Sydney Arlt and five other classmates created, shot, and then shared a video on Twitter last week that has gone mega-viral. The video proclaimed to show their actual professor looking noticeably upset because only a handful of students showed up to a holiday party he threw in lieu of a final exam. Sydney tweeted: “My professor threw a party instead of having a final and no one showed up.” The short video she included slowly scanned the room to show just a few students. It ends with a shot of her professor sitting at his desk, which has extra gift bags — for all the students who didn’t show up. Despite the video being viewed over 7.75 million times and retweeted over 70,000 times so far, the video is entirely fake. And it was the result of a class assignment given by their professor, Andrew Cline, with the sole intention to “go viral.”
… Cline is a media professor at Missouri State who’s teaching a course called the Fundamentals of Media Convergence. He said his aim for assigning the project was to show how difficult it is to go viral, and that it was “designed to be failed.” Cline was expecting his students to not meet the assignment’s goal so they could learn a more valuable lesson about the very challenges of going viral. But to his surprise, one student group exceeded the challenge. Watch!!