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- Last week the blogger Kanghua Ren was arrested in Spain on charges of “crime against moral integrity” after posting a video of himself giving a homeless person a toothpaste-filled Oreo cookie to eat.
- This is just one example of an offensive ‘prank’ video that has been uploaded by an influential Youtuber.
- To better control the kind of content that can earn money from advertising, YouTube has made a number of changes, including the demonetization of a number of smaller channels.
For as long as home video cameras have existed, kids have used them to film themselves doing very stupid things. It’s part of growing up, or at least it was when I was growing up. My high-school television and video production classes were stuffed with goofy teenagers who liked to film themselves cavorting atop mail trucks parked outside the post office, bathing in tubs filled with milk and cereal, annoying the shopkeepers in my hometown’s business district, and eating any number of inedible substances. These videos were gross and immature a lot of the time, but they were also really fun to watch — delightfully dumb and transgressive in the way lots of art from the margins is supposed to be.
Thanks to YouTube, homemade video is no longer a marginal art form, and the same sorts of boisterous kids whose prank tapes would once have only been seen by their friends are now becoming worldwide celebrities for their dumbass behavior. In my day, my friends and schoolmates risked injury, parental censure, and other adults’ disapproval just to make themselves and their friends laugh. (Indeed, repulsing the adults who watched the video was often one of the points.) Now, plenty of kids (and adults) are making and posting stupid videos for the same reasons — but with the added temptation, or perhaps main objective, of being stupid in the service of gaining subscribers and living that sweet vlogger lifestyle. In between then and now, of course, was Jackass, which proved that prankish, good-natured body horror could find a wide audience.See the rest of the story at Business Insider
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