You didn’t make the Harlem Shake go viral—corporations did

Kevin Ashton, Analele Universităţii Constantin Brâncuşi din Târgu Jiu : Seria Economie , Apr 01, 2013
Commentary by Stephen Downes

You are probably aware of the Harlem Shake, which I was told the other day has replaced Gangnam Style (and to which I responded "no-o-o-o..."). We are supposed to believe it's a grassroots meme (and not a product of the K-Pop industry, etc). But according to this article, it's manufactured hype. And they make a good case. "It came not from YouTube users, but from Maker Studios, a Los Angeles company that specializes in making money from YouTube and is partly owned by Time Warner... Six Twitter accounts—EDM Snob, Baauer, Diplo, Mad Decent, Major Lazer and Flosstradamus—were the cause of views of  'Harlem Shake' on Thursday, Feb. 7 and Friday, Feb. 8. EDM Snob was selling himself. The other five were selling the record." The reason the APIs on things like Twitter and Google+ are closed is so they can monetize this phenomenon, making sure nothing goes viral unless they pay corporate-sized fees to make it happen. Which leaves, you know, the people, you know where. See also: the fakery of brands on Reddit.

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