How Emails Go Viral

— by Steve Sheffey

How do emails go viral? I’ve often wondered. Back in January, I wrote an article for the Florida Jewish Journal about President Obama and Israel. Within a few weeks it went viral, but in the process, the original headline, the link, and my authorship were lost, and the subject line was “Every Jew Should Read This.” (Editor’s note: This was reprinted in the Philadelphia Jewish Voice with the title “President Obama’s Jewish Problem.”) I received it several times (yes, I get the chain emails too). Then, a few weeks ago, someone who should be ashamed of himself or herself took the same email and attributed it to the Israeli Embassy, and it really went viral. Yet all along, the text remained exactly the same as what I originally wrote. You can read about the Embassy’s denial of authorship in Ron Kampeas’s JTA post here.

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