Sharing The Misfortune - How Viral News Stories Storm The Internet


As anyone with a young baby will know, keeping them out of danger is a constant and never ending task. The world around them is designed for adults, and it seems every week there's a new story about someone discovering something that was once believed to be innocent, but that we now know is a potential hazard to the youngest in our society.

A good example of this is the story of a baby in the United States who managed to get a hair wrapped around her middle toe so tightly that it was actually cutting off the circulation. If it hadn't been removed by her parents, it might eventually have required amputation. This brings home three things to us: first, it reminds us all how fragile young children are.
A picture provided by the parents shows an extremely deep cut that looks as if it might have been caused by metal wire rather than a hair. Secondly it reminds us how before a baby has learned to speak, all they can do to tell us something is wrong is to cry, or become agitated long enough that someone sits up and takes notice.Sharing The Misfortune - How Viral News Stories Storm The Internet Thirdly, we are humbled and perhaps a little frightened that a simple thing like a human hair could not only make its way into someone's sock, but then wrap itself around a toe so tightly it could require major, life changing surgery.
What this story really tells us though, is how the way we define news and the way we report it is evolving rapidly.

In the early days of the internet, when stories broke they had a limited scope. If it wasn't on the evening news it would be covered in the newspaper, or perhaps in a magazine if it was a small or industry-specific news item.

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