Anatomy Of A Viral News Story

Anatomy Of A Viral News Story
Or Why Online News Is So Crap

So there’s a story doing the rounds about a survey where 10% of Amer­i­cans think HTML is a sexu­ally trans­mit­ted disease, 12% think USB is a Euro­pean coun­try and vari­ous other silli­ness.

It’s a funny story and it does tend to rein­force what we tend to think about the public’s igno­rance.

One minor prob­lem… this survey wasn’t run scien­tif­i­cally (basi­cally it was emailed to people) and the way the ques­tions are worded encour­ages silly answers.

But has that stopped people, blogs and news sites from just blindly repeat­ing it?


The LA Times reported today on a UK coupon website’s survey of Amer­i­cans saying that 1 out of 10 Amer­i­cans thought HTML is an STD.

From there, several news sit

About Eoghann Irving

Overly opinionated owner and author of You can get updated on his posts directly on the blog here or through the usual social networking suspects. What? You expected me to say something interesting here? That's what the blog posts are for. Eoghann has often wondered if people read these little bio things we have to fill out everywhere on the internet and, assuming they do, why?