The Foul Mouth of YouTube Travel
I’m absolutely convinced that comments on video sharing sites, especially YouTube, are more mean, potentially racist and more chaotic than comments posted to text-based blogs and sites. And I’m sure there are many more comments posted to video sharing sites.
While I’m mostly talking about travel videos on YouTube (a large part of the site's inventory), I’ve seen the same kinds of responses in other YouTube video categories. The site is the wild, wild..wild west when it comes to viewer feedback and attracting the crazies.
Maybe it’s the informal nature of video vs. text or print. Maybe because video is a “new” form of expression, it hasn’t evolved a set of traditions or decorum.
Comments posted to text-based posts still carry with them the tradition and weight of print's historic discipline, like accuracy, good grammar, sourcing and the like.
Video’s very nature seems to dis-inhibit the viewer, permitting him/her to shoot from the hip, be more impulsive, more extreme in expression. Either other video-sharing platforms (Metacafe, Veoh, Yahoo, etc.) police their viewer comments, or the sheer monster size of You Tube accounts for the huge number of extreme, off-the-wall responses.
Take a look at Travel Video PostCard's Germany TVP, one of three. There are 100 plus comments including Germany's love of Hitler and beer; its hatred of Turkish immigrants; its importance to Europe; its visceral anger toward Greece; its beautiful women, frustration at its immigration policy and a hatred of all things Islamic. Many comments are clearly anti-immigrant, anti "guest worker” invectives.
The Oslo TVP has about 150 comments on two, one-minute videos.
For a country that projects a brand image of Fjords, liberal Democracy, mountains and lush forests, the comments are even more jarring. As a producer of the Norway TVP, I've been called an "idiot" and a defender of sexual harassment as in this recent comment, posted under the Norway TVP:
"why don't you try live in Oslo for a while and have muslims sexually harass you whenever you're not with a man? Yeah, what a great society we have... Don't come with "discriminatory"-bullshit if you haven't lived here, because it really pisses me off. You're an idiot."The simple, deliberately non-political Udaipur India TVP with an aggregate 100,000+ views has comments like this:
"lets take up a stand against these dirty poverty stricken bengalis who think they are the sole contributors to indias independence, its rich culture and its glorious past...SPREAD THE MESSAGE & Throw these useless buggers outta the nation. HATE BONG! JAI HIND!"It would be futile for the publishers of TVP (and I’m one of them) to chase down and eliminate all these kinds of posts. Nor should we. Continued on the next page