Anatomy Of A Viral News Story

Anatomy Of A Viral News Story
Or Why Online News Is So Crap

So there’s a story doing the rounds about a survey where 10% of Americans think HTML is a sexually transmitted disease, 12% think USB is a European country and various other silliness.

It’s a funny story and it does tend to reinforce what we tend to think about the public’s ignorance.

One minor problem… this survey wasn’t run scientifically (basically it was emailed to people) and the way the questions are worded encourages silly answers.

But has that stopped people, blogs and news sites from just blindly repeating it?


The LA Times reported today on a UK coupon website’s survey of Americans saying that 1 out of 10 Americans thought HTML is an STD.

From there, several news sit

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