Viral

White House photo viewed as often as it is parodied

May 4, 2011 at 11:51 AM ET

Official White House Photo by Pete Souza /

At 10 a.m. PT on May 2, 2011 — barely half a day after the world learned that Osama bin Laden was killed — the photo above was uploaded to the official White House Flickr account. It shows President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the national security team gathered inside the White House Situation Room as they receive updates on the mission against bin Laden. Today — barely two days after the photo was shared — the image is almost the most viewed item on Flickr.

At first thought it may not sound significant that an image could near "most viewed" status in a few days — stranger things happen on the Internet daily, after all — but consider some of the statistics which Flickr staff shared with TechCrunch:

At 1,597,561 views currently, the Situation Room image is already more than half way towards beating the current most viewed Flickr photo, the relatively banal snapshot of Nohkalikai Falls, Cherraphunjee which was taken in 2006 and has garned 2,978,625 views after five years. The Situation Room photo amassed its 1,597,561 views after a little under 38 hours.

Yes, it took the current "most viewed" image five years to accumulate nearly three million views and the Situation Room photo is half way to that point in a mere two days.

And that's not all.

Since the now-iconic image was uploaded, there have been all sorts of edited and manipulated versions floating around the Internet. The Atlantic's Alexis Madrigal even made it a point to gather up some of the best ones from sites such as Boing Boing, Reddit, and Tumblr.

Our favorite? The Situation in the Situation Room:

Other popular takes on the Situation Room meme include Sad Keanu, the grumpy flower girlPrincess Beatrice's Cthulhu hat, cats, velociraptors, and more.

Oh, and of course there's always the inevitable Rick Astley reference:

Related stories:

Rosa Golijan writes about tech here and there. She's a bit obsessed with Twitter and loves to be liked on Facebook.

TOP