“Allocca explains there are three characteristics of the viral video that cause a spontaneous and rapid growth in views and cultural experience: tastemakers, creative participating communities, and complete unexpectedness (Cohen & Kenny 123) .”
Social networks are large communities of there own with videos that come and go everyday. The most recent video is of the Drake Hotline Bling music video.Drake’s video became an internet sensation for those three reasons listed in the quote. Viral videos have become such a large part of American because the element of surprise and the creativity that comes out of different discourse communities brings out a mixture of entertainment with internet success.
On the more serious side of viral media is the racial debates that come out of viral images. In the article Racist Visual Rhetoric and Images of Trayvon Martin, Lisa Lebduska explores the impact visual performances have on society. In the Trayvon Martin case the most direct influence on the views of the public came from the many ways the media and both sides portrayed Martin and Zimmerman.
“President Obama framed the event’s visual significance when he observed, “My main message is to the parents of Trayvon Martin. You know, if I had a son, he’d look like Trayvon,”directly challenging the racist scopic regime he has confronted throughout his political career (Lebduska 2).”
Discourse communities can no longer argue that an image presented does not change and fuel racial debates. In Zimmerman’s trial the racial fuel that was allowed because of the uncensored distribution of images that show the same two people in multiple different lights.
The issue that I feel is most relevant in this matter is whether the image with ever stay true to its context. A common issue in racially fueled discourse is that a single image can change the course of a trial and erode the justice system as the meme does with politics.
My final thought on the viral video/image is this:
If an image has so much power, why can it not be used for the building up of a more sound culture?