How far can a viral tweet get you? Be careful what you wish for



22.05.2019 15:10

Twitter is a game with two objectives. The first is to scream your opinions at people who hold an identical set of opinions, in the mistaken belief that you are changing things. The second is to go viral. A viral tweet isn’t just a dopamine hit of validation, it can also lead to crucial exposure. Your work – nay, your entire personality – is suddenly seen by millions of people, and opportunity undoubtedly follows.

Take Adam Koszary. Once, he was simply a programme manager and digital lead for the Museum of English Rural Life; tasked with trying to breathe life into an institution best known for its collections of walking sticks and wellington boots. But then, in April 2018, he called a big sheep an “absolute unit” in a tweet from the museum’s official account. It was retweeted 31,100 times. Three days later, Tesla chief Elon Musk changed his Twitter profile picture to the image of the sheep and, long story short, has now hired Koszary to run Tesla’s social media.

This is not the first time someone has been offered work following a viral tweet. In December last year, college student @putang_gang tweeted a fake iMovie trailer called Where the Fuck Is George after her boyfriend didn’t immediately reply to a text. It was viewed 2.7m times and she claims to have received real editing jobs as a result.

What is impressive about these is they didn’t resort to Twitter invoicing to get there. Regular users will be aware of this trend: a tweet does well and then, below it, comes the “check out my Soundcloud” self-promotion. To pick one at random, last year a user by the name of @Ninacolada went viral for asking whether or not, theoretically, the owner of the Mona Lisa could eat it. It was retweeted 35,800 times, so underneath she posted a link to her Paypal account in the hope that virality would translate into financial gain. She later claimed she received just one cent for her efforts.

Going viral could always be worse, though. Koszary’s new boss knows this only too well. In what might be Musk’s most notorious tweet, he went viral by calling a diver a “pedo guy”. The result? He is going to trial for defamation in October – a stark reminder that going viral isn’t always a good thing. But, hey, check out his Soundcloud.


guardian sport hinzufügt Cavan Bradford


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