All posts tagged “viral”

Here is the memo Comcast sent to employees after the ‘rep from hell’ call went viral

It’s now been two weeks since AOL executive and former Comcast subscriber Ryan Block published a recording of his insane dialogue with an overly persistent customer service representative, and we finally have the memo that the company sent out immediately afterward.

“Recently, an unfavorable phone call into Comcast has been circulating on the Internet,” the memo says. “If you receive a call from the media regarding this incident, please refer to the Media Inquiry Policy to transfer them to your local media contact.”

SPECIAL BULLETIN: Customer Interaction Policy Reminder

Comcast is committed to delivering outstanding service to each and every customer. It is our goal to ensure that each customer with whom we interact has a quality…

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Google uses search trends to craft perfectly viral tweets

How do you create a viral tweet? If you’re Google, the answer is easy: see what everyone in the world is interested in by tracking their search results, then write something about whatever’s popular. During the Germany–Brazil World Cup game yesterday, Google let NPR into its newsroom to see how it chooses which trends it should share with the world. NPR’s most interesting finding was that Google chooses to avoid negativity — avoiding, say, bringing up Brazil’s staggering loss, despite a wide interest in it.

“We’re also quite keen not to rub salt into the wounds,” Google producer Sam Clohesy tells NPR, “and a negative story about Brazil won’t necessarily get a lot of traction in social.”

Instead, Google chose to share this through…

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10 Viral Stories That Turned Out To Be Hoaxes

2013 was deemed as the year of Internet hoaxes – in fact, you might have fallen for a few, like the gay waitress who wasn’t tipped because of her lifestyle. American football player Manti Te’o’s dead girlfriend probably made you weep a little until you found out she was imaginary. Speaking of which, bet you thought that the sky was falling when it snowed in Egypt.

One after another, each were proven untrue, which eventually led to 2014 turning into the year of debunking hoaxes. In this post, we will be looking at 10 such viral stories that were eventually revealed to be hoaxes.

1. Doncha wish You look Just like Kim

It is not uncommon for hardcore fans of a a celebrity to try to look like their idol but when it is forced upon and turned into a law, the media sits up and pay attention. In this story, North Korean male students are required by law to get the same haircut as their esteemed leader Kim Jong-Un because in order to worship your great leader, you should look exactly like him.

(Image source: Huffington Post)

In truth though, while there is a list of sanctioned haircuts for both men and women in the great country of North Korea, these haircuts are not heavily enforced. And no, ‘The Kim’ cut isn’t included in the list of haircuts you are allowed to have there. Tourists who have returned from North Korea also did not find other Kim Jong-Uns running around. But even if they did, it is probably a non-enforced passing trend or a display of loyalty by hardcore fans, which we know he has a lot of.


2. You can’t sit in KFC with us

By now, you should have seen or heard about Victoria Wilcher. Here’s what she looks like, if you haven’t:

(Image source: Daily Mail)

The scars you see on her face were results from an attack by the three-year-old’s grandfather’s pitbulls. It left her with complications such as paralysis on the right side of the face, and having to depend on a feeding tube to eat. One day, her grandma entered a KFC outlet to get mash potatoes only to be turned out of the place by management because Victoria’s injuries were making the other customers uneasy.

This understandably caused an uproar which prompted KFC to launch an investigation into the incident – and what they found was that the incident never happened. The scene of the crime wasn’t operational yet, and the Wilchers were not found on any of the CCTV footage; their order of sweet tea and mashed potatoes did not turn up on any of the orders and they found that the place is actually near a hospital where patients of injuries would be a normal sight, than not.

Despite all this, the Wilchers are standing by their story but took the Facebook support page for Victoria down. Perhaps as a sign of good will, KFC announced that they are honoring their $ 30,000 pledge to Victoria’s fund to aid in her recovery.

3. No alcohol for you till you’re 25

If you are worrying that you need to wait longer than 21 to get your taste of booze, legally in the US, because someone reported that this is happening starting August 2014, here’s some good news you can toast to. In news ‘reports’ like this, where you got the report from is very important.

As in this case, the new 25-year old limit was reported from Sunday Times Daily, which only exists for the sad, sole purpose of generating fake "news". When you view a piece of “news” on the site, it’ll display a “You’ve been fooled!” message after you’re done reading. Unless of course, you just read someone’s rant on Twitter on how they can’t legally drink when they turn 21 this weekend.

Always check your sources, kid!


4. And yet another celebrity dies

I am half convinced that celebrities have nine lives or have discovered the elixir to eternal life. If not, how does that explain why one fine day they reportedly drop dead but are snapped shopping the following day, very much alive? Celebrities have to take to Twitter or other channels to declare, "Nope, still here."

While some cases are apparent hoaxes, at other times, Twitter is overly fond of burying celebrities 6 feet under well before their time, as in the case of the mistaken death of Cher, because of a hashtag known as #NowThatchersDead. This is a case when it is important to be sensitive to lower and upper cases.

Aside from reading hashtags (carefully!), it is important to scrutinize any trending news of a dead celebrity on Twitter. When in doubt, go to the celeb’s official social media account (no, Morgan Freeman’s Facebook memorial page does not count) or consider more traditional means of confirmation: actual news sites. We don’t want another mistaken death in our hands or even discounting a real celebrity death like Fast and Furious star, Paul Walker’s.


5. Off to the dogs!

In another installment of weird news from North Korea, Kim Jong-Un was reported to have sentenced his second-in-command (and uncle) to death; death by dogs, to be precise. Jang Song-Thaek was reportedly torn apart by a pack of ravenous dogs in one of the world’s most horrific execution style of this modern world. Only, it didnt happen.

(Image source: The Guardian)

Turns out the news was a direct translation, word-for-word from a Chinese satirical account, courtesy of Chinese tabloid Wen Wei Po, before it was picked up by Singapore media and spread to Western media. Language barriers are tricky but we can all agree that it is safe to discount news from trashy tabloids.

Granted that confirming news from North Korea is difficult but if South Korea, who is usually privy to its neighbour’s ongoings, didn’t report on this, all the other journalists should probably double check their sources.

6. The athlete who cried wolf

Sochi Winter Olympics was beset with problems like incomplete construction, not-yet-fully-functioning facilities, and a stray dog problem. US luger Kate Hansen topped all that when she tweeted about a wolf prowling outside her hotel corridor. Twitter and the rest of US media understandably freaked out.

By now, you should know that this is definitely a hoax, and you’d be right, especially if you think that this is a a hoax conjured up by TV host Jimmy Kimmel, notorious for a wide variety of pranks such as the twerking woman who caught fire.

7. China is deprived of sunrises

Beijing’s pollution is a reputation that the great city finds hard to shake off, so when the news story about televised sunrises on gigantic screens around the city, as a reprieve for those who miss the Sun came about, we share a collected "oh, you poor things" reaction, because we are suckers.

(Image source: Tech In Asia)

While there’s no denying that Beijing’s air is widely considered a health hazard, the virtual sunrises are just… pictures. The photos you see circulating around the Internet were taken at a very specific moment, right when the screens pan over the sunrise clip in an advert. Yes, despite the photographic evidence, what you see there is an advert (there is even a logo of the advert if you look close enough). Don’t be so quick to judge China just because it’s China.

8. Passport picasso art

A Chinese man was reportedly trapped in immigration nightmare, in South Korea because his 4-year-old son doodled on his passport, rendering it useless, and the poor man passport-less.


Now, this one is actually easy to debunk. One, normally with identification documents, details are blurred out, while in this particular masterpiece, everything is out in the open, just conveniently scribbled over by a very discerning artist (despite his age). A writer from also noted that kids that age do not display the artistic dexterity depicted by the doodles here. There are also no smudging, and the lines are too uniformed, not to mention the doodles in the far right are actually floating off the passport.

9. Japan riding the Pokemon plane

Previously we wrote about how the Japanese football team adopted Pikachu as their mascot for the World Cup. So what could be more perfect (and cute) if the national team were to show up in Brazil on a Pokemon plane?

Sadly though, in reality, the Pokemon planes may have existed but had been retired on September 2013. This newsbit is spread all over Twitter by an unofficial FIFA World Cup Twitter account and eventually our good friends at Kotaku did a quick Internet search and found that Japan flew on a sadly non-Pokemon emblazoned plane.

10. Diane, you rude

This is too epic to not include here although it was last year’s story. During Thanksgiving season, reality TV producer Elan Gale tweeted about an exchange with a very rude airplane passenger. The lady passenger was apparently upset with the flight attendants because of her delayed flight. Gale decided to engage in a war with the woman, Diane, mid-flight, and offered a play-by-play of the incident, all on Twitter.

The whole thing escalated and ended with the woman being arrested by airport security after having slapped Gale – news sites were quick to report the whole thing as it happened. And Gale finally announces that Diane… was made up and the whole thing was conjured up for everyone’s entertainment for Thanksgiving.

In his defence, Gale has been known to tweet jokes and fake live tweets before, and he was right when he said nobody bothered to to ask for clarification from him before running the story of the epic fight. That will teach you to trust a TV show producer.

Link About It: This Week’s Picks : Viral urban legends, David O’Reilly’s Mountain Game, the moon’s two faces and more in our weekly look at the web

Link About It: This Week's Picks

1. Wilderness Collective Explores Alaska This week, adventure purveyor Wilderness Collective released “Alaska on Snow Machines,” a short film from their recent trip. Surreal scenic shots of stunning ice caves and barren, snow-covered landscapes are accompanied…

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Cool Hunting

6 tips for creating a killer viral video

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It’s hard to resist the charms of a compelling viral video. We’ve already gathered together 10 of the best viral videos for you to enjoy, but what if you want to make your own? Follow these tips and while you’re not guaranteed success, you’ll definitely be helping your chances of going viral.

Creative Bloq

10 of the best ever viral videos

Read more about 10 of the best ever viral videos at

TV commercials and print ads may not have had their day yet, but if you want to build some brand awareness really quickly then digital media is the way forward. Put simply, if your video goes viral then everyone’s going to know your brand.

Creative Bloq

6 Tips to Help You Create Viral Infographics

Editor’s note: This is a contributed post by writer and editor, Pooja Lohana, who writes for EWC Presenter, a free app that is the Swiss knife for visualizing ideas for creating infographics, presentations, banners, animations etc for free. You can reach Poojaon Facebook and Twitter or her site here.

It’s true – data never sleeps. This infographic by DOMO states that there are 347 WordPress blog posts created every minute on the Web. And Google gets over 2 million queries per minute! That is a lot of data to slip into a lot of infographics (which are also being created every minute). Do a simple search of the word "infographic" on Google and you’ll get about 13 million results.

Big data makes it very necessary to police infographic data and to separate bad infographics from good ones. Not only that, it makes things even harder for a legitimate, trusty and useful infographic to go viral because there are so many of its counterparts doing the rounds, vying for the same attention from the same crowd.

Description: Domo.jpg

It all sounds too simple: You collect your data, create a good-looking piece of infographic, embed it on your website and it drives traffic, boosts your sales or generates more leads. KissMetrics estimates that making a campaign viral could have an effect that’s 500-1000 times more than that of a non-viral campaign. One very effective way to gain virality is to have your infographic discovered by an authoritative site.

Yet there are many, many infographics that sit undiscovered in some corner of the deep Web. That said, let’s look at some methods you can adopt pre-, during and post-production to make your infographic go viral in 2014.

1. Be Anything but Neutral

If you want to move crowds, create traction and see your infographic go viral, make it "viral-worthy" first. Are you playing too safe and neutral? People will subconsciously create a label for you: Boring. And guess what? There are too many boring things out there online so you don’t have to be one of them.

To influence masses and create a wave, don’t feel afraid to experiment and go fully vocal about your stand (which pre-supposes take a stand!). The aim is to get people to love you or hate you but never ignore you.

2. Use Stellar Headlines

Use simple, short and keyword-rich headlines. A good headline will have at least one powerful word that captures their emotion (words such as "shocking", "trust", "warning", "lies", "mistakes" etc). A cool resource I’ve been using to hack headlines is Jon Morrow’s 52 Headline Hacks. It’s mainly created for viral blog posts but you can well use it for infographics also.

3. Submit to Directories

There are many infographic-specific directories that will happily publish your work. Try the following ones:

  1. Daily Infographic (Paid)
  3. Submit Infographics
  4. Infographick
  5. Cool Infographics
  6. Flickr
  7. Pinterest
  8. Visual Loop

A resource of all directories is listed here.

4. Reach Out to Other Publishers

Now is the time to pull out your contact list and reach out to every blogger and publisher you know. Affiliates, websites you’ve networked with, experts in your niche… every one counts. It never hurts to ask – whether they accept your post or not is up to them. Although your aim is to target sites with huge traffic, don’t underestimate sites with moderate traffic. You never know who’s listening!

Another cool way to find more leads is by doing a quick search on Twitter for your keyword. If you see these people have a good following and have their niche in common with you, go ahead and talk to them. Do the same for big Facebook pages.

Make a list of all Facebook, Twitter and blog contacts that are talking on your topic and reach out to them one by one, via email. The longer this list, the better. Create an excel sheet for this and add columns for their social media contacts, direct email and website.

Don’t forget to make a reference to a relevant post on their website – you’ll have to make a mention of this post when you’re reaching out to them. This not only shows you’ve got things in common but also that you‘ve done your homework.

5. Find People Who Forgot to Quote You

A lot of times, people will publish your work but forget to link back. In times such as this, it’s pretty smart to include a water mark on your infographic. Picmarkr is a free watermark service you can try.

If you included a watermark, it’s still a good idea to find people who are showing your infographic but had not properly linked back to your site. Search for the title of your infographic in Google. You’ll find a list of websites that are using your infographic. Better yet, go to and make a direct image search by uploading your infographic.

6. Provide Exclusive Content

Some authority websites will ask for exclusive content. Offer them a limited-time exclusivity to your content to boost your chances with them. Of course you want to send your work to other blogs also. To do so, tweak your headlines and create several versions of your infographic. This keeps the editors happy and you gain traffic from multiple sources.

‘Downworthy’ plug-in kills viral headlines with snark

Depending on who you ask, viral content farms like Upworthy and Viral Nova are either polluting your Facebook News Feed with deceptive — and extremely clickable — headlines, or they’re bringing interesting stories to your attention. If you’re in the former camp, the good news is that Facebook’s working to get more news into your News Feed, but if headlines like “9 Out Of 10 Americans Are Completely Wrong About This Mind-Blowing Fact” are still driving you crazy, there’s a new Chrome plug-in that might do just the trick.

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6 Ways to Make Your Blog Go Viral

To many people, blogging is just a hobby; but to others, it’s a way of life. In some cases, blogging is an individual’s main source of income. Other folks wouldRead More

You can visit the website for the full article and other interesting articles.

Blogger’s Path

How feminism and commercialism combined to make ‘Camp Gyno’ a viral hit


“It’s like Santa. For your vagina!”

So goes the pitch for HelloFlo’s tampon subscription service, as said by a 12-year-old girl who styles herself the “camp gyno.” Over a roughly two-minute video, HelloFlo has neatly subverted the cliches of menstrual advertising — the gauzy cinematography, the euphemisms, the omnipresent blue syrup — and it’s paid off. Since its release on July 28th, the ad has racked up over 4 million views on YouTube, in part because of its snappy one-liners and clever premise. It’s also the latest in a line of commercials that spread because even as they try to sell you something, sharing them feels almost political.

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