The mother of the bride wore white and gold. Or was it blue and black?
From a photograph of the dress the bride posted online, there was broad disagreement. A few days after the wedding last weekend on the Scottish island of Colonsay, a member of the wedding band was so frustrated by the lack of consensus that she posted a picture of the dress on Tumblr, and asked her followers for feedback.
“I was just looking for an answer because it was messing with my head,” said Caitlin McNeill, a 21-year-old singer and guitarist.
Within a half-hour, her post attracted some 500 likes and shares. The photo soon migrated to Buzzfeed and Facebook and Twitter, setting off a social media conflagration that few were able to resist.
As the debate caught fire across the Internet — even scientists could not agree on what was causing the discrepancy — media companies rushed to get articles online. Less than a half-hour after Ms. McNeil’s original Tumblr post, Buzzfeed posted a poll: “What Colors Are This Dress?” As of Friday afternoon, it had been viewed more than 28 million times. (White and gold was winning handily.)
At its peak, more than 670,000 people were simultaneously viewing Buzzfeed’s post. Between that and the rest of Buzzfeed’s blanket coverage of the dress Thursday night, the site easily smashed its previous records for traffic. So did Tumblr.
Everyone, it seems, had an opinion. And everyone was convinced that he, or she, was right.
“I don’t understand this odd dress debate and I feel like it’s a trick somehow,” Taylor Swift wrote on Twitter. “PS it’s OBVIOUSLY BLUE AND BLACK.”
“IT’S A BLUE AND BLACK DRESS!” wrote Mindy Kaling. “ARE YOU KIDDING ME,” she continued, including an unprintable modifier for emphasis.
Celebrity couples were torn asunder by the controversy. “I see white & gold,” wrote Kim Kardashian West. “Kanye sees black and blue, who is color blind?”
Politicians were eager to stake out their positions. “I know three things,” wrote Senator Christopher Murphy, a Connecticut Democrat, on Twitter. “1) the ACA works; 2) climate change is real; 3) that dress is gold and white.”
Sorry, senator. The dress, as we all now know, is blue and black. It goes for 50 pounds at Roman Originals, a British retailer.
In an era when just about everyone seems to be doing anything they can to ignite interest online, the great dress debate went viral the old-fashioned way. It just happened.
Unlike other Internet sensations — remember Alex from Target, the 16-year-old Justin Bieber look-alike (and Target employee) whose picture lit up the smartphones of teenagers across the country last fall? — this was less an Internet meme than a national, even international, conversation. Or maybe argument.
[Source: article by nytimes.com]