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Videos that set the world on fire

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21 September 2012

protest video social media

The world was rocked for the second time in less than a year by a video this week. The badly made, purposely insulting Innocence of Muslims by what looks like a convicted fraudster had religious zealot, political opportunist Islamists in a rage across much the world.

It had Google removing the video from YouTube in some countries, while refusing a US government request to remove it in the USA. And it produced an internet meme poking fun at the perceived universal nature of Muslim Rage.

Earlier this year we saw the incredible impact a much better crafted documentary – about Joseph Kony of the notorious Lords Resistance Army – had when it racked up over 100 million views in no time.

Getting a piece of content to spread on social media and ‘resonate’ with the public has as much to do with context as ‘content’ and how much the content is seeded. As scientist Duncan Watts has shown, it’s not just the size of the flame that counts, but whether the forest is dry. In that sense the sensitivities of the Muslim world is an easy target. Even cartoons have sparked outcries in this particular context.

But normally its much harder to get noticed. Yet video is often your best bet. It is an incredibly reductionist medium that speaks to emotions directly in ways that is very difficult in text. Humans aren’t machines, video easily hits buttons that’s otherwise hard to reach. Anonymous – the hacker groups realised this early – it has been particularly effective in getting its message across with video.

The bottom line? Expect more videos to rock your world as marketeers, propagandists of all stripes get wise to this fact.

Quite often the videos that make a big impact are the unscripted ones that people make as they go about living everyday lives, or trying to survive tragedies like wars and tsunamis.

So courtesy of Link TV here is a compilation of 10 unscripted videos that shook the world.

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