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Pinoys to blame for Gangnam Style's viral success

If Gangnam Style were a disease, then Filipinos are "patient zero": we're mainly to blame for spreading it across the world, according to a recent study.

Researchers from the US and Hungary found that viral videos spread in much the same way that real viruses do, in a wave-like pattern that spreads outward from an original source.

This pattern is tricky to analyze, however, because viruses and videos don't require physical proximity with the source for them to spread: with the advent of air travel, viruses can spread quickly over vast distances in much the same way that videos spread across the internet.

In order to learn more about how this works, the researchers analyzed the phenomenal spread of South Korean singer Psy's "Gangnam Style" video—which, with 2.9 billion views to date, is one of the most-watched YouTube videos of all time.

They were able to trace its viral success to the Philippines.

"While the obvious (source) should be Seoul/South Korea, where the
video has been created, it seems that the most intensive source of social network spreading was in the Philippines," the researchers noted.

"The Philippines is much more connected socially to the rest of the world than South Korea. This is partially due to the English language use and a well spread diaspora (sic) of the Philippines," they explained.

"The Philippines is relatively close to South Korea but has stronger links to the rest of the world through its diaspora. It also has stronger English language links," noted the MIT Technology Review.

The research was published in — GMA News/KVD