Social Media – what goes viral?

This week in my social media class we discussed the attributes of content that make it go viral. Before the class, we were asked to post on our class tumblr a piece of content we recently shared and to dive into the reason behind it. I chose to discuss a tweet I had recently retweeted:

I retweeted this in order to raise awareness to the harassment that Anita Sarkeesian and other female video gamers receive online. #Gamergate has been something I’ve followed since the beginning, mainly because I love video games myself but also because of the pure hatred it has surfaced around the internet.

Retweeting this allowed others to learn about the topic and also enabled those giving the harassment to see there are a lot of people who support those they are attacking.

Even though I follow @femfreq myself, when I saw so many other people I follow also retweeting it, I knew it was something I wanted to stand behind. I chose to retweet this one in particular because I had never associated the two accounts before and realized how widespread the support was.


Berger breaks the components into 6 pieces, or STEPPS, that can make content go viral.

  • Social currency
  • Triggers
  • Emotions
  • Physiological arousal
  • Public
  • Stories

For my retweet specifically, there were emotions that it caused in me: frustration and anger. Strong emotions, either positive or negative, increase the likelihood that something will be shared. Super interesting!

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