YouTube doesn’t give an exact recipe for virality. But in the race to one billion hours, a formula emerged: Outrage equals attention. It’s one that people on the political fringes have easily exploited, said Brittan Heller, a fellow at Harvard University’s Carr Center. “They don’t know how the algorithm works,” she said. “But they do know that the more outrageous the content is, the more views.”
This is also true for the mainstream media too. Much of it involves speculation, assertion, and generally on topics over which are unimportant to you personally. But outrage gets you talking about it, telling your friends – and puts you in an emotional state where you are more easily swayed by advertising.
This, in turns, leads us to the culture of perpetual outrage now common on social media or on the streets of Portland, Oregon.