🖤 Donations of all sizes power our public service journalism Give Now

Using the Internet to spread mass hysteria

Molly Wood Sep 23, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

Using the Internet to spread mass hysteria

Molly Wood Sep 23, 2013
HTML EMBED:
COPY

The notion of something going viral online is nothing new. But there’s a fast expanding area of study in social media and how we share things — the study of Mass Psychogenic Illness on the Internet. Incidents of socially spreading hysteria and other forms of illness go back hundreds of years, but new technologies could be making these incidents spread faster and farther.

Karen North, professor of social media and psychology at the University of Southern California, joins Marketplace host Ben Johnson to discuss. 

Click the audio player above to hear more. 

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.