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How Twitter Made #AlexFromTarget A Teen Idol

Photo of Alex Alex Laboeuf that went viral this week, and inspired the #alexfromtarget meme (@auscalum)  .
Photo of Alex Alex Laboeuf that went viral this week, and inspired the #alexfromtarget meme (@auscalum) .

Just how do things go viral? Sixteen-year-old Alex Laboeuf is certainly asking himself that question these days.

The relatively unknown Target employee from Frisco, Texas became the subject of a widespread teenage craze when someone posted his picture on Twitter.

He was just bagging at the checkout counter, but now he has more than 600,000 Twitter followers, has appeared on The Ellen DeGeneres Show and has his very own viral hashtag, #AlexFromTarget. So, how did it all happen?

Was it just a Target marketing campaign?

To find out, Here & Nows Robin Youngspoke with Andrew Lih, professor of journalism at American University and author of “The Wikipedia Revolution.”

[Youtube]

Guest

  • Andrew Lih, professor of journalism at American University and author of “The Wikipedia Revolution.” He tweets @fuzheado.
  • Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.