What is a Viral Video?
What does someone mean when they say that something has "gone viral"? Don't worry—this phrase doesn't have anything to do with computer viruses or other types of malware that can harm your computer. A viral video is a video that has gained widespread (and usually rapid) popularity on the Internet. Many viral videos become memes—iconic Web symbols, personalities, or ideas that nearly everyone knows about and can refer to as common Net knowledge. A few examples of memes/viral videos include "Charlie Bit My Finger," "David After Dentist," "Chocolate Rain,
and "Jessica's Daily Affirmation."
Concerns for Parents
- Not all videos that go viral are clean or appropriate. Just because something is popular doesn't mean that it's family safe.
How Can I Keep My Child Safe?
- Talk to your kids about the videos they watch online. Check them out for yourself and make sure they are ok.
- Often, videos that go viral are soon followed by parody videos, which often contain inappropriate content. Before allowing your child to watch the video, make sure you have the real video, not a parody.
- If you're ever concerned about a specific video your child mentions, search for it in this wiki. There are short reviews on dozens of videos, and this research can help you determine if a video is appropriate for your child.
Where Can I Learn More?
Here's one website's listing of the 100 most iconic Internet videos of all time.
This blog post talks a little about what causes videos to go viral.