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“”It used to be thought that the media was intentionally dumbing us all down so that they could control everything. The internet has proven that they didn't need to bother.
Media is a catch-all term used to describe all forms of communication. Most often, it is used to refer to television, radio, books, and newspapers (often referred to as the "Mainstream Media") but now also refers to the internet.
Often, political bias colours the contents of the media, often dividing the population's political beliefs even further down into the two main parties, (Labour/Conservative in the United Kingdom, and Republican/Democrat in the United States) ignoring the smaller parties that may have something good to offer (although, in some cases, not so good).
Viral refers to the spread of information, most notably over the internet, through person-to-person interactions. It is closely related to memes, which are often the unit of information being passed. The exposure patterns to the information look very much like the spread of a biological virus or other infectious agent. It is essentially an exponential growth pattern, with one person showing it to a few friends, who each show it to a few more friends, and so on.
The ease of spreading information in this manner over the internet has led it being the main fertile breeding ground, but similar things can occur through older technologies like fax machines, smoke signals, or, if desperate, face-to-face communication.
In recent years, major corporations have attempted to create artificial viral marketing campaigns to take advantage of the low cost and high exposure. Such viral marketing campaigns have met with mixed success.