Hundreds of Snowballs, Millions of Views: Emerald’s Rowdy Student Snowball Video a Wintry Viral Sensation at U of Oregon

A video posted to YouTube by the Emerald at the University of Oregon showing students flinging hundreds of snowballs has nabbed millions of views.

Captured by a student employee on the Emerald’s business side, the three-day-old vid offers an armchair look at rowdy UO student snowballers pelting passing cars with the white stuff. At certain points, they even stop the vehicles so they can toss and dump more snow their way. After multiple viewings, I’d say the whole shebang does not come across as downright violent as much as cringeworthy — and possibly even criminally harassing.

Since its YouTube premiere, the roughly two-minute video — understatedly titled “Students Get Out of Hand During Friday’s Snowfall” — has garnered major YouTube and Reddit exposure. It has also led to an increasing amount of outside media coverage. And it has spurred a university investigation and drawn a few carefully-worded statements from UO officials including the head football coach (some players were involved).

That, my friends, is called mega-viral. Now duck.

Over the weekend, the Emerald summarized its escalating snowball sensation in a pair of pieces:

“A video submitted by Tommy Pittenger, a multimedia producer for the Emerald’s Venture Department, shows University of Oregon students pelting cars with snowballs and dumping a bucket of snow on Sherwin Simmons, a retired UO professor, in front of the Erb Memorial Union, after Friday’s snowball fight was released [Friday]. Since then it has gained more than 1,930,000 views [now more than two million] on YouTube and over 8,700 comments on Reddit, as of Sunday afternoon. The video reached the front page of Reddit and was the #2 spot … As of Sunday, articles regarding the incident have been featured by both national and international media corporations, such as USA TodayNew York Daily News, right-wing political website the Conservative Post and Metro, a tabloid based in the United Kingdom.”


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