Social Media Math
So, there is this stupid Social Media Math Horse Algebra thing going around, where hundreds of people all fail at a very simple math problem, because the problem contains not one but three different sneaky tricks - one trick that requires knowledge of correct order of operations, and two tricks that involve varying the number of symbols (horseshoe-horseshoe presumably being double the value of simply horseshoe and boot-boot being double the value of just boot).
What’s interesting is not the math puzzle. What’s interesting is the virality of it.
The social media trick at play is that each person who looks at the puzzle figures out one of the tricks, or maybe two of the tricks, and then notices how many people got a different answer from theirs (everyone else, presumably), and wants to post, crowing about their superiority, to the channel. Hilariously, this has led to over 500,000 comments, the bulk of which are “you are all idiots”, and the bulk of which are wrong. It’s viral in the same way as those people who repeatedly post “everybody stop hitting reply-all” to an overcrowded mailing list.
My puzzle is much simpler and a lot less viral. The solution is a PUN, obviously.