PSFK: The Pandemic Inside the Pandemic: Leveraging Social Media to Fight Disinformation. “Misinformation is commonplace in today’s digital- and social-first media landscape. Here’s how consumers and creators alike are putting existing platforms to new uses to creatively halt the spread.”
National Geographic: Fake animal news abounds on social media as coronavirus upends life. “People are compelled to share posts that make them emotional. When we’re feeling stressed, joyous animal footage can be an irresistible salve. The spread of social phenomena is so powerful, 2016 research shows, that it can follow same models that trace the contagion of epidemics.”
Ars Technica: ’90s nostalgia: Dancing Baby does the cha-cha once more in new HD rendering. “Internet denizens of a certain age will recall with fondness the 3D animated Dancing Baby (aka “Baby Cha-Cha” and “the Oogachacka Baby”) that went viral in 1996. Sure, the rendering was crude by today’s standards and—it must be said—a little creepy, but in many ways, the Dancing Baby was a proto-meme. Now, almost 25 years after it was first created, an enterprising college student has re-rendered the original model and animation in a suitable HD format for modern displays.” When that baby first came out, my mother tried to email the video of him from her corporate network to my little lame desktop computer. Gave it — the computer, not the baby — a severe case of indigestion.
New York Times: What Happens When You Get Famous Off One Song?. “Last summer, a teenager named Tom Austin decided on a whim to record a rap song. He’d never made music before. But even as he was writing down lyrics — picking out references from an iPhone note of random stuff he’d been keeping — he was strangely sure of himself.”
The Guardian: Viral social media moments that deserve the Hollywood treatment. “The breakout hit at this year’s Sundance festival was Zola (pictured, above), a comic thriller about a stripper who travels to Florida for a weekend of sex and violence. Zola earned rave reviews from attendees, but the most interesting thing about it is that it was based on a Twitter thread.”
First Monday: Fear and loathing on Facebook? Tracking the rise of populism and platformization in viral political Facebook posts. “Adopting a longitudinal ‘demand’ perspective to the study of online political campaigning, the present study details developments in supporter engagement on party Facebook Pages during three Swedish elections — 2010, 2014 and 2018. Specifically, the work presented here uncovers the roles of populism and platformization as ways of constructing political messages.”
USA Today: Doctor’s pro-vaccine TikTok went viral. Then came hate and threats from around the world . “Nicole Baldwin, a pediatrician working in suburban Cincinnati, posted a TikTok video encouraging vaccination on Twitter Saturday evening. It took less than 24 hours for the video to go viral on both TikTok, a video sharing app, and Twitter – and just another 48 hours before Baldwin was facing backlash from hundreds of thousands of people associated with the anti-vaccine movement.”