In celebration of Twitter’s ninth birthday today, Jack Dorsey thanked journalists for being the second group to adopt the platform. And he opined about the importance of journalism to a functioning democracy.
We’ve all encountered it: the Facebook post that spews hate.
Next time, report it. And tell your friends you have reported it. Some of them will do so, too, and some of their friends, and — despite its initial refusal to act — Facebook just might take action. Some friends and I just succeeded in helping get a photo pulled that was hate speech directed at Muslims.
If there is a lesson to be gleaned from the phenomenon of #theDress, it’s that “going viral” doesn’t require “influencers” nor is it particularly “predictable” (i.e., plannable – yes, I made up a word!). If you represent a business or organization, run away if the agency you’re interviewing for a job promises to create “viral content”.
There are, however, some commonalities to content that goes viral, that is, digital content characterized by speed and scope (it spreads quickly and spreads widely). Social scientists call this “contagion”. We’ll leave the discussion of how the language of illness is being used to describe communication for another day. Another shorthand: Internet meme.