Virality is like a forest fire, researchers say

09/26/2013 | MIT Technology Review online

The viral spread of an image or message across social networks depends less on anything inherent to the message itself and more on the structure of the network that first encounters the message, researchers say. Virality is rather like a forest fire, they explain: The ultimate size of the blaze depends on the proximity and flammability of the trees, not on the initial spark that sets them alight.

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