For my final paper, I want to look at YouTube and the general phenomenon of posting videos to the web for millions of viewers to see. I also want to look at the content of these videos and analyze how and why YouTube came to be and how it has completely changed media on the Internet. YouTube started off as a site that people uploaded videos to for free and has morphed into a central place for music videos, movie and TV clips, video blogs of all sorts and much much more. TV shows have been created around the content of YouTube with programs like Tosh.O and stars have risen to fame through discovery on YouTube (Justin Bieber) and infiltrated every corner of our visual culture today.
I am fascinated by the amount of content that YouTube holds and what this means for our visual culture. I want to look particularly at why people are so drawn to express themselves with videos. What compels them to do this and how has YouTube been able to control the content that is loaded to its site? People of all different ages post things to the site and this poses problems with content and the appropriate nature of certain videos. YouTube provides a unique platform for anyone and everyone with a webcam or a video camera. People have the freedom to create any video they want and this is what draws them to the site. However, this can’t be completely true and I want to look into the content regulation in terms of the First Amendment and the FCC that YouTube is regulated by.
I also want to look at how popular videos on YouTube are circulated and viewed by millions of people. What makes a popular video? How do you get your video to become a sensation? YouTube is so specific to our generation and with all of the social media regulations being instated I am curious to see how YouTube fits into the mix.