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The Betty White Effect is a phenomenon that occurs when a celebrity (usually an unlikely one) becomes wildly popular or notorious again overnight. This phenomenon usually occurs on Twitter primarily through retweeting.

From Twitter, it progresses to reach late night shows like Conan O'Brien, Jimmy Fallon and sometimes Jay Leno. Becoming a meme of its own and lasting for a good 15 minutes of renewed fame/notoriety.

While in some cases it may be a good thing (Betty White), most of the time its just Twitter users going along with the trend and unwittingly blowing their popularity out of proportion.
Hey, did you hear Rebecca Black is the most hated person on the face of the earth right now?" "Really? Why? Must be the Betty White Effect.
by Shinrasboy May 02, 2011
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