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Latest Topics

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An Analysis of "Spilling the Tea" on YouTube

Consider why YouTube channels discussing "tea" have become so popular nowadays. Are they the modern-day version of gossip magazines? What does this say about the viewers, who watch these daily videos speculating on people’s lives and actions? Why do these videos get so many views?

  • This would be a fantastic article. I've been thinking about this recently too. I think it pertains to the idea that we are all now 'journalists' and 'media outlets' in our own right. I think it's also rooted in celebrity culture and the rise of the 'reality TV star'. Which gets complicated when the 'TV' show is actually hosted on a Youtube channel and the director is also the star of the show. I think they're so popular because we love to build people up and then tear them down. And it's kind of like high school x 10000. We get to watch the popular kids self-destruct and the cliques we're not allowed into fall to pieces. – LottieWoods 1 year ago
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  • The idea of YouTube drama channels as the modern-day version of gossip magazines is quite a useful way of describing the phenomenon. I think it helps explain their popularity in terms of their turn-over rates when it comes to addressing stories/rumours. Viewers are able to consume content at a faster rate and the YouTube drama channels are able to address 'tea' more instantaneously, unlike tabloids, which have a far less flexible publishing schedule. However, the consequence is that content creators are much more incentivised to go looking for drama and 'tea to spill' in order to churn out as much content as possible in order to maintain an audience for their channel. – KatieR 1 year ago
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  • As someone who likes tea videos, i find it's popular simply because of the drama. Although I think all Tea videos should start adding a message for the reason of making the video not just because it's a cool story to tell. Natalia Taylor does this the best. Her videos always have some moral or some warnings for the benefits of her audience. Either to warn us about the red flags she missed or spreading the word about a certain issue. – Amelia Arrows 1 year ago
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  • This is a really cool topic! I have definitely fallen victim to this cycle, where you end up watching three separate videos on a beauty guru you don't know, and they all say the same things. It is almost like a FOMO (fear-of-missing-out) effect where you want to know what's going on and pick your side based on the 10-minute video. – Sammy101 1 year ago
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  • I think to understand this aspect of modern day culture we have to look at the circumstances surrounding this time. We live in a age where everyone can see what everyone else is doing most of the day. Some social media apps such as snapchat even allow for location tracking. When you are a fan of a particular you tuber and so often this youtube "tea spilling" involves creators who you are a fan of there is also a aspect of tribalism involved. – Aidan 1 week ago
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Different forms of product placement in mass media

Take a sweeping look at the first instances of product placement within video entertainment in various mediums; TV, YouTube videos, movies. Product placement, in this case, would specifically be the integration of branded products into the world of a story itself. Perhaps place them in different eras. Have actors gotten better at interacting with products naturally? Have advertisers gotten better at their product placements? How has this genre of advertising changed?

  • I think it would be helpful to centre this discussion within a specific region/culture, since the practice often varies depending on advertising regulations and cultural practices. For example, product placement in Thai dramas isn't usually designed to look natural, while Korean dramas are known to have large amounts of product placement that might be harder to spot. – vikkihuihuihui 2 months ago
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Social media and the rise of anxiety/depression among age groups

Analyze the relationship between the birth of various social media platforms and the rise in cases of anxiety/depression. Is there a correlation? Or, as mental health continues to be de-stigmatized, has there just been more acknowledgment of the issue? Senior citizens are said to benefit from social media due to a sense of connection. How does this compare to other age groups?

  • I think it is really interesting to consider how the role of social media differs between age groups. Generally looking at the relationship between social media and mental health without considering age would result in a loss of nuance. There is definitely ample research on the topic of mental health and social media, and I would encourage you to read these articles so you can take a new perspective in your article. – natpalumbo 12 months ago
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  • This article could potentially look at the removal of like-counts on certain platforms. Users can’t see how many likes another user gets on a post. Has this had any benefit? – Samantha Leersen 10 months ago
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  • Bass Reeves would be an amazing decision as a subject for a biopic. He was a lawman in the Old West who had unfailing genuineness, a profound feeling of equity, and hounded assurance to get the miscreant. He once even served a homicide warrant on his own child. He was one of only a handful few dark lawmen serving in the Wild West, and acquired close to all inclusive regard among his companions. Numerous antiquarians accept he is the motivation for the incredible anecdotal character The Lone Ranger – Musiclover1 5 months ago
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  • This idea is very pertinent for these days. It will have some shortcomings because the rise of social media has also coincided with a more open society and more mental health diagnoses. Still, this can be something to be explored in the research – harrietcorns 5 months ago
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  • I really admire you for bringing this topic onto the forefront of this site as it is a tremendously surprising topic, and one in my personal opinion our society has failed to take into any serious consideration. There is actually a study from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine that thoroughly discusses this topic. https://www.upmc.com/media/news/lin-primack-sm-depression. Social media is definitely a joyful medium of communication for a large number of individuals but can it can also be one of the most emotionally exhausting uses of of time for others. I definitely encourage to take a look at that UP article. Thank you again for bringing this topic up! Many people, I believe, are sure to benefit. – IDenby 5 months ago
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Published

The Age of the Observer

YouTube has become increasingly popular, almost like a "new TV" for younger demographics. On the platform, one can see a trend starting to happen where viewers want to watch other peoples’ lives through their vlogs and other content, such as unboxing videos and tutorials that the viewer never does but enjoys watching anyway. I call this "The Age of the Observer." This article would explore why this phenomenon is happening and explore just what kinds of videos people are watching. Some examples of channels creating this content would be Ryan ToysReview, both Jake and Logan Paul (where children vicariously live and envy the brother’s mansions, cars, clothes, etc.), and Jenna Marbles and Julien Solomita (especially with Jenna’s DIY videos and Julien’s cooking videos).

  • This is a really good topic to talk about, especially now that there is a lawsuit against YT from the LGBT community. Perhaps you could talk about the lawsuit and how YT is promoting creators that fit their "algorithim," despite being advertised as a platform for all. – Link 2 years ago
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  • Very relevant topic. Though I am not familiar with the examples of the channels you want to use. – AnnaRay 6 months ago
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Issues of Consent, Representation, and Exploitation in the Era of Deepfake Pornography

In the era of rapid advances in artificial intelligence and computer graphics, it is difficult for an untrained observer to be able to avoid, as well as recognise as such, an altered image, and now increasingly also an altered video. Known colloquially as "deepfakes," a portmanteau of "deep learning" artificial intelligences and "faked imagery", these seemingly seamlessly altered videos present challenges for notions of authentic representation, and much has already been written about their potential applications to and influencing of political discourses. Still, several aspects of "deepfakes," potentially made manifest both through high-end editing software and open access mobile applications, remain critically underexamined.
Most evident among these is perhaps the instantiation of "deepfake pornography," which relies on the digital superimposition of real people’s, almost exclusively women’s, faces and voices onto pornographic videos, predominantly for the consumption of male users. Often, the superimposed images and sounds come, or are alleged to come, from images that are considered part of the public domain, have been posted publicly by the individuals depicted or ones in possession of copyright, and in other ways allow for transformative use. The implication is, perhaps, that women’s bodies are to be seen as physical objects that, in an era of the incresing accessibility of image- and video-altering software, may as well be digitally recreated so as to be consumed in a way that circumvents any pesky discussions of consent. It is therefore necessary to take a closer look at deepfake technologies along with the exploitative, often violently mysoginistic as well as cisheteropatriarchal and white supremacist social and legal practices that commonly underlie their predominant uses.

  • I would suggest dropping "pornography" and just focus on three issues associated with "deepfake videos: 1) How extensive an issue is this? 2) How authentic-looking are these videos and can they easily be discredited? and 3) Do they influence public attitudes or voting? – Joseph Cernik 10 months ago
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  • That, too, constitutes an interesting discussion, but one that is already receiving extensive critical and academic attention, hence the idea of expanding it by discussing one of the most prominent yet critically underexplored applications of deepfake technology, deepfake online pornography. – HangedMaiden 10 months ago
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  • Interesting topic – EdwardMcCarroll 10 months ago
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The Phenomenon of "Top 10" entertainment

"Top 10" type videos and articles on the internet are so prolific right now it’s like they fill up any negative space available on the net. Examine why that is and how this type of arguably cheap content has become so popular. Is it because of the platforms they inhabit? i.e, "the medium is the message," or is it simply because of the mindset of the generation? Interested to hear your thoughts!

  • I would not call "Top 10" a new thing, it has been around for decades. Perhaps how it has changed, say, of songs that have been in the top 10 in different years might provide insight into changing tastes. – Joseph Cernik 11 months ago
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The Popularity of 'Reaction' Channels on YouTube

Since the Fine Brothers found YouTube fame with their ‘React’ series (Kids React/Teens React/Elders React/etc.), it seems that channels dedicated to reacting to other media has become prolific on the platform.
By reaction channels, this would entail the channels that merely watch/listen to films/tv/music and react to them as they watch – not offering productive commentary, merely just watching and giving subjective opinions as they watch.

Investigate what makes them so popular, is it because they are found genuinely entertaining? Is it because people enjoy having their opinions on a show/album/movie confirmed by someone else? Is it the charisma of the presenter that matters? Is it merely ‘easy’ content to create so it appears to be everywhere because it is just accessible for many creators?

Perhaps an article on this topic could look into the criticism of this video content – it has often been labelled as bottom-tier YouTube content, unoriginal and uninspired.
Some creators begin their careers with a reaction channel, then use the audience they gain from this to then transition into other content creation. Why is this type of content perceived so negatively despite being so popular amongst viewers?
Another angle to pursue could be what the artists’ response is to their art being used for someone else’s monetary gain through reaction channels. Do they, and the platform they upload to, disapprove of this behaviour, does it breach copyright laws? Do musicians/film makers/video game creators like this kind of publicity for their work, does it boost profit or encourage a new fan base?

Can parallels be drawn between reaction channels on YouTube and, say, young adult fiction in literature or reality tv in the television industry? That is, within any industry there exists a hierarchy based on public opinion regarding what is ‘good’ and what is ‘bad’ within that medium. Is reaction YouTube just another example of that? A guilty pleasure genre, perhaps?

I realise this is a lot of ideas thrown into one, so an article on this could be selective in which angles it chooses to pursue, however, ‘reaction’ channels are arguably a cornerstone of YouTube creation, and an article exploring this and its affect on the YouTube community would be an insightful read.

  • I think this is a very interesting idea. Speaking personally, the reason why I like the Fine Brothers' "React" series is the personality/charisma/character of each reactor, especially those who are unafraid to go against the public opinion by, for example, liking/disliking something that is overwhelmingly disliked/liked. Though, I've always wondered about the dilemma of using someone else's art for monetary gain, not only from a legal but also from an ethical standpoint. Even if copyright laws aren't breached under the doctrine of Fair Use, it still seems, in my opinion, morally ambiguous to profit off someone's work. This is especially the case when one is deriving profits from the arguably passive act of "reacting", as opposed to providing constructive criticism like reviews, for example. It might also be interesting to draw comparisons between reaction channels and the realm of YA fiction. At least in my own experience from being a semi-avid reader of YA and regular watcher of "BookTube", I feel as though there is a herd mentality that causes readers to feel guilty and/or ostracised for their reading preferences if they don't align with the general public opinion on which books are "good" or "bad". – Marcus 11 months ago
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The phenomenon of seven-second videos.

Whilst video platform Vine has closed down, its legacy of short Internet videos has remained. Investigate the popularity of these short videos. Why are they so popular? What makes them popular? How can a short video reach success – what needs to be included within the short video to make it successful? Is this medium preferred over longer YouTube videos, for example?

  • A good topic to think about. I think it's worth putting some attention on how the popularity has informed modern humor. – kerrybaps 12 months ago
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  • I agree. I've always wondered why short videos has been popular lately. Not just videos, they have different challenges too. I'd love to explore. – bp2020 12 months ago
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  • Actually, a good topic. With the incredible number of videos out there, why do certain ones go viral? The Andy Warhol, 15 minutes of fame quote can be examined here. I think that by just focusing on the few that have a significant number of views is not the way to approach anyone writing on this topic, the focus also needs to be on videos that receive very few views and how or why they are different. Sometimes, it may have nothing to do with the video but that someone sees a certain video and pushes or recommends it. Malcolm Gladwell, The Tipping Point, addresses this. – Joseph Cernik 11 months ago
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