I hardly need to weigh in because I already did – in depth, last summer, at the peak of the last Momo wave. But I will only highlight the best thinking I've seen this go round and add 4 points – lessons to consider from this time for when the next wave hits (because this will certainly not be the last, and why reinvent the wheel every time?). First the points: Who's the (potential) … [Read more...] about Momo. Again.
There's no rhyme or reason to these things. They show up on different social media platforms, start in different parts of the world, but don’t always "go viral" in regions where they started. There are cultural aspects to what makes them take off but also universal ones: They "excite children's and teens’ imaginations, increase careless media outlets' appetite and opportunities for bigger … [Read more...] about About ‘Momo’ & dealing with viral media scares
A reader in India, where a "Blue Whale" scare has now taken off, asked if it's a genuine threat, so here's an update (see also sidebars below about the all-important Russian context and lessons from India, because there's are cultural as well as universal pieces to this global puzzle): In answer to the question in the headline up there: maybe both. Blue Whale is also now quite likely a … [Read more...] about ‘Blue Whale’: Clickbait or a new form of online grooming?
The term "fake news" has largely (and rightfully) been discredited because, at best, it's simplistic and, at worst, used to dismiss or discredit legitimate news providers. But there is such a thing as real fake news: misinformation and disinformation that goes viral in this digital age and then leads to real tragedy. So the "Blue Whale" story is no longer about "fake news," and we're now at the … [Read more...] about When ‘fake news’ becomes real: What next with ‘Blue Whale’?
June 11, 2017, adding an update in the form of author, journalist and game designer Andrea Angiolino's response to sensationalist tabloid "coverage" in Italy of a new arrest in Russia – see the first sidebar below. My first post on the "Blue Whale challenge" was published March 13 here. Much has happened since then in a number of countries, so an update is in order, but I hope you agree that the … [Read more...] about Core concern: ‘Blue Whale’ & the social norms research