“What’s acceptable in the real world and their YouTube channel are very different things. If you want to get millions of views getting on the homepage, the easiest way is to make content that’s outrageous and gets a lot of reaction. It sets a worrying precedent because it becomes less about quality and more about shock value. They’re under a huge amount of pressure to be trending and that’s why they resort to these stunts.” – Sara McCorquodale founder of influencer analytics company CORQ and author of an upcoming book entitled Influence.
The Sun online newspaper tells us that there has been a shocking rise in YouTube animal cruelty with the intention of increasing subscribers, views and likes. There are numerous examples. And you know, it’s been that way for a very long time. But it appears to be getting worse.
There appears to be a gradual degradation in the level of morality of the general public as they chase celebrity on the internet. It’s quite easy to chase celebrity using the tool of animal cruelty. In one example, a man abuses his puppy by biting the dog on video and then publishing it on YouTube. Another example is a woman who faced a terrible backlash of anger from viewers when she “accidentally” videoed herself slamming her dog to the ground and spitting on him. YouTube should have acted and deleted the video and/or banned the woman but it seems that the video has been successful for her. It created notoriety and notoriety attracts viewers (although I believe advertising was suspended).
Then she apologised and its forgotten very quickly because everything moves so quickly on the internet. Is much easier to do something notorious on video than it is to do something good which is why Influencers are attracted to that method.
About a week ago a schoolgirl sparked outrage when she filmed herself throwing her dog into a tumble dryer.
And there appears to be a sick craze of setting up a scene in which either puppies or kittens are placed inside a sandy cave and a python snake is allowed to approach them and go into the cave. Then along comes a ‘primitive boy’ rescuer to save the kittens and puppies at the last minute. The video below is a classic example. It is titled “Primitive Boys Saves Family Cats from Python Attack-Python Attack Cat Nest”. It appears that the person who made this video does not speak English as his first language. The video has been criticised heavily in over 6,000 comments but it has received over 51 million views. Those kind viewing numbers make a lot of money for the maker of the video through adverts.
Emily summed up the video:
“Emily Hartsay: Videographer = ‘primitive’, not farm boy who just happens to be poor with simple equipment. Racism, classism and animal abuse in one headline. You should be ashamed”.
The video is clearly set up but it is intended to appear to be spontaneous and occurring naturally. But one camera videos the cats while another camera is trained on the snake. Two people are making the video and it appears that it’s always a “primitive boy” who comes to the rescue. It is laughable and ugly at the same time. There are many similar videos with animals being saved from pythons. Puppies almost crushed by a python appear to be a favorite.
One problem is the technology because it is so easy to record and upload videos. There is no doubt that people are losing their moral bearings about what is and what isn’t animal cruelty. They are focused on getting interest in the video. That’s the hard part. Getting people to come to the video and if it’s shocking, they will come. These Influencers put aside the uncomfortable fact that in order to shock they have to be cruel to animals.
PETA has urgently appealed to websites such as Facebook and YouTube to impose a “permanent ban on any users who post photos or videos of themselves harming animals”. I don’t think that it will make a jot of difference. Another factor is that YouTube and Facebook simply can’t administer their sites. There’s not enough men and women and man hours in the day to moderate the millions of hours of media that is uploaded to the sites. They rely on other people, users of the sites, to notify them but yet a lot of these people like the videos which is why they get so many hits.
The sad fact of life is that online sick pranks and fake situations involving animal cruelty are thriving very nicely thank you very much. The only objective is to make money and they make a lot of it out of advertising. Apparently if you have 800,000 followers on the streaming service Twitch you can earn a base salary of $20,000 a month. Many YouTubers nowadays become millionaires through advertising on their YouTube videos and have annual salaries above a million US dollars.
A lot of YouTubers become so immersed in their online world that they’ve built up that they become unaware of what is socially acceptable in a wider context. It is time for change. I think this slighlty depraved online world feeds back to the real world leading to increased crime.
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