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Virality and Chaos

This paper discusses virality in the context of social media, a feature characteristic of some of the ways it departs from earlier mass media institutions like television. I begin by explaining why chaos alone is an insufficient concept for wrangling this state of affairs then proceed with a more systematic and detailed view of how viral phenomena occur as manifestations of the rapidly adapting architecture of social media platforms. Then I discuss why this state of affairs can also not be equated with democracy, and conclude with a brief summary of the paper. While I refer to concepts hailing from philosophy’s ivory tower, nothing in this paper should prove inaccessible to a lay reader and I hope that anyone interested in this phenomenon will read on, regardless of their background.