Video Pandemics: Worldwide Viral Spreading of Psy’s Gangnam Style Video

Viral videos can reach global penetration traveling through international channels of communication similarly to real diseases starting from a well-localized source. In past centuries, disease fronts propagated in a concentric spatial fashion from the the source of the outbreak via the short range human contact network. The emergence of long-distance air-travel changed these ancient patterns. However, recently, Brockmann and Helbing have shown that concentric propagation waves can be reinstated if propagation time and distance is measured in the flight-time and travel volume weighted underlying air-travel network. Here, we adopt this method for the analysis of viral meme propagation in Twitter messages, and define a similar weighted network distance in the communication network connecting countries and states of the World. We recover a wave-like behavior on average and assess the randomizing effect of non-locality of spreading. We show that similar result can be recovered from Google Trends data as well.


Video Pandemics: Worldwide Viral Spreading of Psy’s Gangnam Style Video
Zsofia Kallus, Daniel Kondor, Jozsef Steger, Istvan Csabai, Eszter Bokanyi, Gabor Vattay