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of a new media phenomenon fitting into an existing culture. (Snickars 13)
YouTube is referred to as a platform to emphasize its political, cultural, economic, and
technological significance. It is a virtual place where discourse occurs in all forms.
In 2006, YouTube was purchased by Google for $1.65 billion and had thirteen million
visitors every day (Snickars 10). This figure has since multiplied and YouTube is one of
the most visited websites on the Internet. Its popularity will only continue to increase and
its effect is difficult to accurately calculate.
YouTube has had both positive and negative effects on society. When big media
co-exists with homemade, personal content the question of credibility needs to be raised.
A content survey on the origins of 4,320 videos discovered that “just over half the
material were coded as coming from user-created sources- content produced outside of
the mainstream, broadcast, or established media”(Burgess 43). This can make it difficult Gibbons 3 to discern the credibility of a source. In today’s age of Internet dependence, people tend
to be naïve in trusting sources. We assume that all information is thoroughly researched
and is accurate. The growing amateurism on the Web, especially YouTube can threaten
already established institutions with real integrity and credibility. Author, Andrew Keen
has criticized technological advancements in the modern age, particularly YouTube.
“We’re never sure if what we read or see is what it seems. The user-run Internet not only
allows, but encourages the invention of false identity”(Keen 79). Anonymity is rampant
on millions of websites on the Internet. People can assume false identities and others are
quick to believe.
The issue of a lack of credibility poses a threat to various industries. The
broadcast news industry is threated by the widespread anonymity on YouTube. There is a
general disparity between users and experts or producers. The staff of traditional
newspapers and networks is held legally responsible for all statements that editors,
columnists, reporters, and news anchors make. This encourages them to maintain a
certain standard of reliability, truth and intellectualism in the content they produce.
Owners of websites, however, are not responsible for content posted by a third party. If
websites are not held accountable, then there is little incentive to question information
they post (Keen 74). Libel and slander laws prove difficult to effectively enforce on
YouTube and other Internet websites. A defamatory campaign video for North
Carolina’s Thirteenth Congressional District was one of the most watched videos on
YouTube in November 2006. In the video Republican candidate, Vernon Robinson
accused his opponent Brad M...
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This note was uploaded on 10/04/2013 for the course HIST 305 taught by Professor Wermuth during the Fall '13 term at Marist.
- Fall '13