What is this “break the internet”? What does that even mean?
Hang tough for a sec.
First things first.
#thedress DID break the internet this morning.
CNBC reports this morning that:
A badly lit photograph of a $77 off-the-rack dress broke the Internet Friday, spawning arguments, memes and half-baked pseudo-scientific explanations over the viral frock’s real colors.
By some reckonings, Buzzfeed invented “viral,” but its deputy news director, Jon Passatino, appeared truly surprised by just how many clicks the dress generated. He tweeted that it broke the site’s traffic records, with more than 670,000 people viewing the post simultaneously at one point and garnering 16 million hits in six hours.
Neetzan Zimmerman, formerly an editor at another viral content machine, Gawker, and widely considered an expert in virality, tweeted that the dress is a “viral singularity.”
It appears to have started with a Tumblr post of the photo, headlined “what colors are this dress,” and spread from there as those who saw white-and-gold engaged in pitched battles with the blue-and-black camp.
So basically, the social-sphere aka viral singularity exploded in colorblind angst overnight.
Times a zillion.
In the event that you’ve been under a rock, while buried in a cave, located on top of a mountain and so you’ve missed it, here is the dress:
And then of course there was the internet breaking #LlamaDrama that happened earlier yesterday when two therapy llamas made a run for it.
That’s a thing now?
Apparently. But the big thing is that the mom and youngster llamas were running around like crazy people:
The run-with-the-llama’s video could have gone bigger, but they were knocked out of greater internet breaking-ing-ness by #thedress.
W.T.F. is happening?
Suddenly everyone is talking about breaking the internet. And the rise of Tumblr, instagram and our old friend Twitter makes it easier all of the time.
According to Time.com:
Google Chairman Eric Schmidt said in October that surveillance programs like the NSA are “going to end up breaking the Internet,” because foreign governments won’t trust the United States not to snoop on their online activities. And according to The Guardian, sharks could “break the Internet” by nibbling at underwater cables.
Those events might change internet. But in the context of viral media content, “breaking the Internet” means engineering one story to dominate Facebook and Twitter at the expense of more newsworthy things. (Like, for example, the fact that humans have landed a probe on a comet for a first time in history.) So perhaps a more accurate term would be “hijacking the Internet,” since really these stories seem to be manipulating online fervor rather than shutting the whole thing down.
Hijacking the internet.
Kim Kardashian anyone?
This from November of 2014:
Sorry. We’d all like to un-see that one.
Broken internet or not.
On a much more wholesome note; a month earlier BuzzFeed said that:
In September Taylor Swift “broke the Internet” when she wore a T-shirt saying “no it’s Becky,” a super-meta reference to a Tumblr post where a user insisted that a picture of young Taylor was, in fact, someone named Becky.
I have to get out more. Or stay in more. #Oneofthose.