Maybe it’s time to retire the idea of “going viral”

For years we’ve been using the phrase “gone viral” to describe something that becomes wildly popular on the internet. But it strikes a different note in the middle of a global pandemic, especially when the viral content is about an actual virus that is killing people. It’s even worse when you’re talking about “viral” content containing dangerous misinformation and conspiratorial thinking about such a virus—like Plandemic, the documentary that got millions of views on Facebook and YouTube last week before the platforms started removing it.

These past few months I’ve started catching myself whenever I write or speak about something

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