One Reason Youtube Videos Are Awesome

Their portrayal of violence is both more-realistic and more-negative. Oh, and there’s also less of it:

In this content analysis, we examined violence in Web-based entertainment. YouTube videos (N = 2,520) were collected in 3 different categories: most viewed, top rated, and random, with additional comparisons between amateur and professional content. Frequencies of violent acts and the context of violence (e.g., characteristics of perpetrator and victim, justification, consequences) were compared both between these categories of YouTube videos and with existing research on television violence. The results showed far less violence as a percentage of programming on YouTube than there is on television. Moreover, the violence that was present showed more realistic consequences and more negative context than television violence. Post hoc comparisons illustrated several differences in the presentation of violence between make and category of video.

The good news is that the long-run trend is toward less television and more Youtube-ish videos. If kids are in fact getting brainwashed by what they see on TV, the future should be one in which people are more fearful of violence.

2 Responses to One Reason Youtube Videos Are Awesome

  1. Matt Haskins says:

    I don’t even know where to begin with this. Ok, let start with the tenuous connection between viewing violence on TV and increased rates of violence in children. Second, there may be a lower precentage of violence and more negative realistic consequences associated with that violence on YouTube, but the mind numbing, graphic nature of a massive amount of violence waiting a search on YouTube would seem to me to put a damper on the good news for people worried about such things. I grew up watching a lot of shows in the 70s and 80s with gun play but never saw things as horrific as what a waits on a simple search of YouTube. Finally, kids might not be watching as much TV violence but they are certainly playing video games with increasingly levels of realistic violence. And they are not only viewing them, they are digitally participating in such role playing in a consequence free evironment. Maybe we shouldn’t take one limited study, and bank our hopes for a less violent world on it. If you do believe there’s a causal link between viewing violence and actual increases in violent behaviour (something I’m very dubious about) I’m afraid you still have a lot to worry about. Either way I don’t think this study tells us much about our future.

  2. Eric Horowitz says:

    I think you’re reading a little too much into a single sentence. My only point is that, all things being equal, it’s better for people to see a realistic portrayal of violence in which there are real consequences rather than TV violence in which a guy is cracked over the head with a baseball bat and then bounces right back up to defeat the bad guy.

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