Saying that things have “gone viral” or has “broken the internet” is thrown around a lot  nowadays- even in our lectures and seminars. The internet is a fast paced creative playground where viral content can take form of; videos, pictures, GIFs, memes and activism which is spread through social media.

The internet community is a powerful force. It has broken cultural boundaries by throwing K-Pop into the spotlight, with the record breaking Gangnam Style that has a mind blowing 2.5 billion views, and has spread quality internet videos such as Keyboard Cat.

Most viral sensations are accidental, the pinnacle being the Miss Universe crowning in 2015. The internet community like the accidental viral as they feel more realistic and a exclusive joke as the internet can pick up any idea a run with it. Such as the Leonardo DiCaprio Oscar meme, Leo’s repeated loss at the oscars caused the sympathetic internet to make pictures and gifs of him holding oscars or wishing he had one. This year though he received an oscar, defeating the purpose of the meme, yet on the internet it still lives on. Other accidental viral include; John Cena, Damn Daniel and many, many more



However the fight to become viral from companies, and people seeking attention, has clogged up the internet with ‘wannabe viral content’. People have tried to make viral content with such tactics as clickbait, a great example being the extremely over exaggerated title of this post, and making absurd or controversial content. Many campaigns have failed as the internet can often sense forced viral content. Yet many marketing campaigns do get through, such as Dumb Ways To Die and Old Spice.

The truth is none really knows how to make viral content, there are some correlations and similarities, as it can be hit or miss (How to Make Something Go Viral). But nonetheless thats what’s so great about viral memes, you never know what’s coming next…



You Tube’s Copyright Confusion

You Tube’s copyright policy is very complex, as authenticity, ownership and protection are questioned regularly. The site has both content that is under strict copyright (such as VEVO), under creative commons licence and is required to be paid for (You Tube Red). However I’m going to concentrate on content that is under the ‘Standard You Tube Licence’.tech-google-youtube-reuters

The majority of videos on You Tube are free and protected under the ‘Standard You Tube Licence’, which is meant to protect the upload, the creator and any owner of copyrighted content. However You Tube’s copyright and fair use system is heavily criticised for being incredibly easy to abuse. Some videos that explain this include- Matthias and GradeAUnderA.

Every video on You Tube has the option to run under the ‘Standard You Tube Licence’ or the ‘Creative Commons Licence’. Within the creative commons licence there are many attributes the creator can control (Which is explained well in this video). Most uploaders and viewers are unaware or misinformed of the CC licence, causing the core mass of videos to run under the standard licence. Yet if the majority of videos were under the CC licence I believe that there would be a slight reduction of copyright infringement as content providers would have allowed a certain degree of reproduction it to occur. However this would be extremely unfair for creators who DO NOT want people to just copy or re-upload their content, as other people who had no influence over the work can get money from monetising it. On the whole I believe that both laws will continue to become difficult to track due to the growing abundance of content on the site- yet if people were properly informed of the laws, infringement might decrease.giphy

Can you see me?

About 5/6 years ago I went through a phase of posting on social media a lot, however nowadays I only very rarely post on any social sites. Why is this? Its a mix of being too lazy and privacy. People’s oversharing on social media has gotten out of hand , so I have felt no need to share my personal life online. Also my last name Jones is one of the most common last names in the UK, even with my less popular first name I can be quite difficult to find online. facebook_dating_sharing_status

The most visible place I can be found on the internet is Facebook. I’ve had Facebook since 2009 and now my account is full of cringey photos and statuses, that honestly make no sense. In an attempt to shield the world from my hideous photos I have made a number of albums private. The ‘public’ can only see my profile picture, cover photo, where I am from and that I’m at the University at Westminster- so people who know me, would be able to recognise me from this basic information. But my friends can see more info, such as my birthday, schools, statuses and photos, as I have confirmed that I know them. It’s reasonably easily to control personal information on Facebook due to their clear privacy

Similar to my Facebook situation, my You Tube channel is 7 years old and has many awful videos, which are all now private (apart from my videos from the last 4 years). This is easy to do as You Tube also has clear privacy settings.

My Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram have limited amounts of ‘personal’ information- mostly consisting of my name, pictures and things I have been doing, watching and enjoying. I allowed these accounts to be public because the information I share on these sites aren’t too personal, as the main feature of these sites to to connect with people you wouldn’t usually meet.

The Student Room



The Student Room is a online community for school and University students. Established in 2001, the UK based site helps students make informed education choices, get help with their studies, and seek support and advice on student life in contemporary society. With over 1.8 million members it is the largest student community in the world.

TSR is a positive online community as it allows students to express concerns, questions and queries about their education and lifestyle to other students. Forums on the site not only cover GCSE’s, A-Levels and University but also careers, heath, relationships, news and entertainment. It  also provides revision tools and information on student finance and UCAS applications, which can be a confusing and complicated system for students to navigate.

All of these aspects are enhanced by the forums community spirit of helping one another, which benefits members as they can make informed decisions from other peoples experiences. Students asking their peers for advice is effective as it carries a weight of honestly as it feels more personal and trusting than a cold government site, for example. Anonymity is also an option on the site, so someone who is troubled with a difficult or personal issue can seek help freely.

With any forum many challenges and limitations arise, such as anonymity which can give way to trolling  and people’s experiences may be anomalies, exaggerated or complete lies. 

The Fine Brothers and their Fine Audience

I have been subscribed to the Fine Bros since 2010 and I’ve watched their You Tube channel grow to 13 million subscribers, 3 billion views and a net worth of $5.7 million. The Fine Bros produce large amounts of original content over their 3 channels, Fine Brothers Entertainment, FBE2 and REACT, raging from; sketches, a sitcom, spoiler videos, recaps of TV shows and ‘React’.

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The unique situation of You Tubes’ creator/viewer relationship means that interaction between both sides is quick, easy and (usually) useful. Like many other You Tube channels, the Fine Bros aim to please, entertain and interact with their audience. This has been proved effective with their most popular ,and successful show ,the “React” series. In this either a cast of Kids, Teens, Adults, Elders or You Tubers react to a particular video, trend, or object that is placed in front of them- which has spawned many spinoffs. Part of the key of success of this format is that all the things the cast is reacting to is suggested by the audience. Consequently the audience significantly shapes the show as they suggest what they should react to.

Audience participation brings the views closer to content as feel they have some creative control, even though the creators have the final say. This close creative relationship is reassured by the bi-weekly update called ‘Fine Time’ where the brothers inform the audience with what’s coming up, introduce members of the company and present their favourite comments.

But this relationship can also have negative effects on the creators’ plans. This recently occurred when the Fine Bros attempted to launch a licensing scheme called ‘React World’, where they would let other video makers use their, soon to be, trademarked “react” title and assets such as their graphics and music. However this was negatively received by the You Tube community, due similar reaction based videos using “react” in the title would be infringing copyright- meaning their videos would be taken down. Many argued, myself included, that they were taking their ‘trademark’ too far due to “react” being such a common word. Consequently the company had to abandon their plans and apologise to their audience, and all evidence of their endeavour was deleted off their channel and social media, as if it was all a bad dream.

“The Revolution will be Televised”- Now available online

Online streaming has revolutionised the way we access television. The convergence of traditional television shows and the internet’s streaming capabilities allows shows to be transmitted to anyone with an internet connection to watch what they want, when they want. streaming-ratings-1

There are 3 main types of online content providers-

Services owned by a traditional television network/channel

Every major network in the UK has an online streaming service- iPlayer, ITV Hub and All4, etc. Their shows are often available online within 24 hours and remain for 30 days. Traditional providers are also streaming live programming. BBC, ITV and Channel 4 often release online exclusives. BBC has taken this further, due to budget cuts, as BBC 3 is now only available online.


This includes Netflix and Amazon Prime, which are online, subscription based providers of television and films. They provide shows that are ‘owned’ by other broadcasters and have successfully produced many mainstream shows- such as Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Transparent and soon Clarkson, May and Hammond’s new motoring show.

Peer to peer video hosting service

This provider drastically differs from the last examples as this relies on individuals to upload their own content- including You tube and Vimeo.


Implications for the Media Industry

-No set viewing times has caused; audiences become harder to market to and traditional TV to loose big their audience figures as the audience can “watch it whenever”.

-The expectation free content has been caused by the ‘digital generation’, who have always relied on their parents to pay for their television and regularly watch services such as You Tube for free. Consequently to avoid playing for content people illegally download and stream shows- which means the companies who produce the content lose revenue.

-Distribution laws allow only certain countries to view content. So to get round the issue people use VPN or Proxy servers to access blocked content. However providers are now requiring post codes or television providers before you can access the content to prove your location.

Internet Society



While trawling the internet for useful online resources for this module, I came across the “Internet Society”. Formed in 1992 by Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn, two of the “Fathers of the Internet”, the foundation describes itself as “trusted as the world’s independent source of leadership for Internet policy, technology standards, and future development”.

Their mission is to promote “the open development, evolution, and use of the Internet for the benefit of all people throughout the world” – mirroring the guiding principles of the internet which enabled the growth of the era’s defining technology.

This site relates to many topics in this module such as:

Topic Useful aspects from site
The Internet Then and Now (Week 1) Interactive timeline with the internet and companies history. LINK
A whole section of the site is dedicated to describing the internet, how it works, who makes it work and how it is evolving. LINK
Understanding Technology (Week 2) The foundation describes why the internet matters to all of us. LINK
Part of the site features blog posts on the why technology matters- which they showcase different opinions and information. LINK
How the internet works. LINK
The Networked Self and Ideas of Community (Week 5) Internet Society is a community in itself. Toucan get involved with the foundation- become a member, attend an event or just spread the word over social media. LINK
Privacy and Surveillance (Week 6) The foundation supplies tools and policies that empower people to manage their online identities and the ‘digital footprint’ they leave behind. LINK
Online identity tutorials showing the viewer how to manage they online identity and privacy. LINK
Regulation and Social Media (Week 7) Regulation is one of the issues the foundation focuses on. They work to ensure the internet is a permissionless innovation, has open access to everyone, and a collaborative place. LINK
Other useful information- Global Internet Report-

It focuses on the mobile internet and its trends, growth, benefits and  challenges it possesses. It also features statistics, data and recommendations for the evolution and development of the mobile internet. LINK

The foundation has commissioned many publications ranging from Network Neutrality to a weekly report on EU Issues. LINK
Internet Measurement Project.

Full of data and research “to determine the impact of technical, policy, and development efforts on the Internet, and the broader impact of the Internet on the economy”. LINK

You Tube channel featuring videos about digital footprints (in multiple languages) and “Building the Internet in Guerrero” LINK