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An image, video, piece of text, etc., typically humorous in nature, that is copied and spread rapidly by Internet users, often with slight variations.

Harlem Shake, the viral video which has sparked over 100,000 imitations, has been  unique in the speed of its spread.

Since 2 February, when the video meme was born, 4,000 videos have been uploaded a day, over 700 million people have viewed the videos and the most popular, one of the versions  by a Norwegian army unit, has got more than 40 million views.

The format is simple. The soundtrack  is the song  Harlem Shake by New York DJ Baauer. Each video lasts about 30 seconds. For the first 15 seconds, one person – often masked or in a helmet – dances in front of apparently uninterested people. Suddenly, the screen is full of people dancing energetically all dressed up  with weird costumes.

The video allows you to be creative and to make it your own. For example, there is a cat version, another one which includes dancing sea lions and an underwater version.

In this Internet dance craze some may have gone too far, as the teacher in Wales recently suspended, who is being investigated for behaving  in an “unacceptable way”, or the group of 15 Australian miners fired for  breaking safety rules after performing an underground version.

  • Why do you think these videos go viral?
  • Do you find them funny?
  • Why are there so many people interested in creating their own version?
  • Would you take part in one of them? Why or Why not?
  • If so, which place would you choose and with whom?

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This entry was posted on 06/03/2013 by in Speaking, Trends.
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