Camera: Samsung Camcorder
Editing Program: iMovie
Other Equipment: Humanity being awful on the internet
It started out with such innocence.
I conceived the idea during softball practice, scripted during class, and filmed in the middle of the night while my family slept. Basically, it was a typical Maddness video.
After editing the video, it sat on my computer for a couple of months before I uploaded it in the late summer as a filler video. I knew it wasn’t the best video, but it was good enough to get me to the next week so I could work on better content without missing my weekly deadline. Most of my subscribers ignored it so I figured it was fine. It was just something to hold the weekly viewers over until I could film and edit other videos. I didn’t think much about it and promptly forgot about it, moving onto better projects and videos.
Then it went viral.
If something goes viral, it’s either for the best or for the worst. In this case, it was for the worst. I managed to stumble upon the invasion right when it was starting. At first it was just a handful of comments, completely manageable and nothing more than some trolls poking some fun at an awful video. I played along, thinking that they will either leave me alone or realize that the video wasn’t serious and play along with the joke too.But it got worse.
Although some of the new visitors played along, the majority refused to do so and the comments got nastier. The dislikes grew with every passing view and I was beginning to panic. I started texting and calling every friend who was active on the internet to try and track down the source of this invasion. I scoured 4chan, Reddit, tumblr…anything and everything that could build an immense army of trolls to send to my innocent video just to try and save myself.
After making a desperate plea in my comments section for a source, one kind commentator finally confessed that they were all coming from Reddit/cringe. But that hardly helped. I couldn’t find the video in the tag and some of the trolls were beginning to find their way onto my other videos. It looked like there was no end to this nightmare of going viral on Reddit.
Now if you know anything about the internet, you should know that I couldn’t possibly fight back. That would just fuel the fire. If I continued to try and play along, they would resent me for acting like a “cool mom” and make things worse. If I deleted the video, I risked the chance of them calling me a coward and trying to take over the rest of my channel. If I did nothing, I would have to deal with the endless barrage of hurtful comments and risk being known as the “So RaNdOm” girl.
It was a torturous situation.
When I finally made the video private and everything settled down, the poor video had taken a serious hit. Over 1,500 views with 92 dislikes and a comments section with enough hate to fuel a Linkin Park song, it’s remarkable how the invasion only lasted for 45 minutes.
This is the closest I’ve ever gotten to going viral and it felt awful. It made me reconsider my entire channel and my goals for video-making. For a small period of time, I even considered straight-up deleting my channel. Obviously I didn’t, but it was an option I took very seriously for the time. I still don’t know who originally posted the video to Reddit and caused it to nearly go viral, but to that person who caused so many people to say so many hurtful things to me and forced me to delete one of my precious videos: I have one thing to say to you…
Sure you caused me a lot of anxiety and almost ruined my channel, but you also helped it grow. This incident has ensured that every video from now on will match a certain level of quality before being uploaded and there will never be another filler video again. I’ve worked harder on improving every video so that this incident will never re-occur and there won’t be any excuses for an army of trolls to harass my videos.
The next time a video of mine goes viral, it’s going to be for the best and it’s all thanks to the person who murdered this video.