BREAKING
THE INTERNET

Something on the Internet that causes a very large amoun of interest, shock, or excitement, with a large number of people sharing or reacting to what you have posted.

Storming
Area 51

Sept 2019

“Storm Area 51, They Can’t Stop All of Us,” was a Facebook event created for users to all show up to Area 51, which is a United States Air Force facility located in Hiko, Nevada.[8] The page almost instantly became a viral meme due to the constant cultural interest of Aliens and the never-dying rumor that the secretive U.S. Air Force base is associated with housing secret aliens.[9] With millions of respondent’s on Facebook, participants were called to run into the remote test site. This resulted in 1,500 people gathered at the near-by festival sites with more than 150 people making the rugged trip to the gates of the base resulting with two detained.[10]

Logan Paul
VS KSI

April 2017

Following a series of online feuds, an amateur boxing match between British YouTuber, KSI (Olajide “JJ” Olatunji) and American YouTuber, Logan Paul took place in Manchester Arena, Manchester, England.[5] Also looked at as the Mayweather Vs McGregor fight within the YouTube community, this fight brought in 2.25 million live viewers, including over 1.05 million watching pay-per-view[6], and 1.2 watching illegal streams on Twitch.[7] Although this match ended in a draw, the rematch was won by KSI, and rumor has it that there could potentially be a third match between the two YouTubers.

Fyre Festival
Disaster

April 2017

Fyre Festival was promoted as a luxury music festival located on the secluded island of Exuma in The Bahamas. Celebrities such as Kendall Jenner, Bella Hadid, and Emily Ratajkowski raved about the festival in the months leading up to it. During the festivals inaugural weekend, the event experienced a multitude of problems including (but not limited to) cancelled musical talent, security, food, accommodations, and medical services. “Gourmet” meals that were promised to attendees who paid hundreds of dollars for tickets, received pre-packaged sandwiches and FEMA tents to stay in. Since the fraudulent festival occurred, streaming services have released documentaries about the event: Hulu’s Fyre Fraud and Netflix’s Fyre: The Greatest Party That Never Happened.[4]

Rest In Peace
Harambe

May 2016

A 17-year-old western lowland gorilla named Harambe was killed at the Cincinnati Zoo. After noticing a boy that fell into the enclosure, Harambe approached the child, grabbed him, and began dragging him around the retaining pool inside the enclosure in front of onlookers. This incident ended with the difficult decision to terminate Harambe in order to save the young boy’s life.[2]

The Mannequin
Challenge

Nov 2016

A viral Internet video trend known as The Mannequin Challenge, took the web and social media platforms by storm. The challenge required people to be frozen in action while a moving camera films them as “Black Beatles” by Rae Sremmond plays in the background. Participants ranged from sports teams, schools, and celebrities such as Michelle Obama, Paul McCartney, Stephen Curry, and more.[3]

The Dress: An Epic
Optical Illusion

Feb 2015

Is the dress color white and gold or black and royal blue? Surfacing from a Tumblr page, the disagreement over the color of the dress both perplexed and frustrated its viewers causing people to lose their mind over the garment. Turns out, the confusion of color has to do with rods and cones in our retinas which are tuned to pick up red, green, or blue wavelengths of light. When light hits our eyes, the receptors turn these colors into electrical signals that are sent to our brain, which blends the signals of our receptors. The lighting of this image has a bluish tint, which is what throws people’s brains off, making the blue part appear white and the black part appear gold. The dress is in fact blue and gold![1]

Sources

[1] Udland, Myles. 2016. One year ago, the internet lost its mind over 'The Dress' that might be blue and black or white and gold — And now some people see the colors differently. February 26. Accessed November 16, 2020. https://www.businessinsider.com/is-the-dress-white-and-gold-black-and-blue-2015-2.
[2] WKRC. 2020. 4 YEARS AGO: Harambe the gorilla killed after child falls into Cincinnati Zoo enclosure. May 28. Accessed November 16, 2020. https://local12.com/news/local/4-years-ago-harambe-the-gorilla-killed-after-child-falls-into-cincinnati-zoo-enclosure.
[3] Weaver, Nicole. 2016. 17 Celebrities Who Did the Mannequin Challenge Nicole WeaverMORE ARTICLES. November 24. Accessed November 16, 2020. https://www.cheatsheet.com/entertainment/celebrities-who-did-the-mannequin-challenge.html/.
[4] Ohlheiser, Abby. 2017. The complete disaster of Fyre Festival played out on social media for all to see; ‘NOT MY FAULT’ says organizer Ja Rule. April 28. Accessed November 16, 2020. https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/the-intersect/wp/2017/04/28/the-complete-and-utter-disaster-that-was-fyre-festival-played-out-on-social-media-for-all-to-see/.
[5] 2018. KSI v Logan Paul: YouTube boxing fight ends in a draw. August 26. Accessed November 16, 2020. https://www.bbc.com/news/uk-45310986.
[6] Benson, Michael. 2018. HUGE NUMBERS KSI reveals his fight with Logan Paul sold over 1,000,000 pay-per-view buys, but dismisses excessive earnings reports. August 29. Accessed November 16, 2020. https://talksport.com/sport/boxing/416017/ksi-logan-paul-sold-over-1000000-pay-per-views/.
[7] Alexander, Julia. 2018. KSI and Logan Paul’s $10 YouTube fight proved Twitch pirates always win. August 26. Accessed November 16, 2020. https://www.polygon.com/2018/8/26/17782330/ksi-logan-paul-twitch-piracy-stream-youtube.
[8] [9] Gilbert, Ben. 2019. Millions of people signed up to storm Area 51 today — here’s what the invaders will find when they hit the small Nevada town. September 20. Accessed November 16, 2020. https://www.businessinsider.com/what-is-storm-area-51-meme-2019-7.
[10] Ritter, Ken. 2019. About 75 people gather at Area 51 gate, 2 people detained . September 20. Accessed November 16, 2020.