YouTube and the distribution, manipulation and consumption of data

The article ‘Collective Behavior in YouTube: A Case Study of ‘Bus Uncle’ Online Videos’, By Donna Chu, was about identifying and discussing the nature and pattern of the uses of media surrounding a notable YouTube spectacle in 2006 Hong Kong.  The study suggests that the collective behaviors in YouTube demonstrates a public-playground space within a cultural sphere. [Published in the Asian Journal of Communication Vol.19, No.3, Sept 2009, 337-353]
The ‘Bus Uncle’ viral video was an incident where a middle aged man had a fierce quarrel with a younger man on a bus. In the year that followed, the video had 3.9 million views and over a hundred mash-up videos made in response. Meaning that people online were viewing, commenting, and Reworking the incident. YouTube makes it happen with a ‘broadcast yourself’ approach, where everyone can upload videos about anything:  journalism, public education, advertising, political action, ect. The internet allows people to have more flexibility with the “distribution, manipulation and consumption of data”.
Tying back into the focus of the paper: utilizing the communication abilities of the internet for facilitating collective behavior public opinions. The summary of the study, found that YouTube is a cultural public sphere, where people can express emotions and sentiments around specific relatable incidents in their community.


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