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Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Rebecca Black's "My Moment": The Fleeting YouTube Glitch That Almost Saved Us

Posted By on Tue, Jul 19, 2011 at 8:17 AM

  • Image via the video, which we will not link to for what should be obvious reasons.

Rebecca Black (she of... you know) has debuted her second single, "My Moment." It's way better than "Friday," but still terrible: A totally anonymous Disney-pop confection with a flat hook and mind-numbingly (but not hilariously as before) inane lyrics. The few really squirmy moments in the video seem more like self-parody than earnest awkwardness. You get to do unintentional humor only once before the joke's on us.

This should be her undoing -- you get on Sportscenter by falling on your face or by hitting home runs but not by fielding routine ground balls. And a YouTube glitch almost made it seem like that logic, which depends on some measure of quality, might also shine through and sink Ms. Black's errant career.

Several hours after the premier of the video, YouTube's counters displayed something surprising: 302 views -- a number you'd only need to multiply nearly fifty two thousand times to get to where "Friday" wound up. Let's just say it was off pace. And this, had it been accurate, would have been more significant one than you might think. Viral sensations live and die by eyeball counters. At least half the curiosity about any internet star is the weight of consensus -- without numbers the thing immediately falls out of the feedback loop. Could it be that the world had risen in consensus to stay away from the follow-up effort? We refuse to endorse a culture of novelty!

Actually the precise opposite. The cracks showed immediately upon scrutiny -- some 40,000 like/dislike votes and about as many comments? Actually, YouTube's counter had clearly crashed under the duress -- a reset near midnight changed the number to 51,506, where it froze again. All indications were that "My Moment" was rapidly skyrocketing past the 100,000 mark. Right now? It's over a million. Well on its way to proving the thesis of the song ("this is my moment") correct.


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