When Online Videos Become The News – Droid 3, Tattoos, & Soldiers

When Online Videos Become The News – Droid 3, Tattoos, & Soldiers

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Every week there are videos that go viral, only to then be picked up by hundreds of news outlets and turned into an actual news story. I’m not talking about a news site simply sharing a video that they’ve noticed is getting popular—everyone does that. No, I’m talking about when a video grows beyond the normal viral world and becomes a major news story around the world. 

Usually, this kind of things happens because there’s something compelling about the video that leads to a public debate or discussion. I thought it might be interesting to gather a few from this week and give you an overview of each, along with the original video that started it all. This is, admittedly, an experimental idea for a recurring article… if it goes poorly, you probably won’t see it again anytime soon. :)

Let’s take a look at some viral video clips that kicked off international news stories this week:

Facebook Tattoo

Some people really, really, really love Facebook. One woman loves it so much—and her friends from Facebook—that she got a tattoo down the length of her arm that showcases the profile pictures of 150 of her friends. Take a look:

The woman, who is trying to stay anonymous (good luck with that), said this:

“It’s a personal expression of who I am right now in this part of my life and the mediaworld we live in. And of course I love the way it looks. I understand if you wouldn’t do this, I respect that. But to me it does have a lot of meaning.”

The video was turned into news by Time, CNN, Cnet, PC Magazine, and many more.

Motorola Droid 3 Leak

Sadly, the Youtube versions of our next news-making video have already been pulled. The reason? They showed off the upcoming Motorola Droid 3, including previously-unknown features. The videos, which looked pretty darn official, have now been yanked from YouTube by Motorola. However, there are still working Vimeo versions, like this one:

When video of an anticipated new gadget hits the web early, it’s going to be news. And once it’s out there… it’s out there. Some might even go so far as to wonder if Motorola leaked the videos themselves only to pull them back down in the hopes of creating a bit of viral buzz around the device.

This video became news at Eweek, Cnet, Wired, PC Magazine, and many more.

Soldiers Gouged On Airline Baggage Fees

Some members of the U.S. Army had a bad experience yesterday with Delta Airlines (cue the chorus of readers who have also had bad airline experiences lately, Mark, I’m looking at you). Instead of being allowed to check four bags each, which is Delta’s policy, they were told any bag over three would be a $200 charge. The soldiers, who paid out of pocket, recorded a YouTube video from the plane about their disappointment:

This is going to continue to be a huge story for a while. Americans are pretty darn protective of our men and women in uniform, and I don’t think Delta’s going to get away with a simple apology on this one (which is all they’ve offered for now).

This video became news at CNN, The Huffington Post, Fox News, The Village Voice, and many more.


Sometimes an online video gets popular and then, because of that popularity alone… becomes mentioned by news outlets. But other times, the video ignites a news story that grows to be far bigger than the video itself. That’s a testament to the power of video—that a 2-minute clip of some soldiers talking could generate all these articles, TV reports, editorials, and more… none of which would have existed if not for the video.

Thanks for taking a look with me at videos that became news this week.

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September 2018

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