Is YouTube’s popular content getting worse?
By EG Manilag, Staff Writer
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For most of us, YouTube is our preference for leisure on the internet. Personally, I love to watch funny prank videos. Watching this kind of stuff calms down my brain from all the stressors—especially school. However, I feel most of YouTube’s mainstream content is getting worse. From misogynistic content, clickbait thumbnails, ridiculous challenges, to dangerous pranks—I’m pretty sure it’s only going to get worse.
Let’s start off with misogyny. What I really hate most about YouTube’s content is the amount of “gold digger pranks” there are. I think it’s obvious that most of these videos are scripted, but it’s just awful to watch videos like these gaining popularity and views because they can perpetuate some harmful stereotypes about women. Even if it’s scripted, the portrayal of women being lured by cash or some luxury cars is horrible. The creators think that it’s okay to disrespect women for the sake of views. Sadly, some people buy into it, and we can see that this is evident in the comments section of these videos.
Another thing is the all-powerful clickbait thumbnails. They’re not only misleading, but also sometimes inappropriate. To gain views and popularity, some YouTubers even put gratuitous cleavage in their thumbnails. We know that nudity is strictly prohibited in YouTube’s policy, so it’s weird that some are still tricked by this, but I guess it’s true that “the flesh is weak.” I think the real concern here is the children on YouTube, because they might scroll past these inappropriate thumbnails while browsing.
In a fight for that gold play button—an award for channels that reach or surpass one million subscribers—many YouTubers upload videos that are nonsense. Honestly, it’s like they’re so out of ideas that they’ll just upload whatever videos they can. Some YouTubers simply stick into the inappropriate stuff because it’s deemed to be the greatest clickbait. It’s sad that many are not using YouTube as a platform for creativity, instead it’s now a race for views.
Viral challenges are also one of the things that make YouTube a scary platform; such a large media platform can easily influence the youth, especially if it looks “fun.” An example of one of these viral challenges is the “In My Feelings” challenge where people get out of moving cars and dance to a popular Drake song of the same name. In this challenge, some people were seriously injured.
More recently, we have the “24-hour Overnight Challenge.” The challenge entails a YouTuber(s) hiding in stores, establishments, or their friend’s house without them knowing it. Isn’t that ridiculous? I just hope that most of these videos are scripted—because if they’re not, it’s a serious offence they’re committing and posting publicly. It’s an invasion of privacy and incredibly stupid.
Another thing that bothers me about YouTube (which is not about the content) is the number of ads. Advertisers may say that YouTube is helpful for it promotes and markets their businesses leading to increased sales, but what about us, the viewers? Research shows that people think Facebook and YouTube have the most annoying ads, and it’s no surprise why. Because of ads on our screen are getting longer and unavoidable, we tend to become annoyed and frustrated.
Of course, with all that said, YouTube still has a lot to offer. I’m forever in debt with the number of free tutorials I’ve watched. I’m sure some of you have something to be thankful for on the platform as well. However, because of the types of content that dominate it, I think YouTube’s golden age is now over—and it’s only becoming worse.