Viral Videos Gain Public Interest

October 7, 2016

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. viral /ˈvaɪ rəl/ (adj.) – becoming popular after being passed on from one source to another
Example: The video that featured a popular celebrity helping a homeless man went viral.

2. circulate /ˈsɜr kyəˌleɪt/ (v.) – to spread information
Example: The unreleased movie trailer has been circulating online.

3. suggestive / səgˈdʒɛs tɪv / (adj.) – describes something that hints at something indecent
Example: The advertisements were banned because they were considered too suggestive

4. netizen /ˈnɛt ə zən / (n.) – an Internet user who actively participates in online discussions
Example: Several netizens reacted violently to the controversial post. 

5. heartwarming /ˈhɑrtˌwɔr mɪŋ/ (adj.) – resulting in positive emotions
Example: We enjoyed the heartwarming movie about the reunited family. 


Read the text below.
Two videos have gone viral on social media for very different reasons.

In July, a video showing a mother from Georgia hitting her 16-year-old daughter circulated online.  In the video, the mother, Shanavia Miller, was scolding the teenager after the latter posted a suggestive photo with her boyfriend on her Facebook account.

Miller herself uploaded the said video on her daughter’s Facebook page as a form of punishment. It quickly earned mixed reactions from netizens. Some said that Miller’s discipline method was appropriate, while others branded the act as cruel.

While Miller’s video gained attention because of its unpleasant content, another video uploaded the following month went viral for the opposite reason. The video featured a heartwarming scene of Kentucky judge Amber Wolf allowing an inmate to hold his one-month-old son in court.

The defendants, James Roeder and his wife Ashley, were accused of burglary after the couple reportedly stole six television sets from the warehouse where James worked. The judge previously imposed a no-contact rule between the defendants, but she broke the rule to allow James to finally hold his baby. Ashley gave birth while their case was ongoing, so the first time James met his baby was in court.

Wolf decided to grant James the opportunity because he had not seen his baby since his wife’s delivery, and there was a possibility that he would be returning to prison. Netizens praised the judge for her compassion.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Which of the two videos would you prefer to watch? Please explain.
·        In your opinion, what are the usual characteristics of a viral video?

Discussion B

·         What are the advantages and disadvantages of having a video go viral?
·         Would you want a video of yours to become viral? Why or why not? 

October 7, 2016