Wednesday 29 April 2020 by Dan Brooks

Viral ’10 Album Challenge’ pandemic traced back to record shop in Wuhan market


Record store in Wuhan

Scientists have traced the source of Facebook’s recent viral album challenge back to a record shop in Wuhan, China.

Patient Zero is now known to have bought Prince’s Batman soundtrack. He liked it a lot. Certainly within his top ten. He went on to share this pointless information with all of his seven friends.

As the ‘albumdemic’ spread, the Chinese authorities tried to curb the outbreak with draconian measures, such as replacing all album thumbnails on the internet with images of Bros’ debut album Push, but they were too late.

Soon the whole world was in the grip of the fever. Facebook feeds in every country were completely overwhelmed. Men in their forties and fifties were worst hit. Countries went into lock-down, limiting the number of shared album covers to one a day for ten days, and prohibiting long, drawn-out explanations entirely.

Authorities already fear that the virus will mutate, with some speculating it will no longer simply target the egos of middle-aged men, but could spread to young women causing an exponential increase in outbreaks of low-resolution Adele album covers worldwide.

There are conspiracy theorists who believe that the infection was initially a creation of the record industry, which is actually an entirely more plausible scenario than, for instance, 5G mobile masts causing a virus to spread.

There is currently no known vaccine, but to remain safe the advice is to stay off Facebook and try to accept that if not even your wife is interested in the albums you like, there’s bugger all chance a load of Facebook friends you haven’t seen in person in ten years will be interested either.

Authorities concluded, “We’re still at a loss to understand how it went viral so quickly. I mean, it’s not even really a ‘challenge’ is it? It’s a Google search, a copy, a paste and a post of something you really like.

“If you had to carve the cover of your favourite album on the side of a millstone using only a Macdonald’s coffee stirrer, then push the millstone up the hill to be published, then THAT would be a challenge.”

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