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The surprising origin story of ‘Binod’

Log on to any online platform and you cannot miss it. It is everywhere; from the comments section to a headline to a newly-crafted meme. Yes, we are talking about the omnipresent Binod. Some netizens are sick of this new B-word, while others are gleeful at the ways the phenomena has nosed its way into the most random pockets of the Internet.

But how did this start? If you’re subscribed to YouTube channel Slayy Point, you would already know that the channel’s creators Abhyudaya Mohan and Gautami Kawale are behind this Internet implosion. Speaking over the phone, the YouTubers recall two videos ‘Why the Indian comments section is garbage (Binod)’ (more than seven million views) and ‘Who is Binod? How we created a viral meme’ (more than nine million views) which, in the channel’s signature hilarious way, narrates the Internet’s way of subconsciously taking on weird trends.

Slayy Point’s creators Abhyudaya Mohan and Gautami Kawale

Slayy Point’s creators Abhyudaya Mohan and Gautami Kawale  

Binod as a comment viral, which was odd for the two. After all, Binod took up barely 20 seconds in the nearly-nine minute video, describing the nonsensical vitriol of YouTube comments. At the start of the video, Abhyudaya admits to reading comments sections as a pastime and recalls seeing a commenter Binod Tharu leave a comment on a random video: ‘Binod’ with no subsequent explanation. The video then moves on to discuss other issues relevant to YouTube comments.

Then one day, Mumbai Police tweeted about Binod and Gautami recalls panicking, wondering if something serious happened that the police were getting involved, adding, “But we saw they had tweeted something creative and fun about it. Then when it started trending on Twitter, we realised it took a turn.” Within 12 hours of the Twitter trend, social media accounts of banks, streaming platforms, and other big names jumped on the Binod bandwagon. Binod also popped up in a lot of livestreams, including those of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, but without any political undertones which Abhyudaya points out — it is just about the mention.

The surprising origin story of ‘Binod’

Gautami and Abhyudaya admit there is no way to track the analytics now. “It’s just gone wild,” Gautami exclaims, adding that the purpose was not to track the meme’s quantitative impact but rather the qualitative.

For positivity

Gautami says, since the ‘outbreak’ of Binod, they are getting countless emails with ‘Binod’ in the subject line, agreeing that the meaning of Binod has evolved from a name to an abstract concept. Abhyudaya adds they were also mindful to ask people to use Binod in a positive way to not add more tension in these difficult lockdown times.

The Slayy Point team says they have since learned a lot about Internet culture during the lockdown times. Gautami explains, “Meme culture controls a lot of what is going on with Internet culture. In regards to our video, our audiences were talking about it a lot after. But then people also started considering it to be worth more of a conversation, rather than just making memes.” Agreeing with this, Abhyudaya explains, “Meme culture will also only get weirder and more absurd. Binod was just a name which became a word. Next, we may see a letter.”

The surprising origin story of ‘Binod’

Are there any unwritten rules when creating something that could go viral? Gautami responds, “When we create these videos, we have to think about what we are showing and what the impact could be. It’s never possible to determine what could be viral, though. Binod, though, happened organically. As a rule, we respect people’s privacy, and we take online behaviour really seriously.” Over the years, she says they have developed a sense of where Internet trends can head.

Abhyudaya states that creators should never underestimate the power of their audiences. Though Slayy Point is nearing three million followers, Binod has reached Internet societies in other countries. Gautami points out that DJ Snake is commenting Binod everywhere, and a few European YouTubers have talked about Binod too.

So, do you Binod like the rest of the Internet?


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Printable version | Jul 27, 2021 12:06:33 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/sci-tech/technology/internet/binod-viral-meme-on-social-media-origin-story-with-youtube-channel-slayy-point/article32333405.ece

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