours.

But what have this videos to have on them the adjective viral?

Elise Moreau claims in Life Wire that, “nobody knows the secret formula, and that’s sort of the beauty of online virality. Most things actually go viral by accident and very few know the art of doing something viral”.

And I think that is here where the problem lies. Some people try to copy what it has being recorded by accident or by a coincidence, and people are not stupid.

The past week a video has been shared all over the world about a topic that drives mad to most of that: a sexual harass.

Immediately, all newspapers and TV news programs share what it looked like a female cyclist taking revenge from the van driver that was harassing her.

But, after watching it the first time I notice that was something weird like everything went so well and that the guy that were filming was following the girl like knowing her path previously.

And BINGO! a few days later…

foto 4.png

In a recent article, The Guardian criticize how easy mediums share the video without check sources or the authority of the video, juts because it was viral.

And then the discussion in the same publication started.

Most of the people believe that the video is obviously a hoax, in the way that is recorded and in the poor reactions from the bus drivers after the revenge from the girl.


screenshot that shows the discussion about the video


But actually, the discuss goes further than is fake or not. Many of the people involved in the conversation are just focus on the important and the frequency of this kind of abuses to woman on the streets.

“Hoax or not, the unbelievable thing in this video is the bunch of comment blaming the response of the woman instead of criticizing the behavior of the van driver,” said the user Tracy May during the conversation.

On the other hand, others have focused the conversation blame not the woman or the driver, but mediums. In words of many users, the are the one to give voice to videos that shouldn’t be anything else that a curiosity on the Internet, but their laziness make these videos to became in real news.

“BBC stand for British Bad News Corporation. There isn’t one day they don’t dig out the same old bad news about the country” said another user.

From my point of view, I think that some of these videos are newsworthy and others don’t and are the mediums the one that has to decide wisely which one deserves to be newsworthy content.

There are some viral videos that create awareness about topics like cancer, sexual abuse, immigration, homelessness that need to become news. Like this one that became viral in Spain two years ago:

But for now, apparently, theJungle Creations, the company that distributed the video via their FB channel says that “their video could be factually incorrect, and that they will investigate it.


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